The Indigenous People of Niger Delta (IPND) hereby declare that Nigeria unity is negotiable as there is nothing in life that is not negotiable. We hereby want to add that there is nothing like unity by force as unity by force is no unity but slavery. Thus, the ethnic nationalities that make up the Nigerian State must be allowed to develop their coexistence on the basis of negotiable agreement, mutual trust and understanding with the aim of establishing mutually beneficial coexistence.
As we have stated in the IPND Bill of Rights Declaration 8, the Nigeria we have today is not the dreamed Nigeria of our most visionary and highly idealistic monarchs of blessed memory; H.R.M. Esezi II, The Orodje of Okpe and others; who were amongst the delegates of the Kings that attended the 1957 Lyttelton Conference held in London, in order to seek the Nigerian independence from the indirect government of the colonial masters. The Nigeria of today is not the dreamed Nigerian of our father Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe of blessed memory, which he dedicated his life to create through his enormous intellectual hardwork to ensure that Nigeria gained independence from the colonial masters and became the first ceremonial President of Nigeria in 1960 when Nigeria gained independence.
The Nigeria we have today is not the dreamed Nigeria of Late Pa. Anthony Anahoro who was the first to move a motion for the independence of Nigeria and which was eventually granted in 1960 after several political setbacks and defeats in parliament. As indigenous people of Niger Delta (IPND) we are proud of the fact that our Late Father, Pa Anthony Enahoro has been regarded by the academics and many Nigerians as the “Father of the Nigeria State”. However, we recall in history that his motion for Nigeria’s Independence suffered setbacks in parliament on several occasions with the northern members of parliament staging a walkout as a consequence of his motion, instead of nationalizing through continuous dialogue and agreement between the different indigenous people in Nigeria.
What we have today is a country based on unity by force founded in injustice, inequalities, lack of fairness and truths. Thus Nigeria requires restructuring as a matter of urgency as basis to resolve the so many socio-economic and socio political challenges facing her today.
We must state here that most of our National crisis today in Nigeria is as a result of imperviousness of the successive Leadership of this nation to meaningful intellectual engagement on issues of common interest to the people and an attempt of a few to lord over the majority.
We recall from Nigeria history that the coexistence of ethnic nationalities in Nigeria was negotiated and terms of coexistence agreed upon in the post independence constitution of Nigeria. It was same Military where you Mr. President (Gen. Muhammad Buhari) also served as Head of State (1983 – 1985) that came to destroy the foundational agreement of the founding fathers of Nigeria and their departure gift was the 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria which was deliberately design to exploit and marginalise the Indigenous People of Niger Delta (IPND).
We must state here that National crisis shall continue to abound naturally from generations to generations in human civilization. However, they are meant to be solved by people with the political goodwill, Sincerity, right kind of knowledge, intelligence and experience. The kind of approach taken by a Government and her people will either solve the problems or worsen it. It is obvious that the approach of the Government of Nigeria before and till date is worsening the situation rather than solving it and it is therefore important that the Government and the people of Nigeria re-engineer their approach forthwith if the present crisis rocking Nigeria will be resolved.
To further portray the view point of IPND, historically speaking, it was in the 13th century (1296–1328) that the First Scottish Independence war was fought between the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England, and which began with the English invasion of Scotland in 1296, and ended with the signing of the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton in 1328. While in the 14th century (1332–1357) the Second Scottish Independence war fought with the English-supported invasion by Edward Balliol and the “Disinherited” in 1332, ended in 1357 with the signing of the Treaty of Berwick. These wars witnessed huge destructions of human lives and properties and after many centuries, civilized people of Britain and other parts of Europe have come to the realizations that unity between different nations that coexist cannot be sustained by force as there is no such a thing as unity by force.
It was for this reason that in 2014, referendum was conducted for Scottish people, when some sections of Scotland agitated for independence of Scotland. We want to emphasise the fact that the Scottish agitators were not massacred by the British Security forces/military men unlike the way armless Biafra agitators were massacred by Nigerian armed forces as reported by Amnesty International’s Report on the Killing of Biafra Agitators published in different international media stations around the world.
The one question that the Nigerian Government must ask itself now is that; if the British had massacred the agitators of Scottish Independence unlike the Nigeria Government continued killing of unarmed Biafra Agitators, how would the British society and economy look like today?
In light of above paragraph, the IPND hereby call the Government under the leadership of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari to convoke a sovereign national Conference for the different ethnic nationalities that make up the Nigerian State to come together and negotiate the basis of continuous coexistence or disintegration if they do not want to continue to coexist.
It is the strong belief of the indigenous people of Niger Delta (IPND) that Nigeria Government cannot achieve peaceful coexistence between the different indigenous people and nations that make up the Nigerian State by force, as there is no such thing as; unity by force.
Comr. Tiemo B. Pumokumo,
Indigenous People of Niger Delta (IPND)