Kanu, a popular separatist in Nigeria who is also a big proponent of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has had his Facebook page removed over violation of the company’s community rules according to a report by BBC.
The incident happened due to a video he had posted of a militia group attacking and killing cattle in a herder’s settlement. He further posted a live broadcast where he accused the herders of destroying farmlands in the eastern part of the Nigeria.
The issue with herders is a current issue in the Nigerian political landscape and Kanu who is the self-acclaimed leader of the IPOB which campaigns to secede and become an independent country of its own away from Nigeria.
Mr Kanu, who also has British nationality, used his Facebook page as a key platform to communicate with his followers around the world. The Facebook page finally got removed from the platform on Tuesday.
According to the video, the militia group that carried out the attack were allegedly the Easter Security Network which had Kanu set up.
A Facebook spokesperson told BBC Igbo: “In line with our rules, we removed Nnamdi Kanu’s page for repeatedly posting content that break those Community Standards, including content that violated our rules on coordinating harm and hate speech.”
However, the ban will be appealed with an Ipob representative stating that Facebook is not baffling but too petty.
“We wonder why a global social media giant like Facebook would allow itself to be used by agents of oppression in Nigeria to suppress the truth,” head of media Emma Powerful said.
Ipob is proscribed in Nigeria, which labelled it a terrorist organization in 2017 and as for Kanu, he became really famous in the country back in the year 2009 when he began the Radio Biafra which he broadcasted from the UK to Nigeria. He used the platform to call for Biafran independence an urged his followers to turn against Nigeria.
Who are Ipob?
- Founded by Nnamdi Kanu in 2014
- Proscribed as a terrorist group by Nigeria in 2017
- The group wants states in south-east Nigeria, made up mainly of people from the Igbo ethnic group, to break away and form the independent nation of Biafra
- Mr Kanu was arrested in 2015 in Nigeria and spent more than a year-and-a-half in jail without trial on treason charges
- At least 150 Ipob members were killed by Nigerian security forces between August 2015 and August 2016, according to Amnesty International
- Mr Kanu, a British citizen, jumped bail and fled the country in 2017
Social media censorship
Nnamdi Kanu created the IPOB Community Radio on which he bypass social media censorship and relay his information to his followers. However, he also encouraged his followers to continue supporting his views by following him on Twitter where he might also get banned due to his controversial rhetoric.
He however appears to be more measured on Twitter, where he is currently trying to get verified.
At the moment he’s likely to resort to using the Facebook accounts of Ipob and Radio Biafra and the hundreds of Ipob-affiliated pages, which are not affected, but it would be interesting to see if he changes his tone.
His message had always been about the IPOB community becoming an independent nation and that might never change even if his Page gets reinstated by Facebook.