The Federal Government through the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Prosecution, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, has rubbished agitations for a referendum by Igbos, saying it is nonsensical and constitutionally impossible.
While speaking with the Sun Newspaper, the said that no part of the Nigerian constitution provides for such act.
According to him, Biafra ended after the Nigerian Civil War in 1970, saying the agitators are merely expressing their rights.
Okoi Obono-Obla said;
“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.”
While speaking in response to international laws recognizing referendum as an instrument of legitimate separation, Okoi Obono-Obla noted that the Nigerian constitution takes precedence over such laws.
“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.”
Do you have any fears about Nigeria?
Not at all, Nigeria has come to stay. I have no fears at all. Nigeria has come to stay.
What are the chances of the APC ahead of the next general elections?
Nigerians still love the APC. Why not for a party that has done very well? The APC has brought good governance and Nigerians would still vote for the party in 2019. It has brought good governance, responsibility, accountability and transparency in governance.
Recall that there have been calls for referendum by some groups, notably the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), led by Nnamdi Kanu, to determine if Igbos would have an independent of Biafra; separate from Nigeria.