The proscribed indigenous people of Biafra group, IPOB has reportedly commenced printing of 40 million ballot papers for a referendum.
The group said it plans to hold the referendum later this year, and that it was determined to ensure that the exercise took place without violence.
A press release by the Media and Publicity Secretary of the group, Mr Emma powerful stated;
“Efforts geared towards this first referendum is gathering unstoppable momentum with dates for the exercise to be announced soon. 40 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. For those that set out to mislead the populace by equating IPOB’s call for referendum as a call for war, in order to mask their betrayal of the people, will no doubt find another reason or excuse to object to this upcoming plebiscite.
It is worth reminding that on the 11th February 1961, Nigeria conducted a referendum for the people of Southern Cameroon to determine whether they wish 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.
No war was fought and no ethnic group was threatened with annihilation. If those parading themselves as leaders, with their much touted academic accomplishments, are not aware of this relatively modern history, then the pervading ignorance in Nigeria, occasioned by the spectacular collapse of the education system, is more generational than earlier thought.
If those that claim to be the elite in the society cannot reference Southern Cameroons as a case where referendum resolved an intractable issue, then their supposed elitism is founded on pure fantasy.
Again, on the 13th of July 1963, Nigeria conducted another referendum which led to the creation of the defunct Mid-west from the supposedly Yoruba dominated Western region. The old Mid-Western region comprised of parts of today’s Delta and Edo states. No war was fought, no ethnic group was threatened with extinction.
Those that canvassed for a referendum then were not labelled warmongers. It speaks of the magnitude of prevailing ignorance in Nigeria that people are in this age unaware of the fact that referendum has been used in Nigeria before to resolve a seemingly intractable issue.
Our decision to hold the first of the three plebiscite later this year has vindicated IPOB’s resilience in sticking to the principles of non-violent agitation for Biafra, in the face of government brutality and treachery from enemies within.”
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