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We Want Referendum Not War – IPOB

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on Tues­day declared that it is not asking for war but a referendum on a separate Biafra state.

IPOB said that its mission was being misconstrued by some Nigerians, who believe that IPOB will resort to war to achieve its objective of self-determination.

In a press statement made available to journalists in Awka, Anambra State, IPOB Media and Publicity Secretary, Mr. Emma Powerful, said that its Leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, is a peace­ful and civilised person who does not believe in using war to solve problems.

Powerful described as “bla­tant lie, unfounded and ridicu­lous” claims by Nigeria’s security agency that Biafra has a military camp in Israel.

IPOB said that the claims were fabricated by the security agency to blackmail Biafra agi­tators and to make the quest for Biafra restoration lose interna­tional support.

In another press statement issued by IPOB Head of Ad­ministration, Mazi Chika Edoz­iem, accused the security agen­cy of peddling the speculation as an excuse to continue its unjus­tified attacks on Biafra agitators.

The statement put the inter­national community on notice of a plot by the Nigeria securi­ty to use the alleged Biafra Army camp in Israel to unleash more violence on agitators.

He said: “The allegation is a ploy by the Nigeria security to unleash mayhem on Biafran people when the contingent of solders on training in Pakistan returns.”

IPOB asked its supporters to disregard the allegation as it is nothing but falsehood.

IPOB restated its resolve to remain non-violent in the strug­gle for Biafra restoration, insist­ing that no amount of blackmail or intimidation would make it give up the quest.

Powerful in his separate statement, said: ‘’We the mem­bers of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its leader­ship worldwide have observed the grand conspiracy perfected by Hausa-Fulani oligarchs such as Tanko Yakassai and his fellow politicians with the help of cer­tain unity beggars to the effect that IPOB asking for self-deter­mination is tantamount to a dec­laration of war or asking for ref­erendum is equal to hate speech.

‘’We also understand that such levels of stupefying igno­rance about what IPOB is de­manding is totally the reason why Nigeria cannot produce and distribute electricity and job opportunities despite the abun­dance of coal, palm oil, gas and crude oil. This mindset of some Hausa/Fulani oligarchs is quick resort to violence as espoused by Tanko Yakassai and co and is the reason why we have Boko Har­am today. They always see civi­lised debate as a call to war; such people and the values they rep­resent can never be reconciled with the civilising effects of gen­uine democracy that allows for freedom of expression.

‘’It is fair to assume, going by the utterances of certain corrupt segments of the Nigerian society, that most of what IPOB is saying and stands for is lost in transla­tion because anybody with ba­sic understanding of rudimen­tary English and constitutional law will know that self-deter­mination does not mean war and that referendum is not hate speech. Again, when badly ed­ucated and ill-informed people dabble into a discipline above their station, such mistakes are bound to happen”, Powerful said.

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