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IPOB Announces Plan To Negotiate Biafra Referendum With FG

The proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on Saturday revealed its plan to open talks with the President Bola Tinubu-led administration on a peaceful breakup of Biafra from Nigeria through a United Nations (UN)-monitored referendum.

Speaking on the move in a press statement issued by the group’s spokesperson, Emma Powerful, the group said there hasn’t been any violence or criminal activity since the nonviolent campaign for Biafra independence began in 2012.

However, the group asserted that the federal government has kept harassing its members.

Powerful said IPOB has lost over 5,000 members and properties worth over $1 bn as a result of the extreme use of force from the Nigeria security forces.

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The statement read, “We the global family and movement of IPOB wish to reiterate once again that IPOB remains peaceful and open for negotiations and dialogue on the peaceful exit of Biafra from Nigeria through a UN-supervised Referendum.

“IPOB’s peaceful agitation for Biafra Independence started in 2012. Never has IPOB been associated with violence or criminality in all our years of rallies and protests. Nevertheless, the Federal Government, through its security forces, has levied war against IPOB. Our members have been brutally attacked while on a peaceful protest by the Nigerian security forces at many locations in Biafra Land.

As a result of these unwarranted attacks, many IPOB members have been murdered in cold blood, some have been permanently handicapped, some forcefully taken away by the security forces whereas some are still illegally detained in various detention facilities across Nigeria.

“Many IPOB members and sympathisers have had their houses and businesses burnt by the Nigeria security forces. IPOB has lost over 5,000 members with properties worth over $1bn as a result of the extreme use of force by the Nigeria Security Forces. Irrespective of all the provocations, IPOB has never retaliated nor have we taken up arms against the Nigerian State.

“IPOB stands for peace. We stand for dialogue, and we stand for discussions. The cardinal rule under which IPOB was formed is to lead the way to a peaceful separation of Biafra from Nigeria. Biafra and Nigeria are two different nations.

The events from 1948 to 2023 have shown that it is practically impossible for Biafra and Nigeria to coexist as one nation. IPOB has been calling on the Nigeria State for discussions on a peaceful referendum date, but the Nigeria State always returns the peaceful call with violent suppression.

“We have always maintained that self-determination is our inalienable right according to the UN laws.”

The organisation reaffirmed its commitment to exercising its right to self-determination peacefully and in accordance with international law.

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