Request for Urgent Intervention Brought Pursuant to the UN Declaration on Minorities; European Framework Convention; UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Which was Adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2007 in Resolution 61/295

The Secretary-General,

United Nations

405 East,

42nd Street, NY 10017,



Dear Sir,




Since 1966, the Igbo who predominantly originate from the South Eastern States of Nigeria have intermittently continued to taunt and rebel against other parts of the country demanding to secede and form an independent country called Biafra.


This agitation was among the key components that culminated in the Nigerian civil war of 1967-1970 that resulted in colossal death and destruction.


In recent times, there have been renewed attempts to reopen these old wounds and are now taking a more ominous and repulsive  form and context with open calls to violence and anarchy by organized Biafran movements as they insult, threaten the peace and beat the drums of war through organized movements.


And while numerous political and diplomatic initiatives  have been launched  in the past with the aim of preserving Nigeria as a single,   united,  indivisible nation, the Biafra agitation has for many years undermined  these efforts at every turn.


In the wake of this impending anarchy, this Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) representing different groups and associations in Northern Nigeria, made the Kaduna Declaration on 6th June, 2017 at an international press conference in Kaduna, the capital of Kaduna State, Nigeria in which we suggested that the Igbo should be granted their long cherished dream of Biafra.


As a further step to avoid the Igbo threat becoming true, the CNG asked that they vacate other territories to the place they mapped out as Biafra to let the rest of us live in peace and harmony as Nigerians.


This Kaduna Declaration was not a call to violence but as a precaution,  considering  the Igbo have incessantly made public that unless they have an independent Biafra, they will wage a war against Nigeria and Nigerians.

Ref:;, and ). ; 


Taking cognizance of these emerging realities,   we took the well reasoned decision to write the United Nations Organization (UN) seeking for its facilitation  in ensuring a smooth and seamless determination of this lingering issue.


It is important to state here that Nigeria has always been an active member of the  UN and has remained true to the cause of the UN in ensuring a safe, prosperous and just world for all.


It is against this background that our Coalition petitions the UN on the unrelenting demand for secession  by the Igbo ethnic group of South East Nigeria.


This is because  we have grave reservations that the overtures made by well meaning Nigerians will yield any fruits and therefore nothing short of allowing  the Biafra nation or silencing the agitation once and for all will ever bring peace.


Our doubts are rooted in both historical and current trends and the underlying character of the Igbo people of the South East.





The Igbo manifested their abhorrence for Nigeria’s unity barely five years after independence from the British when on January 15, 1966, their army officers carried out the first-ever  mutiny that marked the beginning of a series of crisis that profoundly altered the course of Nigeria’s political history.


Through that ill motivated, ethnically orchestrated coup of 1966, the Igbo assassinated many army officers of the rank of lieutenant colonel upwards that were from Northern Nigeria. They also decapitated the Prime Minister and the political leadership of the Northern and Western regions, but left the zenith of Igbo leadership at the Federal level and the Eastern region intact.


General Aguiyi-Ironsi took advantage of the vacuum and, in line with the Igbo plan, instead of returning power to the remnants of the first republic government, appropriated the coup and attempted to consolidate it for his people.


Army officers of the Northern region were eventually compelled to execute a counter coup on July 29, 1966 following a series of coordinated brazen provocations by the Igbo who taunted northerners,  on northern streets,  by mocking the way the leaders of the region were slain by the Igbo.


In furtherance of their hatred for non-Igbo leadership, when Lt. Col. Yakubu Gowon, from the North took over as Head of State following the counter coup, the Igbo,  led by Lt. Col. Ojukwu,  refused to recognize his authority.


Consequently, Ojukwu declared the secession of the Igbo from Nigeria and the formation of the republic of Biafra on May 30, 1967 resulting in a civil war that led to the tragic deaths of more than 2 million Nigerians.


Importantly, the Igbo eventually capitulated and conceded defeat in an unconditional surrender – not an armistice – on January 15, 1970 which renders any talk about Biafra at any other time, a repudiation of the terms of that surrender signed by Phillip Effiong and other Biafran leaders.





In contravention of the terms of their unconditional surrender, several years later, the Igbo regrouped and openly started a brazen, though relatively decent campaign for the resuscitation of the defunct Biafra under Ralph Uwazuruike of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB).


This move was later hijacked by a more ferocious rogue group called the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) under a Nigerian-British citizen, Nnamdi Kanu whose violent campaign went beyond public lectures to the operation of an illegal radio that constantly spreads xenophobic, hateful and war messages, targeting other Nigerian ethnic groups by derogating and threatening them with violent extermination.

Ref:, and


Igbo activities under Kanu’s IPOB grew exponentially, ranging from ordering people of other regions out of the South East – particularly the Yoruba and Hausa /Fulani – to open declaration of the amassing of arms and recently, the forceful shutdown of the entire South-East.



Yet despite Kanu and IPOB declaring full allegiance to a “Republic of Biafra” and their repeated calls for war, not once did any Igbo leader call them to order or even distance himself or herself from them. Instead, many of the leaders, including Mr Ike Ekweremadu,  the current Deputy Senate President of Nigeria, who is the most senior elected Igbo in the country, pay Kanu courtesy visits as a symbolic show of allegiance to a cause that is unconstitutional and violent.


Furthermore, neither the Igbo political and cultural leaders,  nor other regional leaders of the North or West,  nor the international community or any religious body ever found it necessary to call these renegade groups to order,  or in the very least,  admonish their leaders to do so.


Similarly, none of the Igbo leaders holding various positions in this government ever disowned IPOB or condemned its operations until lately with Governor Rochas Okorocha’s mild condemnation after the Kaduna Declaration by our Coalition.


Their attitude suggests, to a large extent,  the level to which the IPOB Biafran campaign is supported by all levels of the Igbo leadership.


This concern was heightened when, ignoring IPOB’s hateful and violent campaign, the South-East Governors Forum recently took a shocking  initial stand through  Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State by which they unequivocally characterized the attitude of Kanu and IPOB as mere “peaceful” agitations.



Though the Igbo governors and some political leaders much later reversed this initial stand, others,  especially spiritual  leaders have intensified efforts at dangerously indoctrinating their youths by ingesting hate philosophies in them at every gathering.









Given the unrepentant antecedents exhibited by the Igbo as highlighted above, we strongly believe that the gruesome picture that the IPOB agitation represents has gone beyond simple and quick political fixes. The seed of hate planted in the name of Biafra is evidently so deep that we feel eminently obliged to make a case for the agitation to be granted  in order to allow  peace to reign.


We base our concerns on the following grounds:


  1. Kanu has openly claimed that the IPOB Biafran agitators have amassed arms in readiness for a war of secession, which is quite conceivable given the fact that since 2009, caches of dangerous weapons routinely smuggled into the country and occasionally intercepted  by the Nigerian authorities, were all traced to Igbo sources.



  1. At the peak of the Boko Haram violence in parts of northern Nigeria, several arrests were made of people who turned out to be Igbo in attempts to blow up Churches and other facilities to complicate the situation and instigate a widespread religious uprising with a view to ultimately cleanse the northerners.



  1. Recently, several Igbo men were arrested in security raids while masquerading as Fulani herdsmen to unleash violent crimes against other Nigerians, all with the same sinister motive as above.



  1. Since the ‘Kaduna Declaration’, the government of Nigeria has made efforts to bring all parties to the table for some form of negotiation and dialogue, but IPOB openly disowned and dissociated itself from such efforts.



  1. The ugly trend persists despite evidence of the Igbo political and opinion leaders openly legitimizing the violent comments, insults, threats, hate speeches and call to anarchy by IPOB led by Nnamdi Kanu against the North and the Nigerian state in general. Ref:


  1. As the level of enthusiasm in the IPOB camp rises, Igbo leaders and youth continue to give it a platform, patronage and symbolic legitimacy through an ignominious display of homage, reception and open embrace.





As a country, Nigeria has given a fair share of friendship and support to its friends across the world. Apart from the effort to keep the peace and foster mutual relationships, Nigeria has never done anything to undermine its international friends and partners.


However, the following evidences tend to suggest that these long term friends and allies have become directly or indirectly complicit in,  or tolerant of the hateful and violent campaign for Biafra sometimes made on their own soils.




Addressing his listeners through constant radio broadcasts from the United Kingdom, Kanu has incessantly insulted and threatened Nigeria and Nigerians with violence and anarchy. In one such broadcasts, he openly said that if Nigeria refuses to recognize Biafra, “Somalia will look like a Paradise”.


The UK does not allow for an open call to violence as lawful in its territory. Hence, it is a surprise to us that they turned a blind eye to these atrocious broadcasts and statements to be made from their territory by Kanu who holds both British and Nigerian passports.


In Britain, the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 that inserted Section 4A into the Public Order Act 1986 clearly prohibits anyone from causing alarm or distress or doing any such act with intent to cause a person harassment, alarm or distress by “using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behavior, or disorderly behavior, or displaying any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting, thereby causing that or another person harassment, alarm or distress”.


From the evidence attached here, it is clear that Kanu continues to breach these British Laws on British land with his threatening messages to Nigerians, without any action by the British government.





During the ‘World Igbo Congress’ held in Los Angeles, United States of America in 2015, Kanu openly asked the congress to facilitate the supply of arms to the Biafrans in readiness for war against the rest of Nigeria.


Nigeria has been a friend of the US and hence our concern that such an outright call to violence against Nigeria coming from a Nigerian,  on United States soil,  was not even attended to by US authorities.


If a US citizen were to stand in any part of Nigeria and call to arms to attack the US, Nigeria will be outraged and it will act accordingly. The US will also be outraged and will vehemently react by the likely labelling such act as terrorism against the United States.


Unmistakably, the speech by Kanu has fulfilled all the conditions of illegality as laid down in the American case of Brandenburg v. Ohio, as it clearly promotes “imminent” lawless action, that is “likely” to occur and Kanu intends to produce imminent lawless action “directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action”.

Equally, R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul, 505 U.S. 377, 388 (1992) American laws protects “individuals from the fear of violence, from the disruption that fear engenders, and from the possibility that the threatened violence will occur. Ref:



In an assembly tagged ‘Mission to Israel’, the Biafran movement used foreign platforms to showcase its relationship with France and Israel and how they are mutually connected in this planned aggression against Nigeria.

Kanu has also continued his outburst using lies, xenophobic utterances, violence and divisive messages from foreign territories, boasting that his movement will burn Nigeria.

But despite ample evidences of these threats, none of the friends of Nigeria from where he has made these unlawful utterances took visible steps to denounce the existence of such a relationship.



Owing to these facts, we regrettably feel that while Nigeria’s  international partners such as the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Israel have been dragged into this quagmire and their names or territories used as launching pad for Kanu’s campaign of war and anarchy against Nigerians,  they are yet to give the needful attention or do what is legally needful.


Noteworthy is that the domestic laws of these countries as well as the international laws that are binding, require states to prohibit hate speech.

Article 20(2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) adopted by the United Nations General Assembly and ratified by 169 nations,  require states to prohibit all negative statements towards national groups, races or religions, but, as soon as a statement “constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence,” it must be banned.

Although the US has reservations over this provision, it also agrees that incitement which is intended to cause imminent violence should be restricted.



We believe that in this document, we have given sufficient proof to show that Kanu and other IPOB agitators have continued to incite to discriminate other Nigerians in ways that hostility and violence are imminent.

Hence, we strongly feel we cannot go on pretending that it is safe for us to cohabit with the Igbo given how deeply they are entrenched in our society and how openly they claim support from several countries.


As the younger generation of Nigerians makes up for more than 60 percent of the nation’s population, it is our hope that we forge a future that is true to itself, peaceful and prosperous, devoid of anarchy, violence and suspicion.


We want a country in good shape so that the next generation can build a much better future for themselves and their offspring in an atmosphere that is devoid of anarchy, hate, suspicion and negativity that characterize the polarized, and clearly irreconcilable differences forced on us by the IPOB Biafran movement.


It is therefore impossible to expect that other ethnicities would simply stand by and watch while a certain ethnic group perpetrates all the above heinous misconducts that involve threats, call to violence and extermination, insults and songs of war without responding.




While we unequivocally restate that we are not waging war or calling anyone to violence, we also reaffirm our unwillingness to further tolerate the malicious campaign and threats of war waged by the Igbo led by Kanu against the North in particular and the Nigerian state in general.

Since all people have the right to agitate, to demonstrate and to criticize in a civilized manner, Biafra as an agitation, is not our problem. What we find unacceptably frightening is the open genocidal campaign by Kanu and his IPOB that incessantly and unapologetically refers to Nigeria as a ‘Zoo’ and calls for outright violence against its people, by the “kind of war that nobody has ever seen”.

Article I of the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide states clearly that “The Contracting Parties confirm that genocide, whether committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime under international law which they undertake to prevent and punish.”

The genocide in Rwanda resonates in this context because it began with similar kinds of hate speeches and open calls to violence.

To prevent the impending war and genocide being incited by Kanu’s IPOB, we urge the International community to look deeply into the evidence we have attached here and make a necessary decision in line with what International law and the international criminal court laid down as precedents in dealing with people and groups that openly call for war and genocide.

We further submit that the conduct of Kanu and IPOB qualify as acts of terrorism against the state and the people they target. We rely on the UN Security Council Resolution 1566 read alongside resolution 1373 that qualifies terrorism as: “criminal acts, including against civilians, committed with the intent to cause death or serious bodily injury, or taking of hostages, with the purpose to provoke a state of terror in the general public or in a group of persons or particular persons, intimidate a population or compel a government or an international organization to do or to abstain from doing any act.”

In line with the above resolution, it is our belief that the campaign waged by Kanu and his group constitutes, to a large extent, acts of terrorism as it ‘provokes a state of terror in the general public’ and ‘intimidates a population’. Ref:

It is equally important to stress that Kanu and IPOB have, in their campaign, carved out territories they intend to annex in their planned Biafran nation, even when some of these places are outside the key five Igbo States of the South East.


The leaders of these neighboring states have since expressed deep concern and apprehension that the grand plan of Kanu and IPOB is one that also includes the design to annex unwilling neighbors. This is not only against International Law, it is also a catalyst for violent resistance as we have seen in various parts of the world; the recent being Crimea.


The position of International law is also clear as contained in the ICJ report 1986: “A prohibited intervention must… be one bearing on matters in which each State is permitted, by the principle of State sovereignty, to decide freely. One of these is the choice of a political, economic, social and cultural system, and the formulation of foreign policy. Intervention is wrongful when it uses methods of coercion in regard to such choices, which must remain free ones.” ICJ Reports 1986, Judgment, June 27, 1986, p. 14, 108 (Para. 205)


We accordingly demand that the only enduring solution to this scourge that is being visited on the nation is complete separation of the states presently agitating for Biafra from the Federal Republic of Nigeria through a peaceful political process which includes:


  1. Taking steps to facilitate the actualization of the Biafran nation in line with the principle of self-determination as an integral part of contemporary customary international law.


  1. The principle of self-determination has, since World War II become a part of the United Nations Charter, which states in Article 1(2), that one of the purposes of the UN is “to develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples.


  1. We submit that this protocol envisages that people of any nation have the right to self-determination, and although the Charter did not categorically impose direct legal obligations on member States; it implies that member States allow agitating or minority groups to self-govern as much as possible.


  1. This principle of self-determination has since been espoused in two additional treaties: The United Nations Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights and the United Nations Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Article 1 of both international documents promote and protect the right of a people to self-determination. State parties to these international documents are obliged to uphold the primacy and realization of this right as it cements the international legal philosophy that gives a people the right to self-determination.


  1. 5. As the Biafran agitation persists and assumes threatening and violent dimensions, we submit that there is a need for the Igbo to have the opportunity to exercise the right to self-determination as entrenched in the aforementioned international statutes to which Nigeria is a signatory.




  1. We call on the UN to, on behalf of the peace loving and good people of Nigeria, impress on our International friends and partners, i.e. the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Israel to distance themselves from these threats to peace made by Kanu and ban further activities of his violent group on their soils in addition to appropriately labeling it a terror organization.


  1. Recognizing the right of self-determination in international law as the legal right of a “people” to attain a certain degree of autonomy from a sovereign state through a legitimate political process, we strongly demand for the conduct of a referendum in a politically sane atmosphere for the Biafran Igbo to have a democratic voice over their future and the future of the nation.


  1. We pray the UN to call on all Igbo from all over the country and in the Diaspora to converge in their region in the South-East for a plebescite under the supervision of the UN and other regional bodies to categorically decide between remaining with Nigeria or actualizing the Biafran dream.


  1. We pray the UN to resolve to ensure that the Nigerian authorities should at the end of the plebescite implement whatever is agreed and resolved in order to finally put this matter to rest.




We are, by this letter committing the UN to engage and facilitate the application of available democratic processes for the peaceful determination of whether the Igbo prefer to remain part of a united Nigeria or not.

With due respect to the recent belated position of the South-East governors and political leaders in support of one united Nigeria prompted by the Kaduna Declaration and the Acting President’s intervention, we still strongly believe that only a referendum can wholly and decisively seal the fate of any talk about Biafra in the future.

This position is informed by the clear testimony that there is a disconnect between what the South-East leaders are saying and the belligerence of the secessionists as could be seen in the manner Kanu and IPOB stubbornly continue to raise Biafran flags and lead crowds of ordinary Igbo into violent demonstrations throughout the South-East with the most recent in Imo and Anambra states. Ref

The statement made by the South East governors is another pointer that the violent campaign waged by Kanu and his mob was either condoned out of fear, docility, imprudence or concern for the region’s peace. Whatever the motivation of the leaders of the South East to disassociate themselves from Kanu and IPOB, we are still convinced that only a clear political process to determine this polemic once and for all would suffice.

A referendum therefore remains the only viable option for a majority of the Igbo to either formally choose to remain in Nigeria or have an independent Biafra. Either way the pendulum swings, it would put the recurring Biafran question to rest and ensure the future stability of the country.

This disrespect for the peace initiatives of the Acting President and  the reasonable voices of Igbo leaders and liberal groups from the South-West and South-South that now tilt towards unity and peace following the Kaduna Declaration.

Instructively, Kanu’s latest threat of forcing the South-East to boycot future Nigerian elections and unlawfully disenfranchise an entire population, exposes the fact that IPOB has all along been terrorizing the Igbo leaders and a large population into submitting to its whimsical orders including the one for a sit-at-home in early June,  2017.

This latest terror threat, bound to be tested at the scheduled November Anambra governorship polls,  is particularly alarming as it tends to replicate the build-up to the ugly scenario of the controversial election of 1964 that nearly tore the country apart,  but for the steadfastness of some leaders of that time.

More so, we want to reiterate on how this boycott is constantly followed by threats of violence by Kanu’s IPOB adherents on and off social media platforms. This is not only a threat to Nigeria’s sovereignty and the rights of its people, it is also an affront to the fundamental principles of franchise as contained in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). It is an offence under both domestic and International Laws to intimidate an entire population from exercising their political rights.

We therefore call on the UN to consider this act for what it is and treat it for what it represents; an offence under International Law by categorizing IPOB among global terror organizations, banning its activities and initiating criminal proceedings against its leaders and sponsors to deter future occurrences anywhere.

And as we continue to press for peaceful and legal options to determine the Biafra question, we remain committed to protecting the rights, civil liberties and safety of all people living in the North irrespective of their origin, ethnicity, creed or confession.

In this regards, we call on the UN and all other international bodies to join hands with the remaining peace-loving Nigerian components in building a strong, viable, peaceful, prosperous and united future Nigeria.

As a final note, we reiterate to the UN our commitment to the principles of justice, rule of law and fairness for a better world and acknowledge how it has for decades, worked tirelessly in upholding these principles.

We equally assure the UN that as partners in a progressive global agenda, our intents are genuine and the legitimacy of our call to allow Biafrans is made with all honesty of purpose.

Long live Federal Republic of Nigeria

Yours Faithfully,



















Nastura Ashir Shariff                                                                                                                        ………………………………………..



Amb. Shettima Yerima                                                                                                               …………………………………………..



Abdul-Azeez Suleiman                                                                                                               …………………………………………….



Hon. Aminu Adam                                                                                                                      ……………………………………………



Joshua Viashman                                                                                                                      ……………………………………………..




Jamilu Aliyu Charanchi                                                                                                            ……………………………………………….



Muhammad Bello Nawaila                                                                                                     ..……………………………………………..



Mohammed A. Mohammed                                                                                                  …………………………………………….



Nathaniel Ajegena Adigizi                                                                                                      …………………………………………….



Mohammed Tasiu Pantami                                                                                                    ……………………………………………



Comrd. Balarabe Rufai                                                                                                            ………………………………………………



Barr. Emmanuel Danjuma                                                                                                      ……………………………………………..



Mohammed Abdulhamid Enny                                                                                           …………………………………………….



Comrd. Yusuf Amoke                                                                                                          ……………………………………………..





Acting President Federal Republic of Nigeria

Senate President Federal Republic of Nigeria

Speaker House of Representatives Federal Republic of Nigeria

Chairman Nigerian Governors Forum

Chairman Northern Governors Forum

Former Heads of States / Presidents

African Union (AU)


European Union

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British                                   Indian                                                           Australia

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