By Vincent Ujumadu & Chinonso Alozie
OWERRI — THE Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has faulted the statement credited to the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Paul Arkwright, concerning the agitation for Biafra, describing as unfortunate and distasteful to Biafrans, the envoy’s position that the United Kingdom, UK, would remain firm in its support for one indivisible Nigeria.
The High Commissioner was said to have made the statement in Kogi State where he delivered a public lecture entitled, “Brexit: Lessons, Challenges and Opportunities for Nigeria.”
Analyzing the envoy’s statement, IPOB Spokespersons, Dr. Ikenna Chinaka and Mrs. Grace Ukpai, said it was surprising that a seasoned diplomat of Mr. Arkwright’s standing could display ignorance of international law and protocol concerning the right to people’s self determination.
They observed that not minding the obvious limitations and inherent defects of the1999 Nigerian Constitution, sovereignty of states under international law was not cast in iron and could, therefore, be broken, as was the case on the issue of Bakassi Peninsula.
They said: “The point IPOB is making is to the effect that, in the exercise of the sovereign powers bestowed on it, an artificial creation like the Nigerian state or indeed any other country, can limit its own sovereignty or surrender a part of same.
“The truth as it stands is that the Nigerian state has, out of its own volition, already surrendered Nigerian sovereignty over Bakassi Peninsula, which, therefore, enables any part of Nigeria or section thereof to secede when they so decide, contrary to the wishes and ambitions of the neo-colonialists like Mr. Arkwright. This is equally true and remains same for even Great Britain whom Mr. Arkwright represents in Nigeria.
“Arkwright should impress upon the Nigerian government the imperative of discharging its obligation under the UN Declaration and African Charter, to facilitate a referendum for a peaceful Biafra exit from Nigeria.
“It is our hope that Arkwright appreciates this new reality, otherwise we would be forced to draw the alternative inference that he set out to test the will and resolve of IPOB. This would be most unfortunate if it were to be so since the pervasive consequences of such an action will not spare anyone trying to subvert the will of the Biafran people.”
Sit at home order not negotiable
Meanwhile, National Coordinator of the IPOB, Mr. George Onyeibe, yesterday said the May 30 sit-at-home order by the group was not negotiable.
Onyeibe made this known to newsmen in Owerri with representatives of IPOB from other states.
He also alleged that the use of Sharia law to try their detained leader, Nnamdi Kanu, would not be accepted by them, adding that it was a ploy by the Federal Government to “Islamize” the country.
He said: “ The right for self determination is bestowed on man by God as it is backed by the united nation constitution. Biafra has an agenda.
“We understand that the use of Sharia law to try Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, was an arrangement to Islamize the country called Nigeria. And their plan is that when they use it on Nnamdi Kanu and succeed, it will become a reference point for them.
“From there they will start to use it against other people. I want to tell you that they have failed in this their plan. The simple fact, is that we have come to restore the sovereign state of Biafra. Which has existed before the forceful amalgamation of the county called Nigeria.
On the issue of the sit at home order by the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Oyeibe said that it was not negotiable, adding that Biafra should not be deterred.
Onyeibe said: “ Yes, I will simply say that 30th of May we don’t negotiate about it. We remember that some of our members have been killed. We remember the one which happened during the time we were celebrating the President of the United States of America. So, I want to tell them that the 30th of May sit at home is not negotiable.”