· We mobilised 5m protesters in 7 states for Monday rallies - IPOB
· Accuses Govs Ikpeazu, Wike of betrayal
The ongoing pro-Biafra agitations by some groups have received the attention of the European Union (EU) which on Tuesday gave conditions before it could support the struggle for self-determination.
Through its High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security, Federica Mogherini, the EU said that it would not endorse any armed struggle for the actualisation of an independent Biafra State.
In a response to the request of the Biafra agitators through the Organisation of Emerging African States (OEAS) for a referendum, which The AUTHORITY accessed, the EU urged the Federal Government to respect
the rights of the agitators.
The OEAS had asked the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security to help ensure a referendum for Biafra’s self-rule.
The organisation also demanded the release of all Biafran political prisoners, a stand down of Nigerian forces, and a snap referendum within 90 days.
But Mogherini, in a reply to OEAS Chief Administrative Officer, Dr. Jonathan Levy, explained that the EU’s official position is that while it has strong diplomatic and economic ties with Nigeria, “the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms remains a priority for the EU and we encourage the authorities (Nigeria) in every occasion to respect such rights.”
The regional bloc told the OEAS and Biafra agitators that self-determination and border changes must be in accordance with established international laws.
The OEAS had called for an internationally recognised referendum on Biafra independence, stressing that it will only recognise a Biafra that emerges via international law and not armed struggle or secession.
To achieve the referendum, the OEAS canvassed non-violent means such as “general strikes, economic boycotts, demonstrations, lawsuits, and civil disobedience.”
Meanwhile, the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) has said that it successfully mobilised five million members on Monday to protest the Federal Government’s continued detention of its leader, Dr Nnamdi Kanu, in seven states in the South East and South-South zones.
The group had staged protests in some states in the two regions where three people were reportedly killed and five others hit by stray bullets by soldiers deployed by the authorities to foil the demonstrations.
The IPOB criticised the Abia State Governor Okezie Ikpeazu and his Rivers State counterpart, Chief Nyesom Wike, for their alleged directive to the security agencies to prevent the group from carrying out its demonstrations.
In an interview with journalists in Nnewi, Anambra State, IPOB Media and Publicity Officer, Mr. Emma Powerful, said: “In spite of the threat by the security agencies and the unwanted governors’ comments against us, we had our protests in Delta, Abia and Enugu states. In Abia, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Rivers and Bayelsa states, two million protesters came out. Enugu State was joined by Ebonyi State, while Anambra State joined with Delta State in Asaba, where we had over three million protesters. We will repeat same in other states very soon.”
Powerful said that he was not surprised by the comments of Wike and Ikpeazu because they belong to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and were unpopular candidates imposed on their states and may be planning to defect to the All Progressives Congress (APC), hence their comments that will make them look sympathetic to the cause of the Federal Government.
He pointed out that the state governors in the South East and South-South and others who were elected by their people cannot make reckless comments because they must seek clearance from their constituents before they speak against IPOB or any pro-Biafra group.
“We are therefore, telling those states, groups and individuals who do not know what to say or how to talk about IPOB or any Biafra agitating group to remain silent or we will visit them with the wrath of Biafra,” Powerful threatened.