Monday, 25 January 2016

The governments of the United States and the
United Kingdom have said they do not recognise
the passports being issued by the Movement for
the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra.
The National Director of Information, MASSOB,
Sunny Okereafor, had said two weeks ago that the
passport was valid worldwide, adding that the
travel document costs N5,000 while its renewal
costs N2,000
He had said, “I assure you that the Biafran
passport is valid. Except Nigeria, other countries of
the world accept Biafran passport and allow our
citizens to travel with it. In Europe, North and South
America, Biafran passport is accepted. Nigeria is
the only country that seizes Biafran passport. Go to
neighbouring Ghana here, they will stamp the
passport for you. Don’t be confused by the
propaganda of the Nigerian government that there
is nothing like Biafra passport.
“MASSOB appeals to Biafran citizens to procure
their passport and use it to travel. If you doubt me,
get a Nigerian passport while I have my Biafran
passport; when we get to Europe, you will see who
they will welcome than the other. Many people with
the Nigerian passport have been repatriated, but
have you heard of anybody with Biafran passport
receiving such ill-treatment?”
However, our correspondent sent an email to the
American consulate in Lagos to inquire from the US
regarding the claim of MASSOB.
In his response, the Deputy Public Affairs Officer at
the consulate, Frank Sellin, said, “The United
States does not consider passports purporting to
be from a Biafra entity to be a valid legal document
for purposes of visa issuance.”
A similar response from the British Government
was sent to The PUNCH via email.
The UK recalled that it did not support the
disintegration of Nigeria during the 1967 Biafran
War and had not changed its stance 49 years after.
A statement by the Press and Public Affairs
Officer, British High Commission, Abuja, Mr. Joe
Abuku, read in part, “The answer is unequivocally
‘no’. The UK does not recognise the so-called
Biafran passport
“The position of the UK Government during the
Biafran War is a matter of historical record. The UK
Government’s position, which reflected the Charter
of the Organisation of African Unity, was to
recognise 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 the Nigerian Government’s
commitment to work for a secure and prosperous
Nigeria for all Nigerians.”

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