PROTESTS BY THE YOUTHS ARE IN ACCORD WITH UN COVENANT, ACHPR & NIGERIAN CONSTITUTION
Demonstrations by Igbo youths constitute very legitimate demand for the Right to Self Determination provided for and guaranteed by UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (UN ICCPR) Part One Article 1(1).All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right, they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.
Nigeria cannot claim the exceptionalism that it does not merit. As a law-abiding citizenry, Nigerians must learn to adjust their laws and procedures to be compliant with the charters of both the United Nations and the African Union to which all member countries, including Nigeria, are signatories. Those who are still ignorant of the universal right to self-determination for all indigenous peoples of this world are advised to check out the 2007 UN Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and its African Union’s counterpart, African Charter on Human and Political Rights (ACHPR). Faith in anyone’s ability to herd unwilling indigenous peoples into an artificial geopolitical entities that don’t serve their interests and needs is an exercise in futility. It never worked in the past and it cannot work in this 21st Century world.
Nigeria ratified and deposited this Covenant with UN on 29th July 1993 and according to Article 1(3) of the Covenant, is bound to protect and defend the Right to Self Determination of all ethnic nationalities of Nigeria.
Article 1(3) The States Parties to the present Covenant, including those having responsibility for the administration of Non-Self-Governing and Trust Territories, shall promote the realization of the right of self-determination, and shall respect that right, in conformity with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations.
The African Union (AU) version of the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights was adopted in a Summit of African Heads of State of the AU in Nairobi, Kenya on 28th June 1981 as the African Charter on Human and Political Rights (ACHPR), otherwise referred to as Banjul Charter. It was first ratified on 21st October 1981 in Mali and came into force on 21st October 1986. Articles 19 and 20 of the ACHPR clearly states the right to equality, elimination of domination, the right to existence and self-determination of the peoples of the country of Africa in very blatant terms.
All peoples shall be equal; they shall enjoy the same respect and shall have the same rights. Nothing shall justify the domination of a people by another.
All peoples shall have the right to existence. They shall have the unquestionable and inalienable right to self-determination. They shall freely determine their political status and shall pursue their economic and social development according to the policy they have freely chosen.
Colonized or oppressed peoples shall have the right to free themselves from the bonds of domination by resorting to any means recognized by the international community.
All peoples shall have the right to the assistance of the State Parties to the present Charter in their liberation struggle against foreign domination, be it political, economic or cultural.
On 31st August 1982 Nigeria signed the ACHPR; ratified it on 22nd June 1983 and deposited its ratification with AU headquarters in Addis Ababa on 22nd July 1983.
Conscious of the full implications of Articles 19 and 20 of ACHPR and Article 1(1) & (3) of UN ICCPR, on Right to Self Determination of the over 250 ethnic nationalities of Nigeria, the oligarchy manipulating power in Nigeria did what it knows best in doing – Jihad of Deception. It enacted a benign Act claiming to have domesticated ACHPR by merely enacting the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act Chapter A9, (Chapter 10 LFN 1990) (No 2 of 1983) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990.
The ACHPR Act is a ruse, not intended to enforce any of the ACHPR provisions not entrenched in the Nigerian Constitution.
Out of morbid fear that the over 250 million ethnic nationalities whom the oligarchs oppress and insult daily would exercise their self-determination rights, no effort whatsoever has been made by the goalers of Nigeria to entrench in Nigeria’s Constitution the Right to Self Determination provision in the UN ICCPR Part One Article 1(1).
In 1999, when the oligarchy’s Army Generals decided to execute another chicanery branded ‘Transition to Civil Rule’, they concocted a Prisoner-of-War Ordinance, otherwise known as the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in which Geneva Convention for the entrapped prisoners, was deliberately omitted. It was faked as having emanated and ratified by Nigerians, even though it was a decree signed by one of the oligarchy’s generals.
Provisions were made in Chapter IV of that Constitution in accordance with UN ICCPR and ACHPR for fundamental rights to Life, Respect for Dignity of the Human Person, Personal Liberty, Fair Hearing, Privacy of Citizens and Freedom of Thought, Conscience and Religion, Freedoms of Expression, of Assembly and Association with other Persons and of Movement and Residence. The oligarchs knew they could easily violate these provisions as custodians of the rights of the people, either by openly violating them or by benign negligence, like it does with Cattle-Fulani herdsmen who daily kill, maim, rape and violate property rights by forcefully occupying people’s homes and farms and are never arrested or arraigned.
For the Right to Self Determination, which is the ultimate glue that bonds federations by bonding them through engendering equality and mutual respect between federating units, the oligarchy not only made sure it was not entrenched in the unitary Constitution of the Federation they concocted; but also foreclosed by that the Right to Self-Determination of over 250 nations that make up Nigeria. They introduced an article unknown to federating concept by proscribing the Right to Self-Determination by Article 2(1) of the 1999 Constitution. There was no such provision in the 1960/63 Constitution negotiated in six Conferences by the founding wise men of Nigeria, because they intelligently and patriotically accepted Nigeria’s diversity and hoped to build a union by accepting the inherent principles of federating.
Article 2. (1) Nigeria is one indivisible and indissoluble sovereign state to be known by the name of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
No Union created by God or man is indeterminable. Life ends in death. There is provision for divorce in marriage under most, if not all laws. In business, incorporated companies have provisions for dissolution. The existence of this provision for dissolution compels parties to work hard on strengthening their union thereby engendering mutual respect.
The insertion of Article 2(1) in the Nigerian Constitution, therefore, offends the stipulations and spirit of UN ICCPR and AU’s ACHPR.
Union of human beings is not by force; only cattle and other mammals, not humans, can be forcefully united.
Article 2(1) is, therefore, a real instrument of enslavement of the rest of Nigeria by the OLIGARCHY IN ORDER TO GUARANTEE PERMANENT ACCESS TO THE SEA AND THE OIL RESOURCES. The existence of that nonsensical article on indissolubility and indivisibility of the Federation and exclusion of the Right to Self Determination in the Nigerian Constitution is the source of arrogance and disrespect by the oligarchy on the rest of over 250 ethnic nationalities, who are as it is, entrapped in the oligarchy’s enslavement. An Act of Parliament on Self-Determination is inferior to the constitutional provision which has entrenched indissolubility and indivisibility.
It is imperative that for Nigerians to free themselves from this enslavement of the oligarchy, this breach and/or abridgment of international covenants and charters must be challenged in the international arena and expunged from the Nigerian Constitution and in its place, have entrenched the provisions of UN ICCPR Part One Article 1(1) and AU’s ACHPR Article 20(1).
This is what MASSOB and IPOB (Indigenous People of Biafra) are agitating for and under
Chapter IV Article 39(1) of the Nigerian Constitution, which guarantees Freedom of Expression – Every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference;
and Article 40 which guarantees Freedom of Association –
Every person shall be entitled to assemble freely and associate with other persons, and in particular, he may form or belong to any political party, trade union or any other association for the protection of his interests. . .; neither the Federal Government of General Buhari nor South East Governors and bandit Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has a right under Nigeria’s laws to deny the demonstrators their constitutional rights. It is instead a binding duty of the governments to protect the demonstrators. Nnamdi Kanu, has fulfilled the terms of his bail and it is a demonstration of irresponsible lawlessness for the Federal Government to continue to detain him indefinitely. It is time his minders took his case to the international courts.
All free thinkers in Nigeria who value fundamental freedoms in place of present enslavement by the oligarchy, must support the struggle, within Nigeria and in the international arena, for expunging Section 2(1) from the Nigerian Constitution and the entrenchment of the Right to Self Determination in the same Nigerian Constitution.
Not take any action, is endorsement of the present POW Cattle Republic of Nigeria in which the enslavers equate Nigerian citizens’ fundamental rights to cattle rights based on a primordial, decadent and retrogressive culture.