IPOB said what it needs and appreciates most is a referendum that will accord a sovereign Biafran nation to its members.
A referendum is a vote on which the citizens of a country give their opinion or decide an important political question. A territorial referendum could lead to the breakaway of a region from a country.
On Tuesday, April 20, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), a division of the Home Office in just-released ‘Country Policy and Information Note Nigeria: Biafran secessionist groups’ statement directed its decision-makers to consider if a person “who actively and openly supports IPOB is likely to be at risk of arrest and detention, and ill-treatment which is likely to amount to persecution”.
The development was, however, condemned by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who said such action would undermine Nigeria’s fight against terrorism and insecurity.
Reacting to the UK government, Nnamdi Kanu, leader of IPOB, who spoke through his spokesman, Emma Powerful commended UK government for such gesture but said its desire is to have a referendum on self-determination for the South-East and not asylum.
The statement reads:
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 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 geo-political 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.