IPOB to the UK, what Biafrans need is a referendum, not asylum
Charles Nwoke, Abakaliki, Nigeria
April 21, 2021
The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, says, what Biafrans need and cherish most is a referendum and not asylum.
IPOB made this known while reacting to the recent offer of asylum to the persecuted members of the group and that of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, a subordinate group in the struggle.
This was contained in a statement issued on Tuesday by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful.
IPOB’s statement titled, “We need Referendum, not Asylum, IPOB tells UK Government” however, commended the United Kingdom for what it called their bold initiative and most graciously appreciated them.
“We, the global family of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, ably led by our great and indomitable leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has noted with satisfaction the news that the United Kingdom has agreed to grant asylum to persecuted Biafra agitators resident in the UK.
“While we commend them for this bold initiative, we wish to most graciously remind them that what we Biafrans need and cherish the most is a referendum and not asylum in the UK.
“We are tired of living in bondage in the devilish contraption called Nigeria they single-handedly created. We would not wish our children, now and generations unborn, to share the same geopolitical space with those that reward terrorists and criminalize law-abiding citizens.
“We particularly thank the UK government for confirming what the rest of the civilized world already know that the great IPOB worldwide family are not TERRORISTS but peaceful agitators and freedom fighters.
“That Nigeria is a country run by terrorists for the benefit of terrorists has been confirmed by this noble move by the United Kingdom.
“Aso Rock, the seat of power in Nigeria is a terrorist haven with serving ministers who are openly sympathetic to terrorists and their activities coming and going as they please, while freedom fighters are languishing in jail. We want freedom, not asylum,” the statement read.
The Igbo National Council, INC, while reacting to the development yesterday said, the United Kingdom wants to pacify the Igbo people over the wrongs did to them for quite a long time.
INC President, Chilos Godsent argued that it was part of the move by the UK to address the anomalies which they had committed by supporting the Nigerian government in her atrocities.
However, the INC said that it believed that the UK was not sincere in its move for asylum.
According to INC President, “the only thing is that the UK is trying to address some of the anomalies targeted on the Igbo nation. They want the Igbo to feel pacified and believe that the UK is in for social justice.
“The UK wants to redeem its image. In the history of Nigeria, the UK has not shown any support for the Igbo nation. They know that things have fallen apart in Nigeria.
“The damage has been done. It cannot be cleaned. They just want to pacify the Igbos. The UK government is not sincere and genuine in their move.”
Meanwhile, following condemnation of the asylum proposal by the Nigerian Federal Government, the highest Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has tasked President Muhammadu Buhari to change his pattern of dealing with issues relating to the South East region and the agitation for an independent state of Biafra.
Engr. Chidi Ibe faction, Secretary-General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, stated that Buhari should embrace dialogue in dealing with separatists threats rather than resorting to ‘an eye for an eye’ or fire brigade approach.
The group said, “What’s good for the goose is also good for the gander. It’s not fair to use the carrot and stick policy for bandits and Boko Haram members in the north and use brutal force against secessionist groups in the south.
“Negotiations are the best approach for rebuilding trust and confidence amongst secessionist groups. Incarceration and military actions are outdated weapons used to win the battle against secessionist threats.”
Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, while reacting on the development, commended the UK and other western nations for accepting to grant asylum to persecuted Biafran agitators.
MASSOB went further to state categorically clear that they rejected the offer of asylum from Britain for its members being persecuted by the Nigerian Government, saying the offer is an arrangement with President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government to divert the attention of Biafran people towards attaining and actualizing their freedom.