SECESSIONIST group the Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob) plans to hold several demonstrations in New York this week protesting against the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to the United Nations General Assembly (Unga).
On June 4, Nigeria’s Tijjani Muhammad-Bande was elected as the president of Unga to succeed María Espinosa, whose term expired this month. He is the first Nigerian to assume the office since Joseph Garba served as the president of Unga’s 44th session between 1989 and 1990.
Later this week, President Buhari is due to address the 74th session of Unga, which will be the first one presided over by a Nigerian in 30 years. However, Ipob, who is campaigning for the creation of the sovereign state of Biafra, have promised to protest against the president and his government to highlight what it says is the continued onslaught, arrest and secret abduction of its members by agents allegedly sponsored by the federal government.
Ipob also said the protest will serve to prove to the entire world its resoluteness and determination to achieve an independent state of Biafra free from impunity, corruption, poverty and human rights abuses. Yesterday, President Buhari left Nigeria in the company of three governors and is due in New York today.
Ipob spokesman Emma Powerful, said: “Our members in the US are on the ground waiting for Buhari to appear in the United Nations General Assembly this week. Our people in the US must make every arrangement necessary to protest against Buhari and his government in Nigeria during this upcoming summit to prove our resoluteness and determination for the coming of Biafra.
“World leaders must understand why they must support outright freedom of Biafran people from Nigeria without much delay. Buhari and his Fulani government in Nigeria have totally destroyed this country and we must let the world know what Nigeria has become.
“Ipob is going to stage a powerful protest against him in US for the purpose of standing against the continued and incessant killing, arrest and secret abductions of Biafrans both men and women. The whole world will see Ipob right in front of UN headquarters in New York.”
He added that Ipob’s case on the alleged human rights abuses against its members was already before various specialised UN agencies and working groups. Last week, Ipob leader Nnamdi Kanu met with UN leaders in Geneva, Switzerland to highlight their case, which Mr Powerful said made their argument crystal clear.
“Our meeting with UN officials last week was frank and forthright. If there were doubts before in their minds that Nigeria is one almighty calamity, the feeling we got after our discussions is that they now have a proper appreciation and deeper understanding of how irredeemably hopeless the case for one Nigeria has become in light of the reign of impunity, poverty, repression, unbridled corruption and collapse of the legal system.
“The well marshalled case for Biafra self-determination by our leader and prophet of our time Mazi Nnamdi Kanu was all too apparent for them to see and persuasively argued to their understanding that Ipob will not retreat nor relent in the pursuit for free and liberation of Biafran people. High levels of police and army brutality against innocent and unarmed citizens of Biafra and absence of a compromised judiciary makes Nigeria a prime candidate for cataclysmic implosion in the not too distant future,” Mr Powerful added.