The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has maintained that its agitation for Biafra can not be negotiated because it is their inherent right to pursue their own political, economic, cultural, and social future.
According to the group, its leader, Nnamdi Kanu remains the only political prisoner held unconstitutionally in custody without charge because he is an Igbo man fighting for the well-being of his people.
IPOB, in a statement signed by its spokesman, Emma Powerful, said self-determination is legal as supported by the United Nations laws and by the Africa Union Charter, therefore holding Kanu in detention for demanding a referendum was “unconstitutional.”
We gathered that Powerful revealed that the group is calling on the Federal Government to initiate a discussion on a referendum date and terms as soon as possible, noting that its demand for a referendum is not up for negotiation.
He maintained that the Federal Government has shown hostility and contempt towards the Ndigbo by keeping their leader in custody and they are now a vulnerable group that is discriminated against, targeted, and killed by security forces.
Powerful added that “In Nigeria today, Kanu remains the only political prisoner held unconstitutionally in custody without charge because he is an Igbo man. The main reason for his persecution and illegal incarceration is because he is fighting for the freedom and well-being of his people.
“The Federal Government has demonstrated hatred and disdain against Ndigbo by illegally holding onto this Igbo illustrious son without charge. Kanu and other IPOB members in various detentions even after the Nigeria courts have ordered their release are still being held without explanation from the Federal Government.
“The same Federal Government criminalised the IPOB leader and members for peacefully seeking to chat a political future for Biafrans as enshrined in UN and African Union Charters. Who beats a child and stops him from crying? Who does that?
“If after referendum Biafrans vote ‘yes’ to exit Nigeria, Biafra and Nigeria can still be good neighbours. Our request for the independent state of Biafra is not out of hatred for others but for self-preservation and reclamation of racial dignity.”
IPOB while appreciating those who have joined voices in advocating for the released of the IPOB leader, the group said, “We wish to commend people like Enugu State Governor, Dr Peter Mba, Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, Barr. Kanayo .O. Kanayo, and others for their persistent calls for the release of Kanu from detention.”