IPOB a Terrorist Organization? Or Just Another Chapter in Nigeria’s Political Soap Opera?


Is IPOB a terrorist organization? According to the Global Terrorism Index 2023, IPOB entered the top 10 deadliest terror groups of 2022. This inclusion highlights a contentious debate about the group’s nature and activities, particularly in the Sahel region and Nigeria.

Global Terrorism Index 2023 Findings

The Global Terrorism Index 2023 presents a sobering picture. IPOB is listed among the 20 deadliest terror groups of 2022, with 57 deaths from 40 attacks and 16 injuries. This positions IPOB as a significant actor in Nigeria’s security landscape.

Nigeria, ranked 8th among the countries most impacted by terrorism, saw a decline in overall terrorism-related deaths but still faces severe challenges. Islamic State West Africa (ISWA) and Boko Haram remain the primary perpetrators, with ISWA now the deadliest terrorist group in Nigeria. The country recorded 385 deaths, 147 injuries, and 120 incidents in 2022

Legal Challenge Against IPOB’s Terrorist Designation

The legal team representing Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of IPOB, has secured a court order challenging the Nigerian government’s designation of IPOB as a terrorist organization. This legal victory argues that the 2017 proscription violated fundamental human rights and lacked due process.

A statement by Aloy Ejimakor, Esq., on behalf of Kanu, warned against referring to IPOB as a terrorist organization. The team threatens legal action against those who continue to do so, citing a High Court judgment that declared the proscription illegal, discriminatory, and unconstitutional.

This is because there is a subsisting Judgment of a competent High Court in Nigeria which ruled that IPOB’s proscription/declaration as a terrorist group by Buhari is illegal, discriminatory and unconstitutional,”

the statement read in part.

The Debate: Terrorism or Self-Determination?

The classification of IPOB as a terrorist group remains controversial. The Nigerian government argues that IPOB’s rhetoric and alleged violent activities justify the label. However, IPOB and its supporters insist that the group is a peaceful self-determination movement seeking an independent Biafra.

“Additionally, those calling IPOB a terrorist organization have not adduced a scintilla of evidence that IPOB has ever engaged in any terrorist activity,”

the legal team noted, emphasizing that no IPOB member has been convicted of terrorism despite numerous arrests and allegations.

Adding to the complexity, there is ongoing debate about whether IPOB is responsible for all the attacks labeled on them. Some argue that certain violent incidents attributed to IPOB might be carried out by other actors exploiting the situation to tarnish the group’s image. This complicates the narrative and raises questions about the accuracy of the accusations against IPOB.


The inclusion of IPOB in the Global Terrorism Index 2023 as one of the deadliest groups underscores the complex and often contentious nature of terrorism classifications. As legal battles and debates continue, the true nature of IPOB’s activities and the appropriate response remain subjects of intense scrutiny and differing perspectives.

By addressing these issues, BlaccTheddi Post aims to foster a deeper understanding and encourage informed discussions about the factors driving conflict and the paths towards peace and stability in Nigeria and beyond.


Leave a Reply