Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has said IPOB referendum will be conducted on February 16, 2019, to ascertain number of Nigerians who want a separate Biafra republic through a peaceful and democratic process, the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has declared.
IPOB spokesman, Emma Powerful, in a statement on Monday, said the referendum would run simultaneously with the 2019 presidential election.
According to him, the relocation of IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, to the United Kingdom from his base in Israel was actually to perfect arrangements for the referendum.
The statement read: “Our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is currently meeting with IPOB high command in Europe to perfect plans for the referendum which will go side by side with the February 16 presidential poll.
“IPOB leader and other top IPOB high command are expected to meet with European Union (EU) officials to gather more international support for the Biafra proposal.
“Recently Mazi Nnamdi Kanu had been holding “useful talks” with a number of diplomats on a successful referendum bids for Biafra on 16 February 2019, and we can assure you that majority of them have given their assurances and the proposal has received a tremendous support from many key allies who see self-determination for Biafra as the best solution to the present Nigeria problem.
“The details and outcome of the referendum on Saturday 16th February will determine the position of Biafra people in the coming weeks.
“The test will be side by side with Nigeria presidential election next month to examine how many people boycotted the forthcoming presidential election.
“On the format of the referendum, the planned boycott of the forthcoming presidential election would be a barometer to measure those who want Biafra and those who want to remain in Nigeria.
“The success of the sit-at-home order during the presidential poll in Biafra land will be a confirmation that Biafra is no longer under the bondage of one Nigeria.
“The truth is that by the time Nigeria will wake from the looming political crisis she will only discover that Biafra is already a sovereign nation.
“We are sure for peaceful and rancour-free referendum because international observers and media platforms will be on ground to monitor the exercise on that day.
“It is important we remind Nigerians once again that the on-going political developments in the country only confirm that Nigeria cannot work together as one country and Biafra must be a sovereign nation.”
Kanu, who is now in the UK, returned to the spotlight in 2018 when a picture of him in Israel surfaced on the social media.
He was first seen praying at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem with some IPOB members, who accompanied him to the place.
Until then, the IPOB leader’s whereabouts were unknown after the Nigerian Army invaded his home in Abia State during the Operation Python Dance in 2017.
IPOB has since been proscribed by the Nigerian government.