…Insists Africa’s Most Populous Country is on Verge of Violent Disintegration …Indicts FG in Ethnic Cleansing Campaign …Warns of Imminent Refugee Crisis that Will Disturb Global Peace …Staying Together is Cheaper than Dividing Nigeria…Obasanjo …Secession is a Way to Extinction Not Development…Osinbajo Foremost Southern and Middle Belt coalition, the Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination
…Insists Africa’s Most Populous Country is on Verge of Violent Disintegration
…Indicts FG in Ethnic Cleansing Campaign
…Warns of Imminent Refugee Crisis that Will Disturb Global Peace
…Staying Together is Cheaper than Dividing Nigeria…Obasanjo
…Secession is a Way to Extinction Not Development…Osinbajo
Foremost Southern and Middle Belt coalition, the Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination (NINAS), has strongly called on the United Nations (UN) to act now and avert what it perceives as looming catastrophe in the world’s largest Black nation.
It also warns that a possible refugee crisis from turmoil inflicted Nigeria will destabilize global peace, asking the international community to act to prevent the country’s slide into precipice.
In a letter titled, “NIGERIA IS ABOUT TO SNAP; THE UN MUST ACT NOW TO AVERT CATASTROPHE,”addressed to United Nations Security Council, the Trusteeship Council and the General Assembly, on September 14, 2021 at the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York, NINAS says, the world should intervene to prevent a possible humanitarian tragedy.
Signed by its Chairperson, Prof Banji Akintoye, Secretary-General, Mr Tony Nnadi and three other prominent members of the organization, Prof Yusuf Turaki, Mr T.K Ogoriba and Dr Don Obaseki, the letter reads in part:
“We, the Indigenous Peoples of Nigeria gather today at the Headquarters of the United Nations in New York to alert the UN, and the rest of the Global Community that the Union of Nigeria has failed irredeemably; and is now at the verge of a Violent Disintegration with Catastrophic Consequences for Global Peace, and Security as our population of over 200 million would become an Instant Global Refugee Nightmare.
“Amidst the extraordinary difficulties inflicted by the imposition and enforcement of Sharia by a section of Nigeria in a supposedly Secular Union, the immediate reason for this looming catastrophe is the Cocktail of Mass Killing, Kidnapping and General Banditry being orchestrated against the Indigenous Peoples of Nigeria by an invading Fulani Militia masquerading as Herdsmen in an undisguised Ethnic Cleansing Campaign that progressively demonstrate the Complicity of the Federal Government of Nigeria headed by Major-General Muhammadu Buhari, a Fulani man, who as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria is also the Life Grand Patron of the notorious Myetti-Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria; that proudly takes responsibility for the Murderous Exploits of the Fulani Herdsmen Militia designated the Fourth Most Deadly Terror Group.
“Compounding their impunity, the same Myetti-Allah Cattle Breeders Association at a recent Press Conference organised to mock the Planned NINAS Million-Man Freedom March to the UN, boasted to be in control of the UN through their daughter, Amina Mohammed, the Deputy Secretary-General at the UN. An indication that (Amina Mohammed) nominated to that Exalted UN Position by the Fulani President of Nigeria Major-General Muhammadu Buhari, is in some way a part of the Grand Protection Design for the Fulani Herdsmen in their Bloody, Onslaught against the Indigenous Peoples of Nigeria.
“It will be recalled that following widespread extrajudicial killings in Nigeria, the UN in August of 2019, dispatched a Special Rapporteur Mission to Nigeria led by Agnes Callamard. The Damning Verdict of that Rapporteur Mission was that the widespread extrajudicial killings were flowing from the Unitary Constitutional Arrangements of Nigeria, which operates as a PRESSURE-COOKER FOR INJUSTICE and that Nigeria under that Constitution is a Danger to Global Peace and Security.
“The Report warned that unless something is done urgently, Nigeria would Snap, plunging its 200 million Population into turmoil that will trigger a Large-Scale Refugee Crisis of unprecedented magnitude at a time the Global Terror Networks, ISIS, ISWAP and AL-Qaeda are already converging in Nigeria.
“It will be recalled that in furtherance of the Repudiation and Rejection of the Unitary Constitution of Nigeria (1999), and the Toxic Union it foists, the Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination (being the South and Middle-Belt of Nigeria) on December 16, 2020 Declared a Constitutional Force Majeure, raising a Union Dispute with 5-Point Demand for the termination of the operation of the aforementioned imposed Constitution; for the immediate commencement of remediation of the Long-Standing Grave Constitutional Grievances of Nigeria’s Constituent Components, failing which the Peoples of the Alliance Territory would Reconsider their Allegiance to that Constitution.
“The Key Highlights of the five-point demand include the suspension of the further elections (Particularly the 2023 Elections), under the repudiated 1999 constitution as well as the initiation of a time-bound transitioning arrangement to mid-wife the emergence of fresh constitutional protocols founded on the sovereignty and self-determination rights of the constituent components of Nigeria. An Online Petition conveying the Demands of that Constitutional Force Majeure Proclamation, is currently before the UN Security Council.
“That Nigeria has failed as a State is no longer a Subject for Debate, having emerged the Global Poverty Capital, and Playing Host to Two of the World’s Top Four Most Deadly Terrorists Organisation, with Three-quarters of the Constituent Components (South and Middle-Belt) Seeking Urgent Extrication by Way of Referendums from what has become a Union of Death.
“Looking back at the recent turn of events in Afghanistan, this Freedom March to the United Nations Headquarters in New York, is to alert the Global Community of the rapidly degenerating situation of Nigeria, and to invite United Nations, particularly the Security Council, and Trusteeship Council, to initiate Urgent Steps to Arrest Nigeria’s Descent into Chaos, as besieged communities drift dangerously to self-help,” the organization said.
NINAS has lately become the warehouse for groups like the Ilana Omo Oo’dua and Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) angling for Oo’dua Republic and Biafra nation. It is also demanding that these areas be declared UN protectorates pending the resolution of the status of Nigeria.
Buhari’s Skewed Policies
The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has been generally accused of pursuing policies skewed against the interests of peoples of the South and the Middle Belt thereby stoking the mushrooming of self determination groups in the country.
Not sensitive to the multifarious socio-ethnic and religious differences of the country, Buhari is accused of favoring the Muslim north particularly the Fulani his key appointments.
While he seems to wear blinkers against calls to re-appraise the country’s pervading political and economic imbalance which some prefer to call restructuring, Buhari became paranoid, digging in with his narrow parochial agenda, pushing for delineation of grazing routes for herders, a practice largely regarded as anachronistic and stridently opposed by Southern Governors who have endorsed an Anti-Open Grazing law.
He is also fingered for tacit consent in the pervading criminal activities of armed herdsmen who apart from engaging in wanton destruction of farmlands are involved in kidnapping, invasion of forests and raping of women in different communities across the South and the Middle Belt. That the administration has treated this with kid gloves and in many occasions, sided with Miyetti Allah Kautal, a group which has always endorsed these criminalities, has raised apprehension.
Equitable Restructuring Will End Agitations
Former Nigeria Ambassador to Argentina and Second Republic member of the House of Representatives, Ambassador Empire Kanu, argues that only equitable restructuring of Nigeria will end the growing agitation for self-determination, warning that it won’t bode well if security agencies refuse to implement the anti-open grazing law passed by most Southern states.
He said, “It’s time to restructure. Nigerians should embrace the restructuring movement, and if need be, self rule.”
Speaking about self rule, he asked, “What is wrong with that? Why are there agitations here and there? It’s because the country is skewed in favour of the North. Nigeria is dangerously skewed to favour the North. If there is equitable restructuring, there will be no agitation for self determination in Nigeria.
“Look at the entire security architecture of the country now in the hands of a section of the North. Just one particular tribe controlling the security of over 250 tribes, is it fair? So, why won’t people seek self rule?”
Dividing Nigeria Is Costly
But former President Olusegun Obasanjo said “many enemies” pushing for Nigeria’s disintegration will fail.
In a statement by his Media Aide, Kehinde Akinyemi, Obasanjo was quoted to have said staying together as a nation “is cheaper than the cost of dividing Nigeria.”
He reportedly said this at the launch of a book titled: “My Life and Times”, the memoir of Sunday Mbang” held in Lagos.
The book was in honour of ex Methodist Church Prelate, Sunday Mbang, who’s also a former president, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
Obasanjo said the “many enemies” who don’t want to see the country’s continued co-existence would fail.
The former President eulogized Mbang for his steadfastness, “which had kept their relationship intact over the years”
He also described him as a lover of Nigeria.
“We are here to honour somebody we should honour, and learn from him (Mbang), to show that we genuinely love and appreciate him for the service he has rendered to the Christian community in this country and world over. And to assure him that whatever happens, we will continue to work for unity, peace, security and progress of this country.
“I know that these are things that are dear to his heart. We want to assure you that Nigeria will continue to exist because the cost for Nigeria not to continue to exist is much more than the cost for us to make Nigeria to continue to exist.
“There are many people high and low – who can be described as enemies of Nigeria but they will not win over those who are friends of Nigeria,” Obasanjo said.
Secession Will Lead to Extinction
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo last Thursday also reaffirmed the Federal Government’s opposition to the separatist agitations in the country.
Osinbajo, who delivered a keynote address at the 2020 Leadership Conference and Awards organized by the Leadership Newspaper Group in Abuja, said calls for secession by separatist groups in some parts of Nigeria are the surest way to the country’s extinction.
He said: “Often when we explore the concept of national and regional security, there is a tendency to situate the discourse around the machinations of externally generated vulnerabilities and external adversaries.
“So, we argue often that the problem in state fragility in Africa is on account of the colonial origins of her nation-states.
“The notion for example that Nigeria is a hastily and arbitrarily cobbler together, a patchwork of mutually alienated kingdoms and as a result, it has remained plagued by fundamental challenges rooted in its founding.
“Now, this is a popular view but of course, it is not the whole truth. Indeed it is my humble view that the colonial beginnings of African nation-states do not constitute an inimitable obstacle to nation-building that it is often thought to be.
“After all, colonialism itself was a historic global phenomenon across states from Africa to Asia to Europe and America.
“The chief weakness that we have is a human one. Our political, economic, and religious elite who have so far proved to be socially irresponsible had so far been unable to build institutions.
“We must be able to say to the young men and women who for instance say that secession is the only way or that we should break into little nations and that that is the only way. We must be able to say to them that that is the way to extinction not development.”