#SoundOff: When Popular Buharist Makes Surprising Call For Referendum On Biafra

#SoundOff: When Popular Buharist Makes Surprising Call For Referendum On Biafra

By Opinions | The Trent on April 1, 2016
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IPOB, Geoffrey Ogbonna
Pro-Biafra activists, IPOB, wave flags in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, February 28. Pope Francis greeted the activists as indigenous peoples of Biafra during his Angelus address. | Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images

by Ukonu Obasi

A well known supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari, Jack Obinyan-Buhari has backed calls for a peaceful referendum for the independent state of Biafra. Mr Obinyan-Buhari who is well known in social media circles for his ardent support for President Buhari, to the extent that he added Buhari to his name, was interacting with other users on social media when he said he would like to see Biafra emerge as a nation, as he was friends with people of different nations, and so would welcome the addition of Biafrans among his community of friends.

Another Buhari supporter, Usman Chindo, made clear suggestions on how the campaigners for the state of Biafra can achieve their goals peacefully. He itemised the steps which include organising a political movement, calling for a referendum and actualize the result of the referendum. His suggestions was warmly received by Biafran campaigners, and shows that Nigerians from both sides are in support of the Biafran movement.

It would be recalled that the leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu has been held by the government for many months on charges of treason, but have yet to successfully prosecute or prove the case. It would also be recalled that many unarmed protesters have been killed by the Nigerian armed forces for campaigning for the independence of Biafra.

The recent show of support by this strong supporters of the administration indicates a shift in momentum where all Nigerians have come together to support the right of the people of the south East of Nigeria to self determination. The question of Biafra has been a controversial one in Nigeria for which a civil war was fought costing millions of lives and damage. However the new generation of Biafra campaigners are moving away from using violence, but prefer diplomacy and following internationally accepted means towards achieving independence.

Several states have recently achieved independence through non violent methods and it is on record the president of Nigeria supports the right to self determination by the people of western Sahara, it is therefore no surprise that his most ardent supporters have joined to support the call for a peaceful referendum for the sovereign state of Biafra.

Ukonu Obasi is a public healthcare professional based in London, UK. He is executive director of Rural Africa Health, Water and Sanitation Initiative (RAHWSI) and s consultant for a number of charities in UK and USA and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health. He is a social critic, public speaker and community mobilizer. Connect with him on Facebook. 

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.

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