The referendum conference took place in Houston, Texas as planned attended by the representatives of the people of Biafra including the Niger Delta Areas, some Professional, Civic, Cultural Leaders, and Intellectuals.
Ndi’Igbo in Exile met in Houston on the 19th of February 2016, to debate their fate in Nigeria. The move is necessitated by the continued occupation of Biafra land by Nigeria state since January 1970.
Why the debate in the first place? Dr. J.O.S.Okeke, the founder of the original world Igbo Congress which was later highjacked by political thugs in America had this to say.
When people engage in oral combat, the likely casualty is some one’s ego being bruised. When they engage in physical combat, lives are lost as well as properties being destroyed and other collateral sequelae of war.
The fact remains that since independence, nearly all Nigerian governments have tried to tackle either the structure or the constitution of Nigeria. The governments that did nothing were the governments that did not stay long enough in power. This indicates that the political structure which the country operates has very serious problems.
For too long the Nigerians have lived in denial and deceit that the structure and the political arrangement is satisfactory and suitable to her many and diverse ethnic groups and will not allow them to HONESTLY and OPENLY discuss their modus vivendi and come to a satisfactory arrangement that is not manipulated or fraudulently imposed by a cabal that cares mostly about their personal interests.
The Igbo ethnic group have felt very short changed in this present arrangement, have been complaining for years, and now wish to honestly and openly examine if it is worth their continued participation in this status quo.
There are very many strong and compelling reasons why the Igbo should remain and be part of Nigeria. Equally there are many and compelling reasons for them to opt out particularly as they feel that they are denied justice and equity with no prospect of meaningful changes the Nigerian arrangement to allow them to fully actualize themselves.
This is a conversation that is being held among Ndigbo and any one evoking the memories of Biafran civil war in the conversation either does not understand what it is all about or is being mischievous. Technology of communication in modern times has become very advanced, sophisticated and wide spread that if they are employed there ought not to be armed conflict anywhere in the world.
Only the Igbo will decide if they should stay in Nigeria or go it alone or join any other arrangement. If the overwhelming majority through a transparent process decide that they should stay in Nigeria, the agitators against will calm down and bow to the will of the majority. If on the other hand, through the same process an overwhelming majority want to opt out, NO ONE can and should stop it.
Therefore, we want to introduce a new vista in the political culture in Nigeria by asking the Igbo to engage themselves in honest and open conversation on the subject of secession. This does not preclude any individual or group from chiming in and giving their view or opinion. We all live in a free society but this is strictly a matter for the Igbo.
As stated, arguments on both sides of the issue will be debated seriously passionately, if necessary, without emotion and at the end a vote will be taken. We are also encouraging IGBO groups where ever they are to do the same and start this conversation among themselves. It will be part of educating the people ahead of any referendum that will be necessary. Let the conversation begin. Unu atuzina ujo.
See you on the 19th of February at the campus of Texas Southern University.
A platform for a serious discussion was established in Houston, Texas on Friday February 19th, 2016 to debate whether Igbo should allow the occupation of her home country by Nigeria or opt out of it in light of these experiences.
Following the result of this debate, a referendum conference was called below is the communique
The referendum conference took place in Houston, Texas as planned attended by the representatives of Eastern Nigeria including the Niger Delta Areas, some Professional, Civic, Cultural Leaders, and Intellectuals.
Among the participants are:
Representative of the Supreme Council of Elders of Indigenous People of Biafra (SCE-IPOB),
Representatives of the Biafra Government in Exile (BGIE),
Members of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB),
Representatives of Igboezue Cultural Advancement Association Worldwide,
Representatives of Igbo peoples Congress, Houston
Members of Biafran Memorial Group,
A Representative of Middle Belt Congress,
Some nonaffiliated Individuals, and
The Great Igbo Debate Group.
The participants unanimously agreed:
1. That a Biafra Referendum shall be held. Mechanisms and strategies were discussed and agreed upon and are being put in place to achieve this. That referendum is the ultimate solution to the agitation and unrest in the southern part of Nigeria, to be conducted peacefully without loss of life or destruction of property.
2. The Nigerian Government should without delay release Mr. Nnamdi Kanu and ALL those held in detention and in jail because of their demand, involvement and agitation for self-determination.
We also understand that the Biafra charter was adopted again as an instrument for the purpose of restoration of our sovereignty and guideline toward political liberation.