Barr Aloy Ejimakor, special counsel to Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, Friday, said the recent directive by the Working Group of UN Human Rights Council for the immediate release of the IPOB leader affirms that separatist agitation is legal, and that ‘referendum is a legitimate tool for settling it’.
The UN Working Group had about three weeks ago stated that Kanu was exercising his rights in championing a referendum for the actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra through his Indigenous People of Biafra movement.
He faces charges on alleged jumping bail in 2017, running a proscribed group and treason.
Recall that he was forcefully brought into Nigeria by the combined forces of Nigeria and Kenya last August. The manner of his arrest has been described as ‘extra-ordinary rendition’.
Ejimakor, while throwing more light on the UN directive on Kanu’s right to agitate for a referendum on Biafra, said ‘the misguided militarist response to it which Nigeria adopted, instead of containing it, is actually validating the agitation and convulsing Southeast and Nigeria to boot’.
He said it was the same referendum that led to the excision of the southern Cameroun from Nigeria, while retaining Adamawa as part of Nigeria. Former VP Atiku Abubakar comes from Adamawa.
Research shows that a UN-supervised plebiscite in February 1961 led to the unification of the southern part of Cameroun with the former French Cameroun, creating the Federal Republic of Cameroun. The north voted to join the Federation of Nigeria. The south was until then a part of Nigeria.
Quoting Ejimakor, “Nigeria gained Adamawa and lost Southern Cameroun through referendum, and nobody was detained, killed or extraordinarily renditioned.
“It is referendum that made Abubakar Atiku a Nigerian and which may as yet make him President. It’s through referendum that Midwest Region came into being in 1964.
“This is all within Nigeria, not counting the many nations that were created through referendum, such as Eritrea, Kosovo, South Sudan.”