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Nigeria’s Unity Is Negotiable – Dr Danfulani

Chairman, Centrum Initiative for Development and Fundamental Right Advocacy, Dr. John Danfulani, has observed that the principle of self determination is a universal norm not a vice, saying that the unity of Nigeria is negotiable.


Dr Danfulani while addressing newsmen in Kaduna on Friday on the President’s broadcast on Monday, 21st August, 2017 said, “Buhari and his underground political power string pullers are pretending not to understand that the principle of self determination is a universal norm and not a vice.

It was on the same principle that nationalists pillared our movement for self rule that peaked with the lowering of the Union Jack on 1st October 1960. It is on this same principle that IPOB are advocating for a referendum for South Eastern Region. This is legal and fair game.

“Recently, we have seen clusters in existing nation states that clamoured for referendum and they were successfully organized: Kosovo, East Timor, Eritrea, South Sudan, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Crimea.
“Still, Catalans in Spain, Irish and Scottish in the U.K. etc are pushing for referendums.

In all these instances cited, leaders of climes they seek to break away from are not treating them as criminals or labeling such advocacy treasonable.

“Thus far, IPOB (a movement government is in a hurry to tag a fraternity of felons) have conducted their activism peacefully and within the parameters of our laws and other global and regional protocols.IPOB’s strategic and tactical decisions like; sit-at-home, staging of rallies,and no-elections, and formation of cells in all the nicks and crannies of South East are quite acceptable in our law books.

“Elsewhere, these decisions falls within the bracket of Civil disobedience.It’s our candid opinion that IPOB’s leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and his loyal cum dedicated cadres should be commended not crucify for their measured,civil, and responsible manner of advocacy- despite provocations from overzealous security agencies and pro system politicians.

“Lest we forget, Sir Ahmadu Bello called Nigeria the 1914 mistake. Chief Obafemi Awolowo also said Nigeria is a mere geographic expression. These statements are a clear demonstration of the fact that we were not one and might likely not be. And since then, new issues have germinated and made anything short of a referendum a mere waste of time.

“Consequently, packing people in a country hemmed for economic exploitation, political subjugation and cultural domination without their consent is undemocratic.

“The imperialists’ action created a semi-apartheid entity that enslaved majority of Nigerians and deliberately refused to collapse the mischievous chains of slavery on the free people they made slaves through an unholy political wedlock knotted in 1914.

“We must be courageous enough to put the question before Nigerians once and for all. We have pretended far too long and the pretext must cease, right away. If we are truly indivisible and indissoluble as Buhari and his sing-along cohorts want us to believe, why are they afraid of testing their position via a referendum?

A survey of opinion across the country shows that all Southern zones and entire middle belt are not satisfied with the country’s political structures. Sequel to that, narrowing dissatisfaction to our current political structures to the South East and IPOB shows the quantum of insincerity of Buhari and his men in the loop.

 Just yesterday the 24th of August 2017, kingpins of Southern Nigeria Leaders’ Forum reiterated their dissatisfaction on the Nigeria Project and insisted that the Unity of Nigeria is negotiable.

“We want President Muhammadu Buhari to know that threat to unleash brutality on dissidents and opposition will never make us turn-tail-run. We shall continue to enjoy our freedom to disagree with any political decision or stance under the political sun of Nigeria. Self determination is a right, never a privilege. And we are prepared to exercise that right to its fullest.”

Speaking on the President’s broadcast on Monday, Danfulani said, “Buhari’s speech raised more questions than answers and dashed the little hope compatriots have on the 1914 colonial masters’ political contraption called Nigeria. Truth be told, he affirmed the dictum: once a dictators, always a dictator.

“Mandate givers expected an outright apology for violating his personal order that barred all public officers from embarking on medical tourism abroad. This is another confirmation of the notion that Buhari’s government operates on the Orwellian Animal Farm dictum of “All Animals Are Equal But Some Are More Equal Than Others”.

“Buhari is refusing to accept the fact that the political milieus of 31st December, 1983 – 27th August, 1985, are not the same. His inflicting of below-the-belt blows on new media stems from the undying spirit of his infamous decree No2 which he deployed in harassing and jailing journalists wantonly. He must know that freedom to hold onto an idea and expressing same is a concomitant part of democracy. Social Media is an “uncensorable” information revolution he must live with, willy nilly, if he does not want to suffer the kind of backlash such an idea would visit upon him and his government.”

He said, “Reading between the lines in his unsubstantiated narration about Dim Chukwu Emeka Ojukwu’s visit to his hometown in Daura, Katsina State, in 2003, assuming (without conceding) that Dim Ojukwu was in Daura, Kastina State for two days and the duo indeed agreed that Nigeria should remain a single political cluster, is Buhari not aware of Ojukwu’s interview with the Newswatch magazine edition of 13th September, 2004, which graced the magazine’s cover page under the title “I SUPPORT BIAFRA”? If the Ikemba Nnewi were to be alive today, he would have been advancing a similar position with IPOB and leading his people like Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is doing today.”


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