Members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), living in South Africa, have urged the Israeli government and the United Nations to put pressure on President Muhammadu Buhari to stop the persecution of their members in Nigeria.
In a statement sent to SaharaReporters on Saturday, they complained that the Department of State Services (DSS) had arrested people for listening to Radio Biafra, an online radio station created by the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
They appealed to both the Israeli and UN government to force Nigeria to drop all charges against Kanu and release all their members in Nigerian prisons.
Part of the statement read: "IPOB South Africa is urging the Israeli Embassy and the United Nations to uphold Its charter on indigenous peoples rights of self-determination and freedom, by compelling President Buhari and the Federal Government of Nigeria not only to release all Biafrans held in secret locations but also to tread with the utmost restraint and caution when dealing with those that are agitating for Biafra.
"We are calling on the Israeli Embassy also to see to the question of savagery, brutality, blatant disregard to the rule of law and undemocratic ruling of Muhammadu Buhari, and to see to it that, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), will peacefully restore Biafra as a Sovereign State."
According to the statement signed by the coordinator of IPOB members in South Africa, Ogechukwu Isu, "they – Biafrans are not fearful of the prospect of a second civil war. They are not prepared to settle for crumbs, and neither do they fear death, conflict, defeat, incarceration, butchery or persecution. Biafrans determined to restore Biafra.
"They are imbued with a spirit that cannot be suppressed and the more they cry "Biafra", the more the spirits of the millions that were slaughtered on the Biafran side during the Biafra/Nigeria war, are invoked. The more they cry "Biafra", the more the souls of the hundreds of thousands of their people butchered during the barbaric pogroms in the North and Lagos in the mid-60s and after that, are remembered.
"The more they cry "Biafra", the more they remember how their fathers were stripped of everything after the Biafra/Nigeria war, and how they have been denied the opportunity to rise to the highest office in the land. The more they cry "Biafra", the more they acknowledge and recognise the bitter fact that the Buhari administration regards their kith and kin as nothing more than third-class citizens and unfortunate prisoners of war. The worst thing that the Nigerian authorities can do is to treat us with levity or contempt."
In the statement, IPOB members argued that those seeking the actualisation of an independent state of Biafra have the fundamental right to self-determination and should never be maltreated by the Nigerian armed forces.