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Friday, 22 September 2017

IPOB Sponsorship: FRANCE Reacts As UK Agrees To Shutdown Radio BIAFRA

IPOB Sponsorship: FRANCE Reacts As UK Agrees To Shutdown Radio BIAFRA

France As Sponsor of IPOB

The Republic of France has expressed surprise over allegations by the Federal Government that IPOB has its financial headquarters in France.

According to Punch Newspaper, France denied knowledge of IPOB’s activities and presence, saying it was ready to examine any information that could support the Federal Government’s claims.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, had alleged that IPOB was being funded by some sympathisers in France and other foreign countries.

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He also accused the United Kingdom of allowing Radio Biafra to “operate in the country” under the guise of freedom of speech.

“We have the records. We know IPOB collects money from many people in diaspora. They collect money from many people in Nigeria; they collect money from some foreign countries, this is clear. Let me tell you, the financial headquarters is in France,” he stated on Wednesday.

But the Embassy of France spokesperson, Claude Abily, in her reaction on Thursday, noted that the Federal Government never raised the issue with the French government before going public with it.

Abily said, “The Embassy of France was surprised by the statement made yesterday (Wednesday) by the Minister of Information and Culture, indicating that the “financial headquarters” of IPOB were in France.

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“We don’t have any knowledge of a particular presence of IPOB in France and the Nigerian authorities never got in touch with the Embassy on this point.

“We stand ready to examine any information which could support this statement.”

“Furthermore, we would like to reiterate that France actively cooperates with Nigeria in the field of security and that we strongly support the unity of the country.”

The United Kingdom, in the same vein, said it was not aware of any representation by the FG on Radio Biafra.

The Press Officer, UK High Commission in Nigeria, Joe Abuku, said the British government would consider request to shut down Radio Biafra on the basis of available evidence.

“Were we to receive any such request, we would, of course, consider it carefully on the basis of the available evidence, recognising that freedom of speech and expression carries responsibilities,” Abuku added.

Source: Punch Newspaper

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