Nigeria: Pro-Biafra Groups Plan to Adopt UN-Backed Referendum Template
By Lawrence Njoku
9th June 2017
Enugu — Pro-Biafra agitators have hinted that they might adopt a new referendum template on self-determination to be supervised by the United Nations (UN).
The Guardian leant that the move would see the various groups fusing to become an independent coalition platform before approaching the UN.
A statement yesterday by the IPOB's spokesman, Emma Nmezu and Dr. Clifford Chukwuemeka Iroanya, said the template of the Lower Niger Congress (LNC) might be adopted.
This new move was first implied when IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu adopted the template on February 28, 2017 at a meeting with Nzuko Umunna at the Kuje Prisons, Abuja.
He said Prof. Pat Utomi, Prof. Charles Soludo and Dr. Udenta Udenta also attended the meeting.
According to them, the IPOB and the Uchenna Madu-led Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) would adopt the template to actualise their demand.
A foremost referendum agitator for the people of lower Niger (Biafra) had first adopted the template.
It was further leant that a meeting of all pro-Biafra groups in the country and in the Diaspora would soon hold to review the template.
The statement added that the new move was facilitated by the recent ultimatum given to Igbo to vacate the northern part of the country.
They said: "A non-violent and transparent strategy for the nation of Biafra is crucial to getting out of the British-created contraption called Nigeria."
According to the template, the self-determination would not be framed as the restoration of "Biafra" or "Secession" as the agitations had stated.
Rather, it would seek "intervention in the context of the constitutional grievances of eastern Nigeria bordering on their abridged and suppressed right to self-determination, which only a UN-backed referendum could actualise."
"It would be an orderly transition that accommodates existing governance structures modeled after the Frederick De Klerk's 1990-1994 Transition of Apartheid South Africa," they said.
According to the LNC template, the Federation of Nigeria "collapsed since 1966 with the jettisoning of the five Constitutions (four regional and one federal)."
The statement said: "The impositions that now define that federation, as represented by the 1999 Constitution must now be decommissioned to make way for fresh protocols of mutual co-existence among willing and compatible contiguity."
"Together, we shall achieve the restoration of the nation of Biafra through the peaceful path of UN-mandated and supervised referendum that would usher in the new nation."
- The Guardian