The proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on Tuesday, declared that it will hold a referendum for a sovereign state of Biafra on the same day as the presidential election on February 16.
In a statement released by the group on its Facebook page, and signed by its spokesperson, Emma Powerful, IPOB said its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, has left his base in Israel for the United Kingdom, to finalise details of the referendum.
The statement read in part: “We, the global family of the Indigenous People of Biafra ably led by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu wish to announce officially to the people of Biafra both home and in the diaspora, friends of Biafra and lovers of freedom that our supreme leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is currently in London to join his family and see a newborn child he hadn’t seen because of his illegal incarceration and detention since 2015. He will also discuss with IPOB top family members in London to finalize the way forward for Biafra referendum that will hold on February 16, 2019, along with the Nigeria presidential poll.
“IPOB Leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu,’s relocation to the United Kingdom from his base in Israel was actually to perfect arrangements on Biafra referendum scheduled to hold 16th February 2019 to ascertain number of those who want Nigeria politics and those who want Biafra freedom through a peaceful and democratic process for the sovereignty of our dear nation Biafra. Our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is currently meeting with IPOB high command in Europe to perfect plans for the referendum which will go side by side with the February 16 presidential poll.”
The group said the mode of the referendum is to boycot the February 16 presidential election.
“On the format of the referendum, the planned boycott of the forthcoming presidential election would be a barometer to measure those who want Biafra and those who want to remain in Nigeria. The success of the sit-at-home order during the presidential poll in Biafra land will be a confirmation that Biafra is no longer under the bondage of one Nigeria,” the group said.