SECESSIONIST group the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (Massob) has rejected the recent offer from the British government that allows its members to apply for political asylum n the UK saying it is just a ruse.
Earlier this week, the UK adjusted its asylum rules on Nigeria recognising that members of Massob, the Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob) and other secessionist groups are facing persecution from the federal government. Nigeria has designated Ipob in particular as a terrorist organisation and this characterisation has been accepted in certain international circles, preventing its members from seeking political asylum abroad.
However, given the growing insecurity in Nigeria and a review of the situation, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) has released new guidelines saying asylum is to be granted to persecuted members of Ipob and Massob. Nigeria’s federal government has expressed dissatisfaction with this development but the UK has dismissed these objections saying it has an international obligation to protect those fleeing from prosecution.
Dismissing the offer as a trick to try and trick the Biafra movement into lowering its guard, Massob described the visa offer as an arrangement with President Muhammadu Buhari and the federal government to divert attention. Massob leader, Uchenna Madu, said the asylum offer was part of plans by the Buhari regime hatched with the British government against the emergence of Biafra.
Mr Madu added: “The government of Britain is the sole architecture of the political, economic and religious problems of the people of Biafra in Nigeria even till today. It has not shown any remorse or apologised to the people of Biafra.
“Britain killed, maimed mesmerised and wounded our fathers, mothers and brethren through the Hausa Fulanis, so Massob rejects their asylum gift. How can the chief persecutor of the people of Biafra suddenly turn to be our pacesetter?
“Britain and Nigeria can no longer deceive the world again concerning the plights of the people of Biafra. Our unified resilience, resolutions and unshakable spirit of no surrender will continue to hunt down this geographical expression called Nigeria. Massob demands a referendum on Biafra not asylum.”