- The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has condemned a statement credited to Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on the renewed agitation for Biafra
- IPOB said neither the group nor any of its members have violated any law as portrayed by Osinbajo
- The group also said its agitation is in line with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has condemned a statement credited to Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on the renewed agitation for Biafra.
The IPOB in a statement signed by its media and publicity secretary Emma Powerful said the group has not violated any law as portrayed by Osinbajo.
NAIJ.com had reported that the acting president during a meeting with some traditional rulers from the South-East said all those agitating for the secession of any part of Nigeria and the Northern youth who issued an ultimatum to Igbos in the north violated the constitution.
READ ALSO: Official date for end of Ramadan announced
Osinbajo had said: "I want to repeat that both the agitations for secession and the ultimatum to leave the northern states are wrong and a violation of our constitution.
“Our constitution says in Section 2 that Nigeria is one indivisible and indissoluble sovereign state to be known by the name `The Federal Republic of Nigeria."
But in their reaction the IPOB said the group, nor its members have gone against the 1999 Constitution as amended.
Emma said: "For such a statement to escape the lips of a learned fellow like Prof. Osinbajo confirms the widely held view that African leaders lack the mental capacity and discipline to operate a constitutional democracy in a modern world."
Emma also said Nigeria's ruling class must learn to distinguish between those rights that are sacrosanct, such as freedom of association and freedom of expression.
He said: "It is very shameful that a professor of law cannot situate the Nigeria constitution within the context and meaning of the right to self determination as recognised in international law. Somebody should please draw the attention of Professor Yemi Osibanjo to the provisions of the Africa Charter on Human and Peoples Rights which Nigeria ratified and went ahead to domesticate into her local laws.
How can a professor of law threaten jail term for those exercising their right to self determination under laws adopted and ratified by Nigeria? This confirms again the widely held view that legal practice in Nigeria is one almighty joke. We are challenging Prof. Osinbajo to show the whole world how, where and when IPOB committed this offence he alluded to since the inception of the current phase of the agitation," Emma said.
PAY ATTENTION: Read the news on Nigeria’s #1 new app
The group added that if the federal government will continue to threaten the IPOB and its members, it should be ready to build more holding facilities across the country.
"If Osinbajo continues to heed their evil counsel by using threatening language when addressing IPOB he will end up a failure like Buhari. Nigeria must understand how ready we are to go to prison. They should build more illegal detention facilities because we cannot stop agitating for our right to self determination until the Nigerian government accepts the need for a date for referendum on the question of Biafra.
"Professor Yemi Osibanjo should have consulted superior legal minds to advice him before coming on air to make such misleading comments. The Nigerian Constitution and its provisions cannot supersede international charters and treaties freely entered into by the Nigerian state where such treaties appear to render null and void the obnoxious provisions of the Nigerian Constitution," Emma said.
Those that wrongly advised Prof. Osinbajo to embark upon the citation of the ill conceived constitutional reference to the indissolubility of the Nigeria, should refer to the landmark Nigerian Supreme Court judgement on the case of Abacha Vs. Fawehinmi. United Nations charter on the rights of indigenous people and African charter which was ratified and signed by Nigeria is still in place till today and overrides the Nigerian Constitution on the rights for the indigenous people to the self determination.
"We are warning the vocal few rented saboteurs and uneducated public commentators in Nigeria to stop the perverse insinuation that Biafra agitation is all about war. IPOB is not asking for war, rather what we are asking for is self determination and the only way to achieve that is through the internationally recognized instrument of referendum or plebiscite," Emma concluded.
Watch this NAIJ.com video of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of IPOB, and what he says about the agitation: