The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has warned Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo against listening to “evil counsels” by issuing threat when addressing them or he will end up a failure like his principal, President Muhammadu Buhari.
IPOB issued the warning while reacting to a statement credited to the Acting President, saying those agitating for secession will be dealt with.
Reacting to the statement, IPOB stressed that the Acting President has shown that “African leaders lacked the mental capacity and discipline” to operate a “constitutional democracy in a modern world.”
IPOB alleged that the “criminal political cabal” that led Buhari “astray on the issue of Biafra agitation” are influencing Osinbajo that “threatening language, mass arrests, illegal detention, killings and brutal crackdown will frighten” its members into submission but that will not happen.
The group maintained that its struggle for “self-determination” was within the ambit of freedom of expression as contained in the “Africa Charter on Human and Peoples Rights” which Nigeria was a signatory to.
In a statement by its spokesperson, Emma Powerful, the pro-Biafra group wondered why Osinbajo will threaten to jail its members for expressing their rights, adding that its members are ready to go to jail.
The statement reads, “We the members of the indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB) under the leadership of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu condemn unequivocally the distasteful statement credited to the acting President of Nigeria Professor Yemi Osibanjo, to the effect that Biafra agitators who through the instrumentality of IPOB are exercising their God given and inalienable right to self-determination, is in violation of the provisions of the General Abdulsalami Abubakar 1999 Constitution of Nigeria.
“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. If the corrupt ruling class in Nigeria cannot distinguish between those rights that are sacrosanct, such as freedom of association and freedom of expression under which IPOB operates, then the entire political edifice in Nigeria is a monumental mess.
“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.
“The criminal political cabal that led President Buhari astray on the issue of Biafra agitation are at it again. By assuring Osinbajo that threatening language, mass arrests, illegal detention, killings and brutal crackdown will frighten IPOB into submission, this same group of corrupt criminals are setting up Osinbajo to fail the same way they caused Buhari’s failure.
“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 a 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.
“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.”
IPOB also warned against the perception that the struggle for Biafra is about war.
“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 recognised instrument of referendum or plebiscite,” the statement added.