By Emmanuel Ugwu in Umuahia
Apparently frustrated by the federal government’s refusal to release Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, no fewer than 52 civil society and community-based organisations have threatened to merge with the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in support of the campaign for Biafra’s self-determination.
The possible merger with IPOB was among the resolutions taken at the weekend in Enugu during a meeting of representatives of the various groups from the South-east and South-south geopolitical zones. They vowed to carry out their threat within the month “If Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is not released unconditionally, in obedience to a High Court ruling of December 2015.”
In a two-point communiqué made available to journalists after the meeting, which was the third in recent months, the representatives of the various groups expressed deep concerns about the state of the nation, which was the focus of their several hours of deliberations.
“We are giving notice to the world, that if the unjust, provocative and very divisive detention of Nnamdi Kanu is not specially looked into for the sake of peace, equity and justice, we may no longer restrain our members, affiliates, friends and sisters groups who have indicated their resolve to join and merge with the IPOB in solidarity with their persecution and unjust detention of their leader,” the groups said.
Noting that the pursuit of self-determination remains an inalienable right of all oppressed people the world over as endorsed by the United Nations Chatter on freedom the groups regretted that the arrogant posturing of the federal government was not helping matters in the quest to build a truly united Nigerian nation.
”The federal government is steadily making it difficult for the country to remain one, through its brazen, oppressive and determined effort to strike fear into the hearts of citizens in order to foist a fascist reign of ethnic, regional and religious dominance of one region over another,” the groups said.
While vowing to resist the “unholy agenda” of fascism the CSOs and CBOs noted that “capitulation to the agenda would mean sentencing our progeny to a permanent status of serfs.”
According to them, it has become so obvious that the actions and policies of the federal authorities keep pointing to the fact that “everything is being done to rub in that we are not part of Nigeria (hence) Buhari is deliberately pushing us out of Nigeria.”
Like in their previous meetings a dozen groups from the Niger Delta attended and their lent their voices in the clarion call for restructuring of Nigeria, insisting that “the delay to redesign Nigeria to six regions is the source of 99% of the problems afflicting the nation today.”
The groups reiterated that “six regional structures remains the only formula to salvage, and rebuild Nigeria”, noting that those opposed to six regional structure were “only working towards the eventual disintegration of the country.
“All political, economic and social indicators pointed to the self-evident truth that only an early reversal to the six-regional structure will save the country now.”
The coalition of CSOs and CBOs comprised Christian religious bodies, student groups, town unions, traders association, women groups, students bodies and elders council sat for several hours and deliberated on the state of the nation.
Among the groups that attended the meeting and endorsed the communiqué were Igbo Women Assembly, Igbo Youth Movement, South East Christian Network, Igbo Traders Association, Igbo Students Union, CAN, PFN, Umuada Alaigbo, World Igbo Congress, and Niger Delta Youth Forum.
There were also representatives of South East Professionals, Igbo in Academia, Eastern Nigerian Congress, South South Youth Congress and Igbo Diaspora Organization, Umuigbo United Front, South-south/South-east Coalition, Traditional Healers Union, United Road Workers Union and Food Stuff Dealers Association, among others.