The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has declared readiness to negotiate with the Federal Government on peaceful exit from Nigeria through a UN-monitored referendum.
The pro-Biafran group said the peaceful agitation for Biafra Independence started in 2012 without any violence or criminality.
The group announced this in a statement issued by its spokesman, Emma Powerful, on Saturday.
Powerful claimed that as a result of the alleged excessive use of force by the Nigerian security forces, IPOB has lost over 5,000 members and assets worth over $1 billion.
The statement reads: “We the global family and movement of IPOB wish to reiterate once again that IPOB remains peaceful and open for negotiations and dialogue on peaceful exit of Biafra from Nigeria through a UN-supervised Referendum.
“IPOB’s peaceful agitation for Biafra Independence started in 2012. Never has IPOB been associated with violence or criminality in all our years of rallies and protests.
“Nevertheless, Federal Government, through its security forces, has levied war against IPOB. Our members have been brutally attacked while on peaceful protest by the Nigeria security forces at many locations in Biafra Land.
“As a result of these unwarranted attacks, many IPOB members have been murdered in cold blood, some have been permanently handicapped, some forcefully taking away by the security forces whereas some are still illegally detained in various detention facilities across Nigeria.
“Many IPOB members and sympathisers have had their houses and business burnt by the Nigeria security forces. IPOB has lost over 5,000 members with properties worth over $1bn as a result of the extreme use of force from the Nigeria Security Forces.
“Irrespective of all the provocations, IPOB has never retaliated nor have we taken up arms against the Nigerian State.
“IPOB stands for peace. We stand for dialogue, and we stand for discussions. The cardinal rule under which IPOB was formed is to lead the way to a peaceful separation of Biafra from Nigeria. Biafra and Nigeria are two different nations.
“The events from 1948 to 2023 have shown that it is practically impossible for Biafra and Nigeria to coexist as one nation. IPOB has been calling on the Nigeria State for discussions on a peaceful referendum date, but the Nigeria State always returns the peaceful call with violent suppression.
“We have always maintained that self-determination is our inalienable right according to the UN laws.”
The group insisted that it remains committed to pursuing its self-determination peacefully according to international laws and regulations.
By Adedamola Ogunbewon
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