A Pro-democracy and Non-Governmental organization-Human Rights Writers Association Of Nigeria (HURIWA) has lampooned the governors of the South East states and the special Assistant an prosecution to the president Mr. Obono Obla for their opposition to the idea of referendum as canvased by agitators for self-determination.
In a statement to the media and jointly endorsed by the National coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Directors of Media Affairs, Miss Zainab Yusuf, the Rights group particularly carpeted the presidential aide Mr. Obono Obla for being a meddlesome interloper who wrongly ascribes to himself the work, functions and duties of the National legislators who according to section 4 of the 1999 constitution have the legislative powers of the Federation and in section 9(1) of the same constitution they have the power to amend the constitution to clearly spell out such issues as referendum.
HURIWA said Obono Obla may have been power drunk and hasn’t allowed his mind to assimilate the modern trends all around the World whereby increasingly even the International Labour Organisation, the World Bank and the United Nations have recognised the inherent rights of indigenous peoples to agitate and indeed achieve self determination through constructively peaceful mechanisms.
On the rejection by the South East governors of the peaceful agitation by the indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB) for a referendum to be conducted on their agitation for self determination, the Rights group dismissed the governors as desperate agents of autocracy opposed to peaceful change even as the group asked the National Assembly to urgently look at the merits of making a law for referendum to be conducted from time to time.
The Rights group also faulted the claims of the presidential aide Mthatr. Obla that the constitution had foreclosed the possibility of calling for a referendum, stating that even the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria recognizes the people as the owners of the sovereignty of Nigeria.
“We condemn Mr. Obono Obla who often Masquerades himself as the official legal mouth-piece of the current administration when he is only one of the dozens of assistants appointed by President Buhari. We all know that in section 14(2) (a) it provides thus: “Sovereignty belongs to the people of Nigeria from whom government through this constitution derives all its powers and authority. The overwhelming opinion of divergent segments of the Nigerian society supports the inclusion of legislation for conducting referendum.”
“We call on the South East governors and the political leadership to reach concrete, constructive dialogue with all groups agitating for self-determination so a peaceful resolution is generally agreed and transmitted to both the National Assembly and the executive Federal council for immediate implementation.
“HURIWA also is hereby also urging the Nigerian governor’s forum to hold a national dialogue session with all the groups agitating over one issue or the other all across Nigeria with the hope of working out implementable panacea to the growing trends of agitations. The use of brute or crude force to foreclose the possibility of conducting peaceful referendum will not work because Nigerians are so well travelled and are aware that the global trends by indigenous peoples from everywhere are the specific call for peaceful referendum for self-determination.”