ADF hails decision of Yoruba, Ijaw groups to seek self determination




The AlaIgbo Development Foundation (ADF) has said it welcomes the decision of “some elements from the Yoruba and Ijaw Ethnic Nationalities who recently articulated their decision to embark on the self-determination of their groups as Autonomous Ethnic Nationalities in the Nigerian Federation.

In a statement by its national secretary, Abia Onyike, the ADF said it believes that the time has come for all Ethnic Nationalities in Nigeria to assert their rights to self determination as enshrined in the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.

The foundation, however urged “all those embarking on their struggles for self-determination to adopt the peaceful and non-violent approach. We believe that the struggle for self-determination is a fight to deepen the democratic rights of the Ethnic Nationalities. It is equally a sure way of bringing an end to the Conquest Agenda of the hegemonic forces which have held Nigeria to ransom since independence in 1960.”

According to the organisation, “When those forces realize that all Ethnic Nationalities are Autonomous and are entitled to Equity, Justice and Fairness, they would be forced to the negotiating table to smoothen the return to true federalism with Regional Autonomy. That was the basis upon which our founding fathers created the Nigerian Federation in the 1960 Independence Constitution and the 1963 Republican Constitution.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the Nigerian people were never conquered by any indigenous Ethnic Nationality. We were only colonized by Britain, following the 1884-85 Berlin Conference but we fought for our independence from Britain and gained it in 1960, thereby becoming a free people.

“We call on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to immediately address the continuous killing of innocent Nigerians by rampaging Fulani Herdsmen in the South-East and other parts of Southern Nigeria and the Middle Belt. It is unfortunate that these killers are never arrested nor prosecuted by law enforcement agencies. Religious fundamentalism is driving the violence and terrorism in Northern Nigeria and serious steps must be taken by the Government to save Nigeria from sliding into a religious war as the consequences are bound to be very disastrous.

“ADF is opposed to the open grazing of cattle as the practice often results to the overrunning of communities, avoidable clashes and killing of farmers by Herdsmen. While we support the policy of ranching, we believe that it is not the duty of the government to provide lands and financial resources for ranching facilities as the rearing of cattle is purely a private business and should be treated as such.

“ADF recognizes the historical significance of May 30 in the Igbo self-determination struggle and the fight for a just society where no man is subjected to slavery, oppression, inhuman treatment and extra-judicial killings. We however subscribe to the peaceful observance of the day by all Igbo people wherever they may be-at home and in the Diaspora.

“ADF calls for the domestication of the International Law against Genocide by the Nigerian Authorities. The law when domesticated, would provide for the prevention of genocide by meting out severe punishment and sanctions to perpetrators of genocide and mass killings.”

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