The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has announced resumption of plans to hold a referendum towards the ‘peaceful restoration’ of the defunct Republic of Biafra.
According to IPOB spokesperson, Emma Powerful, in a statement, it said it has printed 40 million ballot papers to be used in the first phase of the referendum by Biafrans to determine their readiness to opt out of Nigeria.
He said the ballot papers would be distributed to all adults in every clan and village in ‘Biafraland’ a the first phase of the ‘three-stage referendum’ would take place in 2018.
“We the Indigenous People of Biafra wish to bring to the attention of the world that plans are at advanced stages in preparation for the first in our three-stage referendum process towards the peaceful, non-violent restoration of the nation of Biafra,” the statement read.
“Our decision to hold the first of the three plebiscites later this year has vindicated IPOB’s resilience in sticking to the principle of non-violent agitation for Biafra in the face of government brutality and treachery from enemies within.
“Efforts geared towards this first referendum is gathering unstoppable momentum with dates for the exercise to be announced imminently.
“Forty million ballot papers are being printed and readied for distribution to every clan and village in Biafraland for all adults over the age of 18 to express their preference.”
Also in the statement, IPOB cited occasions where the Nigerian government had, in the past, conducted a referendum for some sections of the country.
“On 11th February, 1961, Nigeria conducted a referendum for the people of Southern Cameroon to determine whether they wished to be part of Nigeria or merge with Francophone northern Cameroon.
“This referendum resulted in the peaceful secession of the then NCNC-controlled Anglophone Cameroon from Nigeria.
“In other words, they voted to leave Nigeria for good. That was democracy in action, not war.
“Again, on the 13th of July, 1963, Nigeria conducted another referendum which led to the creation of the defunct Mid-West Region from the supposedly Yoruba-dominated Western Region.
“The old Mid-Western Region comprised parts of today’s Delta and Edo states.“Referendum has been used in Nigeria before to resolve a seemingly intractable issue,” IPOB added.
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