“Biafrans are wasting their time demanding for a referendum which is a constitutional impossibility” said the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Prosecution, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla
He was reacting to the call for a referendum by the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB).
In an interview with Sun Newspaper the Presidency described such calls as a waste of time and also stated that even restructuring would not solve the myriad of problems confronting the nation.
“The demand for a referendum with regards to Biafra is a constitutional impossibility. It is a legal and political impossibility. There is no provision in the constitution of the country or any other law that provides for a part of the country to break away. It is a nonsensical demand. Biafra ended on the January 15, 1970. I think the agitators are just expressing their rights to freedom of expression,” he said.
When reminded that even though it is not in the country’s constitution, the issue of referendum has become an international legal instrument for self-determination groups to realise their dream, Obono-obla said “The international law does not take precedence over the Nigerian constitution. If you want to ratify any treaty or international convention, the National Assembly has to approve it. You cannot begin to use the international law to deal with municipal, local and national issues. Let them stop wasting their time. There is nothing like that. The agitators are just wasting their time and that is why I am saying that they are just expressing their right to the freedom of expression.”
He also said if Nnamdi Kanu has flouted his bail conditions, the law would deal with him.
On why Arewa youths who recently gave the Igbo a quit notice has not been arrested even when their offence is similar to that of the IPOB leader, he said, “Which of the offences is worse? Is it the one that wants a separate state for itself and breaking away from the country or the one that gave the quit notice and says some people should leave a part of the country?”
On the cause of these sudden rise in tension and calls for disintegration in the country, Obono-Obla said, “Some people are not happy that President Muhammadu Buhari won the 2015 presidential election. Some people are not happy that their access to making big money has been blocked. They are those who want to destabilise the country. Period! When Jonathan was in power, all the major positions were taken by the South East. Then, they were not talking and they were not asking for Biafra. Why did they have to wait until Buhari came to power before the agitation. It is the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) who are sponsoring these people.”