- Reactions have trailed a report that the United Kingdom intends to grant asylum to IPOB, MASSOB members
- The British high commission in Nigeria spoke about the category of people that are entitled to seek asylum in the UK
- The commission disclosed when it will release an update about the Biafra separatist note
The United Kingdom has disclosed that it offers asylum to those who need it in accordance with its international obligations.
The UK government made the disclosure following an inquiry by The Punch newspaper about the report that it was considering offering asylum to members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB).
The federal government had stated that it would be disrespectful for the UK to grant asylum to secessionist groups.
In response to the inquiry by the publication, the British High Commission stated that its asylum policy is guided by the Refugee Convention and European Convention on Human Rights.
The emailed statement from the commission to The Punch read:
"The UK has a proud history of providing protection to those who need it, in accordance with our international obligations under the Refugee Convention and European Convention on Human Rights.
“Our country policy and information notes are published on the gov.uk website. They are kept under constant review and updated periodically – an update to the Biafra separatist note is expected shortly. We publish them since our decisions can be appealed in the immigration courts, which are public, so it is clearer and fairer for all involved (applicants, their lawyers, judges, stakeholders such as the UNHCR) to know what our position and evidence base is.
“All asylum and human rights claims from Nigerian nationals are carefully considered on their individual merits in accordance with our international obligations.”
Meanwhile, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has declared that it has the duty to protect all Igbos no matter their belief and aspiration.
This was disclosed by the spokesman, Chief Alex Ogbonnia, Punch reported.
He disclosed this while reacting to the plan by the United Kingdom to grant asylum to members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Ogbonnia urged the federal government to dialogue with IPOB and MASSOB, understand their grievances, and find ways to get a better relationship.