IBTimes UK has hosted a debate on whether the Biafran issue could be resolved peacefully with the cooperation of the Nigerian government. David Otto, CEO of UK-based global security provider TGS Intelligence Consultants, and Immanu-el Yahgozie, editor at Biafra 24, discussed their views on whether Biafrans could hold a referendum on the secession advocated by the pro-Biafrans.
Pro-Biafrans call for the independence of territories that constituted the Biafran Republic, established in 1967 and reannexed to Nigeria in 1970, following a civil war that claimed between one and three million lives.
Supporters of the Biafra cause hold regular marches − which they call evangelisations − across several states in southern Nigeria, mainly inhabited by the Igbo ethnic group. Protests have intensified in the past few days in Nigeria and other states since Radio Biafra director Nnamdi Kanu was arrested.
The Nigerian government told IBTimes UK that it does not consider the separatist movement a threat to the current leadership and defined pro-Biafrans as an "insignificant number of frustrated people who are not a threat to the existence of Nigeria".
Army spokesman Colonel Sani Usman told IBTimes UK: "The message to the Biafrans is clear: The army and police might use the Rules of Engagement (ROE) on security operations to the fullest depending on the circumstances."