Mr Bruce Fein, the United States based lawyer of the embattled leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has appealed to the United Kingdom (UK) to support calls for a Biafra referendum in Nigeria.
According to Fein, the UK should call for a referendum to enable the Igbos in the South-East to decide if they want to remain in Nigeria or have Biafra as their own country.
Kanu’s US lawyer stated this in a letter to the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing.
Fein lambasted Britain for allegedly supporting “a lawless united Nigeria for UK’s ulterior motives.”
In a recent tweet, Fein, after a meeting with the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, George Obiozor, had expressed delight on the possibility of a united Nigeria.
He, however, argued that the international law permits the people of the South-East to seek self-determination.
In a letter he made public through Kanu’s Special Counsel, Aloy Ejimakor, on Thursday, Fein said, “Even more reprehensible was your tacit enthusiasm for a united Nigeria, indistinguishable from a suicide pact for Biafrans. As you know, Nigeria was artificially created by the United Kingdom at the point of machine guns in 1914.
“Prior to compelled unification in 1914, the British negotiated treaties with Biafra. A jus cogens norm of international law endows the Biafran people with a right to self-determination against a Fulani-controlled Nigerian government that has notoriously excluded all Biafrans but a handful of bribable defectors from the corridors of power.
“Self-determination stands at the apex of all internationally recognized human rights because it is preservative of all others. Self-determination is a shield against oppression by the tyranny of the majority or the ruthless.”
He recounted how the UK once insisted on self-determination for Protestant Northern Ireland in order to avoid persecution by the Roman Catholic Republic of Ireland.
He equally noted that the UK supported the self-determination referendum in South Sudan in 2011, in order to prevent the Arab-Muslim governing majority from persecuting the black Christian-Animist in Sudan.
Accusing the UK of backing a ‘lawless Nigeria’, Fein said the UK should rather be “advocating a United Kingdom suit against Nigeria in the International Court of Justice for denying the people of Biafra a self-determination referendum as required by Article I of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and an infinite number of corresponding human rights treaties and resolutions.
“It is the least that the UK can do to atone for its egregious crimes and sins against the Biafran people that have persisted for more than a century. Self-determination is too important to be left to temporizing or tergiversation.”