Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
The Indigenous People of Biafra, (IPOB) and the Yoruba One Voice (YOV) have jointly taken a stand to ask for a referendum to be conducted on or before October 1, 2021 which marks Nigeria’s next independence day celebration.
IPOB and YOV, which disclosed this in a joint press statement by the Head, Directorate of State for IPOB, Chika Edoziem and Sina Okanlomo, Internal General Secretary of YOV yesterday, noted that they have already notified the African Union (AU), United Nations (UN) and some other world bodies who they had also requested to monitor the process for them.
Both groups said they are seeking for self determination because they are tired of injustice, killings and other inhuman treatments meted to them in the country.
“From all indications, the current leadership of Nigeria is not, and has never been committed to the fundamental objectives and directives of the principles of statehood, policies of federalism as enshrined in Chapter II of the Constitution that it derived its powers from.
“Our peoples are tired of the terrorism, insecurity, hopelessness, injustice, killings, unemployment, inequality, corruption, scandals, violence, oppression, extortion, and repression.
“Whereas, our peoples are entitled to their inherent inalienable rights to self-determination and dignity of their persons in accordance with Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human and Peoples Rights of 1948; Article 20 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, Article 1 of the International Convention Civil and Political Rights and the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
“Our aspiration is to build a viable, democratic and stable Nation for our Peoples and in this regard, we demand that there must be a referendum, so that our peoples can freely and fairly make a democratic choice, whether they want to continue with Nigeria as presently configured or seek their right to Self-determination before the 2023 general elections.
“In order to prevent an implosion of sorts, we, on behalf of our people, therefore demand a proper referendum/plebiscite, to be conducted between now and the 1st of October,2021, in accordance with the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’ all over all over the world under The Law as provided in the AU and the United Nations charters, to be supervised by Both The AU and the United Nations.
“Copies of this jointly signed Release have been sent to these world bodies.
If, as we believe, our people choose Self-determination, The Next Natural Step would be the immediate activation of the processes and modalities, beginning from the 2nd of October, 2021, for the creation of the Odùduwà and the Biafran Nations out of the present but otiose Nigerian experiment, which started in 1914”, the statement reads in parts.
It added “We shall begin the mobilization of our respective peoples toward the actualization of the quest for freedom and life more abundant at a certain date in the future, when peaceful negotiations for applicable terms of separation would have been concluded with our respective residual ethnic nationalities and neighbors.
“We wish to place on record our hope that Major General Buhari and his Fulani peoples of West Africa will heed this peaceful democratic demand in a timely manner. The attention of The IPOB and YOV, to the plight of their people, the Brothers and Sisters of the Biafra and Oduduwa nations, their sufferings within the stifling, breathless, forced convergence with degenerative, limiting, confluence and influence with others, who do not share our own values, whose ways of life, mannerisms, ideology, are untoward, inimical, alien, hostile to our people, all of these have now necessitated this historic occasion to which the IPOB and YOV are now addressed.”
Meanwhile, both groups have enjoined their members in diaspora to organize flag flying carnivals and peaceful rallies on October 1, 2020 in all cities across the world to mark a journey to their freedom.
“A joint Biafra/Oduduwa event marking the beginning of our journey to freedom is to be celebrated into the following weeks. The whole world ought to witness a rekindling of self-awareness and our pride of place among the community of civilized peoples of the world.
“All our peoples are to be on standby in readiness for further calls for peaceful and legal demonstrations of our resolve to be free from the failed Nigerian state. These calls will continue to be made for as long as it would be needful, up until our goals for self-determination are achieved. We salute all of you our compatriots here at home and across the world”, the groups stated.