You Can’t Intimidate Us – IPOB Tells Yemi Osinbajo
The Indigenous People of Biafra on Tuesday tackled the Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, over his comment to deal with Biafra agitators and hate mongers, saying that the group won’t be intimidated by such utterances.
Osinbajo had on Sunday warned that persons agitating for secession and the northern groups that issued the ultimatum to Igbo risked jail terms as they violated Nigeria’s laws.
He gave the warning at a consultative meeting with traditional rulers from the South-East at the Presidential Banquet Hall, Abuja.
In a statement made available to newsmen in Awka, Anambra State by IPOB’s Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, the group said there was no law empowering Osinbajo to jail any group in the country who would seek self-determination.
It said the group was empowered by charters and conventions under international law to seek self-determination as an indigenous people.
It accused the acting President of standing the law on its head, adding that domesticated charters and conventions were binding on member countries.
The group’s statement read in part “acting President Yemi Osinbajo has warned that persons agitating for secession and the northern groups that issued ultimatum to Igbo risked jail terms as they violated Nigeria’s laws.
“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.
“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 advise 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.
“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 of 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 recognised instrument of referendum or plebiscite.”
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