Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) TuesdayÂ berated the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, for allegedly declaring that Biafra agitators are violating provisions of the constitution through their quest for self- determination.
The group described the statement as â€œdistastefulâ€ and unexpected from somebody like the acting president.
InÂ a statement signed by its spokesperson, Â Emma Powerful, and made available to journalists in Enugu, IPOB insisted that they have not violated any known law, let alone the 1999 Constitution which they described as â€œGeneral Abdulsalami Abubakar Constitution.â€
According to them, they are merely exercising their God-given and inalienable right to self-determination and therefore berated the acting president for allegedly threatening to jail those exercising their right to self-determination under laws adopted and ratified by Nigeria.
They maintained that the alleged threat confirms again the widely held view that legal practice in Nigeria was one â€˜almighty joke.â€™
â€œFor such a statement to escape the lips of a learned fellow like 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.
â€œIt 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 Osinbajo to the provisions of the Africa Charter on Human and Peoples Rights which Nigeria ratified and went ahead to domesticate into her local laws,â€ he said.
They further drew the attention of the acting president to, â€œthe landmark Nigerian Supreme Court judgment 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.
â€œWe are challenging 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.
â€œThe criminal political cabal that led President Buhari astray on the issue of Biafra agitation are at it again.Â 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 (president) Buhariâ€™s failure.
â€œIf 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.â€
They were of the view that Osinbajo should have consulted superior legal minds to advice him before coming on air to make â€œsuch misleadingâ€ comments, stressing that 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.
Â â€œWe 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,â€ the group insisted.