Geoffrey Anyanwu, Awka
A delegation of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) led by its Deputy Leader, Uche Mefor, has met with United Nations (UN) officials over killings of its members in the Southeast zone of Nigeria.
The Mefor-led delegation visited the UN headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland on September 14, the same day Biafrans were remembering the victims of the invasion of the home of IPOB leader at Isiama Afaraukwu, Umuahia, Abia State.
Disclosing this yesterday in a statement, IPOB Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, noted that it was the first time in the post-war history of Biafra that the leadership of any group, movement or people had met with the United Nations face to face to discuss anything pertaining to the plight of Biafrans or the Eastern Region.
Powerful, who did not divulge the outcome of the meeting however, described it as a historic encounter that would go a long way in cementing the diplomatic credentials of IPOB in the eyes of the international community adding that, “this is the very first time that United Nations has had the opportunity to host Biafrans to a meeting.”
He stressed that the historic encounter with United Nations officials in Geneva had opened up avenues and opportunities for further engagement between IPOB and relevant UN agencies around the burning issues of human rights violations by President Muhammadu Buhari-led regime and enforcement of IPOB’s universal right to self determination.
The IPOB image-maker further said, “during the discussions, Uche Mefor pledged on behalf of the worldwide family of IPOB to commit the movement to working within the guidelines of United Nations charters and obligations in recognition of the unique privilege Nigeria currently enjoys as a full-fledged member of the United Nations.
The statement regretted that “Kanu family, whose United Nations invitation to the event was truncated by the Swiss embassy in Abuja alongside other first hand eyewitnesses’ to the military invasion of Afaraukwu on September 14, 2017, the day over 28 persons were shot dead by the Nigerian military, were denied representation at the meeting because the Swiss embassy refused them entry visa to Switzerland on the instructions of the Nigerian government.
“This flagrant disregard for United Nations issued invitation was also raised during discussions, which the UN team assured the IPOB delegation will be looked into as a matter of urgency.
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“With this meeting satisfactorily concluded, IPOB has gone where no other group of leaders before it has dared go to. It will forever be recorded that for nearly 50 years and for the very first time in the history of Biafra, an interface was facilitated between representatives of the people of Biafra (IPOB) and the United Nations.
“Due to issues of confidentiality, we are not at liberty to divulge every detail of what transpired. Suffice it to say they the world has been officially placed on notice that IPOB, as a movement is determined to carve a separate existence for the people of Biafra (South East/South South) away from Nigeria.
“Anybody or group of people previously in doubt of the efficacy of our multidimensional approach has been dispelled with this meeting. IPOB leadership is working quietly on all diplomatic fronts, below the radar, to avoid the usual sabotage by the Nigerian state, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Igbo governors and their local agents that don’t want to see Biafra emerge as a free nation.”