By Michelle Faul
Lagos (AP) — Despite a ban on its activities by the Federal Government, Radio Biafra, dedicated to the resurrection of an independent state for residents of Nigeria’s former Eastern Region, remained on the airwaves on Thursday.
People in southeastern Nigeria confirmed the station is broadcasting in the area that is home to the Igbo people. The Igbos fought a civil war to form an independent nation called Biafra in the late 1960s that killed about 1 million people, mostly Igbos from conflict-induced famine.
Unresolved causes of the war and results including the appropriation of property that has not been returned remain a sore point and groups including Radio Biafra continue to claim the tribe is discriminated against and to agitate for independence. Many Igbos who fled into exile have not returned home.
Eleven pro-Biafra activists were arrested last year on charges of treason. Earlier this year, the Biafra Zionists Federation called for Ibgos to boycott presidential elections because the High Court refused to give them bail after months in jail awaiting trial.
On Wednesday, Radio Biafra broadcast an alleged interview with the BBC Hausa service in which it claimed a voice said to be that of newly installed President Muhammadu Buhari made derogatory comments about the Igbo. Buhari’s office denied that, and the BBC also denied having such an interview.
The Ministry of Information announced Tuesday that it had “successfully jammed the signals” of Radio Biafra.
But the station remained on the air with call-in shows where listeners discuss issues confronting their region and their desire to break away from Nigeria.