On October 16, 1959, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 1352 (XIV) confirming that the people of the UN Trust Territory of the British Cameroons would achieve independence by deciding, via a plebiscite, to join either the Federation of Nigeria or the independent Republic of Cameroon. It also ordered that the plebiscite take place no later than March 1961. The plebiscite was ultimately scheduled for February 11, 1961.
On January 22, 1961, Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, addressed the people of Southern Cameroons via Radio Nigeria. He reassured them of their future if they decided in the plebiscite to rejoin Nigeria and also presented them with the stark choice before them: