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Tuesday, 2 August 2016

IPOB, UNITED NATIONS DECLARATION ON THE RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AND THE WORLD’S HYPOCRISY.


Tuesday 2nd August, 2016.

As a result of "Indigenous historical grievances, contemporary challenges and socio-economic, political and cultural aspirations’’; a journey that began in 1982, owing to José Ricardo Martínez Cobo report on the problem of discrimination faced by indigenous peoples, ended on the 13th of September 2007 as the General Assembly adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

On the occasion, the Declaration was adopted by a majority of 144 states, 11 states declined to vote for or against (Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burundi, Colombia, Georgia, Kenya, Nigeria, Russia, Samoa and Ukraine) while 4 states voted against (Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States).

Read also:BUHARI SHOULD OBEY COURT ORDER! RELEASE NNAMDI KANU OR EXPECT DOOM!

These four states that voted against this declaration are all former colonies of the United Kindom with a larger number of non-indigenous immigrants. Though these four states had expressed their concerns about the Declaration, on the 3rd of April 2009, 3rd of March 2010, 7th July, 2009 and December 16th 2010, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States of America respectively endorsed it.

Absent: Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gambia, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Israel, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Montenegro, Morocco, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Romania, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, São Tomé and Príncipe, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Tajikistan, Togo, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu.

Read also:THE WORLD MUST ACKNOWLEDGE BIAFRA SOVEREIGNTY AND SUPPORT BIAFREXIT

Whether a state voted for, abstained, voted against or was absent, the epilogue is that the Declaration was adopted. States that are signatories to that Declaration are ‘’encouraged to comply with and effectively implement all their obligations as they apply to indigenous peoples under international instruments, in particular those related to human rights, in consultation and cooperation with the peoples concerned.’’

In view of these and with the recent bestialities unleashed by the Nigeria against the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), one would find it inconceivable to believe that Nigeria is a signatory to such.
Nigeria agreed with the General assembly to be ‘’Guided  by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and good faith in the fulfilment of the obligations assumed by States in accordance with the Charter.’’
‘’Affirming that indigenous peoples are equal to all other peoples, while recognizing the right of all peoples to be different, to consider themselves different, and to be respected as such’’

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‘’Affirming further that all doctrines, policies and practices based on or advocating superiority of peoples or individuals on the basis of national origin or racial, religious, ethnic or cultural differences are
racist, scientifically false, legally invalid, morally condemnable and socially unjust’’.

‘’Reaffirming that indigenous peoples, in the exercise of their rights, should be free from discrimination of any kind, Concerned that indigenous peoples have suffered from historic injustices as a result of, inter alia, their colonization and dispossession of their lands, territories and resources, thus preventing them from exercising, in particular, their right to development in accordance with their own needs and interests’’.

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‘’Recognizing the urgent need to respect and promote the inherent rights of indigenous peoples which derive from their political, economic and social structures and from their cultures, spiritual traditions, histories and philosophies, especially their rights to their lands, territories and resources.’’

‘’Welcoming the fact that indigenous peoples are organizing themselves for political, economic, social and cultural enhancement and in order to bring to an end all forms of discrimination and oppression wherever they occur.’’

‘’Emphasizing the contribution of the DEMILITARIZATION of the lands and territories of indigenous peoples to peace, economic and social progress and development, understanding and friendly relations
among nations and peoples of the world.’’

‘’Affirming the fundamental importance of the right to self-determination of all peoples,
by virtue of which they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.’’

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‘’Bearing in mind that nothing in this Declaration may be used to deny any peoples their right to self-determination, exercised in conformity with international law.’’

Owing to the above, United Nation’s (UN) silence over the gross violation of this declaration is nerve-racking. One would begin to query the essence of the 25 strenuous years it took the UN to make this declaration, the sacrifices, the concerns –for the interest of some world powers, this declaration though adopted, had seemed to be dead on arrival.

IPOB, under the leadership of Nnamdi Kanu, an indigenous body recognized by the United Nations; has been carrying out her activities in line with the rights provided by the United Nations for Indigenous Peoples and in best practices. IPOB has displayed a very coordinated and efficient approach towards exerting her inalienable rights non-violently.

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Recent report by Amnesty International against the Nigerian military forces is an enormous proof that IPOB has remained focused despite several right abuses by the Nigerian government. The report is objective enough to give the whole world a glimpse of many more atrocities perpetuated by the Nigerian government against IPOB.

Yet, UN has remained fully silent. According to Emeka Ojukwu, ‘’the right to self-determination was good for the Greeks in 1822, for the Belgians in 1830, and for the Central and Eastern Europeans and the Irish at the end of the First World War. Yet it is not good for Biafrans because we are black. When blacks claim that right, they are warned against dangers trumped up by the imperialists - “fragmentation” and “Balkanization”, as if the trouble with the Balkans is the result of the application of the principle of self-determination.’’

Read also:IPOB IS NOT A TERROR GROUP BUT AN INDIGENOUS PEOPLE FIGHTING FOR THEIR RIGHTS

A portion of this declaration which seems to be significant in Biafra’s struggle to restore her nation are listed below. A look at this Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples only shows that IPOB is underutilizing her privileges as provided. Contrary to some claims by the Nigeria media and her allies, the rights of the indigenous people are so accommodating, enough to avoid any occasion of war or brutality of any sort. Below are some selected articles for consideration:

• Article 3: Indigenous people have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right that they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic , social and cultural development.

• Article 4: Indigenous peoples, in exercising their right to self-determination, have the right to autonomy or self-government in matters relating to their internal and local affairs, as well as ways and means for financing their autonomous functions.

• Article 5: Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinct political, legal, economic, social and cultural institutions, while retaining their right to participate fully, if they so choose, in the political, economic, social and cultural life of the State.

• Article 8: 2: States shall provide effective mechanisms for prevention of, and redress for:
                 (b) Any action which aim or effect of dispossessing them of their lands, territories or resources.
                 (d) Any form of forced assimilation or integration.

• Article 16:  1: Indigenous people have the right to establish their ownmedia in their own languages and to have access to all forms of non-indigenous media without discrimination.  
                    2: States shall take effective measures to ensure that State-owned media truly reflect indigenous cultural diversity. States, without prejudice to ensuring full freedom of expression, should encourage privately owned media to adequately reflect indigenous cultural diversity.

• Article 20: 2: Indigenous people deprived of their means of subsistence and development are entitiled to just and fair redress.

• Article 28: Indigenous peoples have the right to redress, by means that can include restitution or, when this is not possible, just, fair and equitable compensation, for the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned or otherwise occupied or used, and which have been confiscated, taken, occupied, used or damaged without their free, prior and informed consent.

• Article 30: Military activities shall not take place in the lands or territories of indigenous peoples, unless justified by a relevant public interest or otherwise freely agreed with or requested by the indigenous peoples concerned.

• Article 36: 1: Indigenous people, in particular those divided by international borders. Have the right to maintain and develop contacts, relations and cooperation, including activities for spiritual, cultural, political, economic and social purposes, with their own members as well as other peoples across boaders.

• Article 38: States, in consultation and cooperation, with indigenous peoples, shall take the appropriate measures, including legislative measures, to achieve the ends of this Declaration.

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By the virtue of the above selected articles, and if the word ‘’integrity’’ still retains its literal meaning, then the whole world should speak up for Biafra or be guilty of ‘’hypocrisy’’. The right to self-determination should be observed or erased entirely than living in its mirage.

Our media is considered pirate, our people are incarcerated for no crime, our land has been confiscated, our water polluted; our women raped. We are resented, subjugated, deprived our resources; killed at the slighted provocation, deprived of remembering our heroes.

What is more miserable than this? How much price do we need to pay for our freedom? Why is the world silent over Biafra’s case?

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Notwithstanding, according to Nnamdi Kanu, ‘’we do not feel sorry for ourselves’’. We are brave and ready to conquer any challenge that comes our way. The might of the world’s most sophisticated weapon will not be enough to deter Biafrans.

We are only calling on the world to understand that their silence towards Biafra and her restoration mocks every claim to uphold human right, it ridicules the efforts of the United Nations, which according to Bob Marley ‘’her dream of lasting peace, world citizenship and rule of international morality will remain nothing but a fleeting illusion to be pursued but never attained.’’

 According to Stephen Corry, ‘’Governments that oppose self-determination are shamefully fighting against the human rights…. Claims they make to support human rights in other areas will be seen as hypocritical."

Together, let us make the world a better place.

#FreeBiafra.

Written By Chinedu Ewulu
Published By Nwosu C.S
For Biafra Writers.

1 comment

  1. It's a wicked, evil and hypocritical world. But we must continue to insist on our freedom and fundamental human right to life and existence. We cannot be bungled together with a hateful group that continues to marginalize and kill us in the name of unity and "one Nigeria." Biafra nation must be liberated and restored no matter how long it takes.

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