By Ama Chukwugoziem (Abia writers) 
Edited by Livingrich Ezeikpe
Referendum is a democratic process by which political disputes are resolved. It is a fact that in 1914 when the British government amalgamated Nigeria, there was no such process rather the three ethnic groups were forced into one entity called "Nigeria". For the sake of peace and coexistence, Biafrans succumbed to this association because it is said that only an insane person argues with a man with the gun. All the while, this amalgamation has never yielded any dividend, politically and otherwise. 

Biafrans have been the only people bearing the brunt and in the hands of Hausa Fulani, yet the British government has never questioned them for a day, probably because of their personal interest. Many riots have been staged in the north, strategically centred on killing the Biafrans living there. It is because of this that Biafrans, in 1967 said ‘no’ to one Nigeria and embarked on exodus while the Islamic Nigerian government with the help of Britain and her allies waged war against them, killing many Biafran- children. Many were massacred inside church auditorium, some in market squares, some in schools and some in hospitals. To express their resolve in the operation total extermination of Biafrans, they introduce wicked strategy of total food blockade in Biafraland, on the advice of the then commissioner of finance, the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo. This blockade resulted in the malnutrition of millions of Biafran children, who later died of kwashiorkor. 

The issue of "One Nigeria" was introduced following the words of the then head of state, General Gowon, when he declared “NO VICTOR NO VANQUISHED”. Having considered the number of lives lost during the war, the people of Biafra decided to live with them in the interest of peace, yet the killings continued, even more than before. Nigeria still denies Biafrans their right to self-determination despite the United Nation's charter on the rights of the Indigenous peoples. She is behaving like a rogue nation, flouting all the treaties and charters she signed and domesticated. Nigeria does not have any regard for human beings much less human rights. 

Biafrans are peaceful people, republicans by nature. They cannot live with the Islamic Nigeria, where they are not regarded, and where they cannot achieve their aspirations in life. This is one of the reasons they are asking for the support of the international community for their referendum, which is purely the democratic way of resolving disputes. The international community needs to understand that, Biafra restoration is the first and the last, the only thing that can bring meaning, joy and happiness to the lives of the Indigenous people.

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