The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has declared its willingness to engage in negotiations and dialogues with the Federal Government for a peaceful exit of Biafra from Nigeria, under the supervision of the United Nations.
In a press statement released on Saturday, IPOB, which has been outlawed, emphasized its commitment to a peaceful agitation for Biafra’s independence since 2012, asserting that it has not been associated with violence or criminal activities during rallies and protests. However, the group accused the Nigerian government of launching attacks on its members.
IPOB’s spokesperson, Emma Powerful, conveyed the group’s stance, stating, “We, the global family and movement of IPOB, wish to reiterate once again that IPOB remains peaceful and open to negotiation and dialogue on a peaceful exit of Biafra from Nigeria through a UN-supervised referendum.”
Powerful highlighted the alleged brutality inflicted upon IPOB members by Nigerian security forces during peaceful protests, resulting in casualties, injuries, and property damage. According to the statement, over 5,000 IPOB members have been lost, and property worth over $1 billion has been damaged due to what IPOB describes as the “extreme use of force” by Nigerian security forces.
Despite these provocations, IPOB claimed it has not retaliated or taken up arms against the Nigerian state. The group reiterated its commitment to peace, dialogue, and discussions, emphasizing its fundamental right to self-determination according to UN laws.
IPOB maintained that the events from 1948 to 2023 have demonstrated the impracticality of coexistence between Biafra and Nigeria as one nation. The group has consistently called for discussions on a peaceful referendum date, accusing the Nigerian state of responding with violent suppression.
The statement concluded, “We have always maintained that self-determination is our inalienable right according to UN laws.”