An investigation by the BBC has found that a group of Nigerian separatists is making use of social media to spread violence and hatred among people against the opponents of Biafran independence. This group is from outside the country.
Efe Uwanogho, also known as Omote Biafra, who has over 40,000 followers on Facebook, went live on the platform and spread hate speech directly to her followers.
She was wearing a leather jacket in front of which was a patch of the Biafran flag, with its black, red and green tricolour and a half rising sun.
She said during her live broadcast, “Go after these mighty saboteurs. Those are the individuals that need to be decapitated. Those are the people that need to be charred to ashes.”
She was calling for attacks against those who were deemed as enemies of the campaign against Biafran independence, which would create a breakaway state in the area of southeast Nigeria.
The campaign has a history starting from 1967 when separatists group, mainly from the ethnic Igbo region, announced independence for the Republic of Biafra. They combated and lost an extended three-year civil war against the Nigerian government in which over a million died, particularly on the separatist group. Although the war ended in 1970 but the ideology of Biafra is still living, and social media has become a new frontline for those who are still struggling.
Ms Uwanogho is among those people. She is a “media warrior”, as known by people on social media and for the separatist group known as the Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob).
She broadcasts live from Italy, which is far from the reach of Nigerian authorities. Ipob has been banned in Nigeria and is considered as a terror group, but the group insists that it is a peaceful movement.
The investigations of the BBC reveal that many other influential Ipob supporters working outside the country openly promote violence and disinformation on social media from across Europe, Asia, the US, and other regions of Africa.