Tuesday, January 19, 2016

European Union Replies Biafra Over Calls For Independence

Against the backdrop of the request by Biafra agitators and the organization of Emerging African States (OEAS) for the referendum to be conducted on the independence of Republic of Biafra, the European Union has replied the agitators.

BY AKPAN JEREMIAH




The Biafra had earlier through OEAS requested that the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security, Federica Mogherini, to wade into the need to conduct a referendum for Biafra’s independence.

Sahara Reporters reported that the OEAS also called for the release of those it described as Biafran political prisoners and a stay of action by the Nigerian troops, and for quick referendum to be held within 90 days.

In response to this request, Mogherini told Dr. Jonathan Levy, OEAS chief administrative officer, that while the European Union has strong diplomatic and economic relationship with Nigeria, the “protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms remains a priority for the EU and we encourage the authorities [Nigeria] in every occasion to respect such rights.”

The EU further went on to caution the OEAS and Biafran that the push for self-determination and border changes must be carried out within the ambits of established international law.

It added that Biafra can only be recognized through international law and not through armed secession.

The OEAS had been pushing for an internationally recognized referendum on Biafra independence or autonomy.

In the same vein, OEAS advised that all nonviolent means should be utilized including general strikes, economic boycotts, work actions, demonstrations, lawsuits, and civil disobedience. Nigeria is a member of The International Labor Organization (ILO).

The ILO recognizes the right to engage in general strikes and the right to strike is also recognized in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 1966 (Article 8(1)(d)).

Below is a copy of the letter:






Meanwhile, former president Olusegun Obasanjo had continued to hit hard on Biafra agitators lashing out on pro-Biafra movement describing it as dead agitation which was borne out of sheer ignorance and error of judgment.

He added that those involved in the current agitation in support of Biafra were embarking on a hopeless and futile exercise, which no serious-minded Nigerian should ever become a part of.
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