The Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, may have just lost two more allies in its struggle for secession as the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom have refuted claims that they recognize the Biafran passport being issued by MASSOB.
In his reaction, Mr Frank Sellin, the Deputy Public Affairs Officer at the consulate 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.”
This is no different from the British Government’s response, which also denies the validity of the passport. Mr. Joe Abuku is the Press and Public Affairs Officer, British High Commission, Abuja. Parts of his statement reads:
The answer is unequivocally ‘no’. The UK does not recognize 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 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 the Nigerian Government’s commitment to work for a secure and prosperous Nigeria for all Nigerians.
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.
Just about two weeks ago, The Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, had assured “Biafrans” that the Biafran passports being issued to its citizens are valid and accepted in countries across the world through its National Director of Information, Sunny Okereafor.
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?
Sunny Okereafor added that the travel document costs N5,000 while its renewal costs N2,000.