The European Union High Commission has expressed concerns over the heavy-handed suppression of Biafrans in Nigeria and has promised to pressure for the immediate and safe release of the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu and other Biafran activists who are being unlawfully detained by the Nigeria government led by president Muhammadu Buhari.
The EU also emphasised that Biafrans have the right to demand for independence in a peaceful protest as such rights are fundamental human rights.
Federica Mogherini, Vice president of the EU Commission, and High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy made this disclosure while answering series of questions tabled before the commission through a letter signed by dozens of EU Parliamentarians, demanding for an urgent action from the Commission in addressing the incarceration of IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu and other Biafran activists by the Nigeria government, and to also call the Nigeria government to order over the continuous killing of Biafrans and excessive abuse of human rights in Nigeria.
In the reply issued on behalf of the European Union Commission on February 2, 2017, Vice-President Mogherini stated that “the European Union (EU) is deeply concerned about the violence that has erupted in relation to the Biafra movement.
“The EU follows closely the fate of Nwannekaenyi “Nnmadi” Kenny Okwu Kanu, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi since their arrest in October 2015 and, more broadly, pays close attention to the treatment of the pro-Biafra movement by Nigerian authorities.”
In addition, the EU High Commission upheld the inalienable rights of Biafrans “to protest and express them freely, as long as this right is exercised in a peaceful manner.”
It went further to advocate for a fair prosecution of activists who are languishing in various detention centers across the country which must be in line with the rule of law and democracy.
“The EU supports individuals’ right to protest and express them freely, as long as this right is exercised in a peaceful manner. Potential prosecutions should also be carried out in a manner compatible with the rule of law,
“The EU raises human rights issues at every opportunity with the Nigerian authorities, to encourage them to respect human rights, and to improve the rule of law. This issue will be on the agenda of the next EU – Nigeria Ministerial Dialogue due to take place in Abuja this spring,
“In the implementation of the European Development Fund, the Commission is also engaged in building capacities to enable Nigeria to fulfill its human rights commitments, as “rule of law, governance and democracy” is one of the three sectors of concentration of the National Indicative Programme for Nigeria,” the EU High Commission stated.