‘Arrest of single individual’ won’t stop call for self determination, Igbo Movement tells Buhari

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The Igbo National Movement, INM, has advised president Muhammadu Buhari to jettison the idea that the ‘arrest’ of a single individual will stop the clamour for self determination and call for restructuring in the country.

INM’s advise might not be unconnected to the arrest of the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu by the Federal Government of Nigeria.

INM in a statement issued on Tuesday and signed by Anthony Olisa Okolo Esq, the Executive Director; Onyemuche Mbachu, the Executive Secretary; Chief Peter Agba Kalu, the Director Media/Mobilization and Barr. Eze Eluchie, the Legal Adviser, also reminded the president that many parts of the country are united in their quest for a fair society.

“We the members of the Igbo National Movement, wish to advise the Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government of Nigeria, that it should not mistake the arrest of a single individual, as indicative of the ‘arrest’ of the ongoing nationwide clamor for Self-actualization, Restructuring and Renegotiation of the Nigeria Project by diverse indigenous national groups in the six geo-political regions of Nigeria.

“Just as the failed attempts to arrest similar agitations in the Middle Belt, South Central, South East and West of Nigeria have proved, the people are unanimous in their desire for a fair and equitable restructure of the Federation and will continue to agitate for their rights, no matter which personages are put in jail or to the sword.  The quest for freedom is a hydra-headed monster.  For each agitation for self-determination put down forcibly, 3 or more will likely rise up in its place.  The Government will do well to dialogue with bodies who currently seek peaceful resolutions to these agitations.”

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INM also said that the act of picking fault with the statements credited to Mazi Kanu is uncalled for because they were born out of the faulty structure of Nigeria while reminding the government that Kanu’s struggle was nonviolent when he started.

“An understudy of some of the actions and statements by IPOB and its leader will reveal that they are reactions to, or founded on fault-lines embedded in the defective structure of Nigeria Federation. Fault-lines and issues which have given rise to a plethora of agitations across the diverse regions and peoples of Nigeria.

“These agitations started peacefully, but now are escalating to a point where the Presidency itself has admitted that armed conflict is being normalized across the Federation.  The demands for true-federalism, self-determination and other efforts at restructuring and reworking the Nigerian State is not the call of enemies, but of children who yearn for a better future and seek the counsel of their father.  Only a wicked father and an indolent one at that, would see these calls as a danger to his patrimony and look to crush them, rather than heed them.

“The Igbo National Movement urges the Buhari-led administration to focus its energies on a wholesome response to the prevailing sources of instability and crisis which continue to afflict the Nigerian Federation, by hearkening to the calls from various constituent nationalities in Nigeria for self-determination and a process to re-evaluate and reassess the structures of the Nigerian Federation.”

INM also called on other Indigenous persons to demand for a sovereign national conference.

“We end by joining other well-meaning representatives of the indigenous nationalities comprised in the Nigerian Federation to demand for a Conference, with sovereign powers, of the Representatives of the Indigenous Peoples of Nigeria.  Only such a conference with ultimate powers to chart a path for Nigeria if and where possible, will decide the terms for a way forward, either as a unified nation, or in a loosely constituted Nigerian Commonwealth of States, both of which must remain options for honest debate to take place and reach useful conclusions.”

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