By Jonathan Asikason
The leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to stop prevaricating on his group’s demand for renegotiation of Nigeria’s future through a referendum.
Kanu warned that the refusal of the federal government to grant its demand for a plebiscite on the desire of the people in defunct Biafra to decide their future would push the group to seek alternatives in their quest.
In Kanu’s words, in his Twitter handle, “Now, I say unto @NGRPresident, that if you don’t concede to a referendum for the peaceful dissolution of Nigeria, there will come a time when the indigenous peoples of #Nigeria will consider other options.”
It was not clear, as of the time of filing this report, what Mazi Kanu meant by “other options.”
However, when asked whether the group would now resort to violence, many IPOB adherents told Orient Weekend that the group, being a non-violent one, would continue to leverage on what they claimed to be their “massive local support and international contacts to force the Nigerian government to organise a referendum that will liberate the people of the defunct Eastern Region.”
The IPOB leader, however, told his followers about the opportunities and breakthroughs that often come, in disguise, with disintegration. According to Kanu, “Separation comes with quantum benefits – Soviet Union, Ethiopia, Czechoslovakia etc suffered when they were held in UNITY BY FORCE. But, now that they’re separated, the new nations prospered more than the old. #Nigeria needs to learn that separation can be beneficial to ALL.”
The above tweets, as expected, generated memes as Nigerians of all walks of life joined the fray with their views on the Biafra agitation.
@Chikere observed that “Only separation can give Nigeria peace, value system is not the same, since creation of Nigeria each tribe live (sic) with fear with each other.”
@Ugwoke Michael, in his own viewpoint, noted that “Biafrans may consider other options and sustain it but can other indigenous people of Nigeria sustain it? The answer is NO, they can’t.”
@Ifediba, in his reaction, noted that “Sovereignty is not given; it’s taken. If APC regime refuses to concede to referendum, time shall come when other indigenous people will take another option which will be dangerous to contain.
@Newdawnnaija, in a counter opinion, tweeted that “the indigenous people of Nigeria cannot live with the current system but we also refuse the dissolution of Nigeria. And, yes, we have other options which are restructuring in which every region or state will be independent, autonomous, making its laws and managing its resources.”