Ahead of the 60th independence anniversary of Nigeria on October 1, agitators of Biafra Republic in the southeast, and their Oduduwa counterparts in the southwest, yesterday, forged a common front to advance their cause of self-determination.
This came as the bodies urged the Federal Government to convene a referendum where Nigerians can freely make a democratic choice, whether they want to continue with Nigeria as presently configured or seek their right to self-determination before the 2023 general elections.
In a joint statement by International General Secretary of Yoruba One Voice, YOV, Dr Sina Okanlomo and Head, Directorate of State of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Chika Edoziem, the groups dug into the historical antecedent of Nigeria as a nation, concluding that the 1914 forced amalgamation of the different nation-states which made up Nigeria and the successive years of exploitation of the peoples of the Southern parts of Nigeria, has entrenched poverty, underdevelopment, mediocrity, unemployment, wanton killings, terrorism, inequality, insecurity, among others.
While stating that the golden years of Nigeria were when the country had three regions, with each region having its own Constitution, the bodies said the current presidential constitution, which is unitary in character, has failed the people of Nigeria.
The statement reads: “From all indications, the current leadership of Nigeria is not, and has never been committed to the fundamental objectives and directives of the principles of statehood, policies of Federalism as enshrined in Chapter II of the Constitution that it derived its powers from.
“Our peoples are tired of terrorism, insecurity, hopelessness, injustice, killings, unemployment, inequality, corruption, scandals, violence, oppression, extortion.
“Whereas, our peoples are entitled to their inherent inalienable rights to Self-determination and dignity of their persons in accordance with Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human and Peoples Rights of 1948; Article 20 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, Article 1 of the International Convention Civil and Political Rights and the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
“Our aspiration is to build a viable, democratic and stable Nation for our Peoples and in this regard, we demand that there must be a referendum so that our peoples can freely and fairly make a democratic choice, whether they want to continue with Nigeria as presently configured or seek their right to Self-determination before the 2023 General elections.
“In order to prevent an implosion of sorts, we, on behalf of our people, therefore demand a proper referendum/plebiscite, to be conducted between now and the 1st of October,2021, in accordance with the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’ all over all over the world under The Law as provided in the AU and the United Nations charters, to be supervised by Both The AU and the United Nations.
“Copies of this jointly signed Release have been sent to these world bodies.
If, as we believe, our people choose Self-determination, The Next Natural Step would be the immediate activation of the processes and modalities, beginning from the 2nd of October, 2021, for the creation of the Odùduwà and the Biafran Nations out of the present but otiose Nigerian experiment, which started in 1914.”
The groups also called on its people to stay away from participation and involvement in any October 1, 2020; 60th independence anniversary activities as may be mounted by the Unitary Government of Nigeria.
” In specific terms, we hereby call on the peoples of our territories, and indeed all peoples of Nigeria yearning to be free from internal colonization to be prepared to Stay-At-Home on October 1, 2020.
” No one among us should play along with any celebration of 60 years of an imbalanced unequal country. Staying-At-Home means keeping safe and away for the inhuman and inhumane character of the present regime of Major General Buhari.”