We the Igbo Ekunie Initiative, IEI, comprised of individuals in Nigeria and the Diaspora; are constrained to once again unequivocally condemn the continuing extra-judicial detention of Mr Nnamdi Kanu and other Pro-Biafra activists in a supposed constitutional democracy. We hereby use this opportunity to again restate the call for the unconditional release of Mr Nnamdi Kanu and all other self-determination activists/prisoners of conscience.
We make bold to again remind the federal government that democracy at minimum guarantees all citizens their fundamental rights; including the rights to free expression and to hold peaceful protests. To that extent, the activities of Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB and other self-determination activists are legitimate pursuits within the ambits of the constitution. The rights of indigenous peoples and the corresponding inalienable rights to self-determination are further guaranteed by the United Nation’s Charter, The African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights and other such international treaties to which Nigeria is a signatory.
It’s, therefore, a disappointment of epic proportions that an administration that came to power through democratic means on the premise of positive change now represents a throwback to military rule as is since evident in the scale and scope of extrajudicial executions, detentions and egregious human rights violations unleashed on peaceful IPOB protesters. In less than 2 years, the Buhari/APC administration now constitutes perhaps the most brutal and tyrannical regime in the nation’s history.
We reiterate that the crude resort to harassment and illegal detention of citizens in violation of court orders constitutes an assault on our democracy and betrays the sacrifices made by the many who lost their lives in the struggle to return Nigeria to constitutional democracy based on the rule of law. Extrajudicial detentions, mass killings and other human rights violations cannot in the least represent the change people voted for.
We again submit; that the fundamental drivers of separatist activism by Nnamdi Kanu/IPOB, MEND, OPC and other nationalist groups are the undeniable contradictions, injustices, defective structure, misrule and marginalisation inherent in the system which should be better resolved through dialogue and other such democratic mechanisms. Indeed the 2014 National Conference report already provides a pathway to national rebirth alongside the possibility of hosting further conferences to continue the process of consultation and nation-building.
We thus demand that the government respect the rule of law and accordingly uphold the fundamental rights of all citizens. In that regards, we restate our call for the immediate and unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu and all other detained activists.
Chief Tochukwu Ezeoke
President Igbo Ekunie Initiative
Mr Lawrence Nwobu
Secretary Igbo Ekunie Initiative