">'We recognize the borders laid down at Independence' | UK government's position on Biafra

‘We recognize the borders laid down at Independence’ | UK government’s position on Biafra

The British government is reported to have said it does not support the agitation and calls for a Biafran nation to be carved out of Nigeria, essentially secession.

A representative of the UK government in Nigeria, was quoted to have said that his country still recognizes the ‘borders laid down at Independence’.

To this effect, the British High Commis­sion Press and Public Affairs Officer, Joe Abuku, released a statement on Thursday, explaining the position of the UK government.

“The UK Government’s position, which reflected the Char­ter of the Organization of Af­rican Unity, was to recognize the borders laid down at Independence.

“The Biafran War caused great suffering and the UK sup­ported the reconciliation work that followed the conflict. The UK supports the territorial in­tegrity of Nigeria and President Buhari’s commitment to work for a secure and prosperous Nigeria for all Nigerians,” he said.

“The British government only provides consular assistance to dual nationals in the country of their other nationality in exceptional circumstances.

“If the High Commission is approached for consular assistance by a British National in Nigeria who also holds a Nigerian passport, the level of support that could be offered in their case would be discussed with the individual concerned,” he said.

The report further stated that the British High Commission’s position was also communicated in a ‘widely-circulated letter’, supposedly written by UK Minister of State, Grant Shapps.

Shapps was reported to have penned the letter in response to Member of Parliament, Micheal Meacher’s inquiry on the detention of Radio Biafra Director, Nnamdi Kanu.

The letter says:

“We are not aware of any institutionalized persecution of any people by the Nigerian authorities. The position of the British Government during the Biafran War is a matter of historical record.

“Our position, which reflected the Charter of the Organization of African Unity, was to recognise the borders laid down at Indepen­dence. There is no question that the Biafran War caused great suffering and the UK sup­ported the reconciliation work that followed the conflict and continues to support efforts to reduce violence in Nigeria to­day.

“The UK fully supports the territorial integrity of Nigeria and President Buhari’s com­mitment to work for a secure and prosperous Nigeria for all Nigerians. We share the con­cern of President Buhari and all Nigerians about threats to Nigeria’s stability and are working with Nigeria to help tackle these threats, including Boko Haram.”

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