A former member of the House of Representatives, Hon Uche Onyeagocha has challenged President Muhammadu Buhari to practice what he preaches, recalling how the President in his first-ever speech at the United Nations General Assembly made a case for those agitating for self-determination just as Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Igboho are currently doing.
Speaking while presenting a paper yesterday at the RipplesNigeria Dialogue entitled: ‘Rebuilding Trust in a Divided Nigeria: Advancing the Conversation’, he opined that Buhari opened the flood gate of the agitation for self-determination in Nigeria by his remarks at the seventieth session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Naija News reports Onyeagocha as saying: “Our Leaders must practice what they preach. In his speech first ever at the seventieth session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, President Buhari reminded everyone of the principles that led to the founding of the United Nations. He pointed out correctly that these include the principles of peaceful coexistence and the principle of self-determination of all peoples.
“He reminded the United Nations General Assembly about the unresolved question of the right to self-determination of the Peoples of Western Sahara and Palestine. Mr Moderator, this speech was made on the 29th of September 2015, exactly four months from the day Buhari was sworn in as President of Nigeria. If President Buhari could argue the case of Western Sahara for self-determination at the United Nations General Assembly despite the opposition of Morocco, he lacks the moral authority to antagonize the agitations for self-determination of Biafra and Oduduwa Republic.
“Perhaps President Buhari did not comprehend that by his speech, he opened the flood gate of the agitation for self-determination in Nigeria. To rebuild trust, therefore, President Buhari must tolerate the agitations for Self Determination of Biafra, Oduduwa Republic and any other groups for that matter as being within the principles of the United Nations to which Nigeria is a signatory.”
Still in his paper, the former member of the House of Representatives recalled calling for the creation of the Sovereign State of Biafra in the chambers in 2005, disclosing that “President Obasanjo in response to my call wrote a memo to the National Assembly, urging Mr Are, then Director General State Security Services to interrogate me. I was invited and I refused to honour the invitation because it was within my right as a Legislator”.
The political activist maintained that every citizen must be free to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination without any fear of recrimination and called for the unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Igboho who are respectively agitating for the creation of Biafra and Yoruba nation.
He said, “The combined effect of the provisions of the United Nations Declaration of Human Right, African Charter of People and Human Rights which has been domesticated as a Law of the Federation of Nigeria and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, agitation for self-determination be it of Biafra, Oduduwa republic or any other group in Nigeria is guaranteed by our Laws.”
“It is incumbent on all those who aspire to one Nigeria to convince those who are agitating for the right to self-determination within Nigeria, why they should abandon their agitation and embrace one Nigeria. bullying, intimidation, arrests, detentions, killings and dubious trials are not an option,” the former lawmaker concluded.