Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) led by Nnamdi Kanu has informed the European Parliament that only referendum will curb lawlessness in Nigeria.
In a statement issued to the media, the IPOB leader said the country was not only in crisis but also steeped in lawlessness.
Delivering a message to the parliament, where he was invited to state the rationale for IPOB’s secessionist agitation, Kanu noted that the Nigerian state had never been at peace with itself, stressing that recent events amplified the pending emergency facing the country.
According to him, because lawlessness is always one step ahead of the government, the latter responds when it feels convenient “and attempts to give a veneer of legality to the lawlessness.”
Citing the proposed land reforms across the country, the IPOB leader explained how “Fulani herders from northern Nigeria are increasingly encroaching on the settled farmers of the South, including Biafra.”
He said that Amnesty International’s report of more than 2,000 deaths in 2018 corroborated the link to the land crisis, lamenting that “instead of seeking to address the violence, the Federal Government has sought to condone it and legitimise the land grab.”
Said he, “As has been the case since independence from Britain in 1960, Biafrans are the easy target of the lack of a credible Nigerian state. Nigeria governs without the consent of all within its borders. Nigeria claims to be ruled by law, but in effect, there is de facto lawlessness in Nigeria. “
“Nigeria’s epidemic of violence flowing from the North is well documented. In 2014, the Global Terrorism Index judged Fulani militants to be the fourth deadliest terror group in the world, behind Boko Haram, ISIS, and the Taliban.
“There is an underlying problem in the North, which has to do with climate change and encroaching desertification due to over-grazing and deforestation. This has drawn Fulani herdsmen further south and led to violence against Biafran farmers seeking to defend their land and crops. The fertile farming lands of Biafra are very attractive to the Fulani.”
He, therefore, declared that since the right to self-determination is captured in international law, “the only way to resolve the issue is by holding a referendum which complies with international standards.
“IPOB is calling for a referendum. It is for that reason the Nigerian authorities have sought to brand IPOB as a terrorist organisation. The EU, the United Kingdom, and the United States have all rejected the labeling of IPOB as a terrorist group. They know that IPOB seeks only to uphold human rights.”