Nnamdi Kanu: IPOB may have been proscribed in error – HURIWA fires back at Garba Shehu

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The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has counseled Alhaji Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, to wean himself of extreme Northern irredentism and phobia for South-Eastern part of the country by scaling down on his politically motivated rhetorics against the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) and his calculated hate speeches against the detained leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

HURIWA disclosed this in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and Miss. Zainab Yusuf, the National Media Director, on Thursday.

The rights writers were reacting to Shehu’s statement on Wednesday where the Presidential spokesman said it was shocking to see Yoruba Nation advocates throw their lot in with Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) at the start of UNGA on Tuesday.

HURIWA also accused Shehu of preempting the position of the southeast caucus of the National Assembly that met on Wednesday to set up a working group to negotiate the unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu.

The statement read in part, “HURIWA accused the Presidential spokesman of preempting the position of the aoutheast caucus of the National Assembly that met yesterday Wednesday, September 15th 2021 to set up a working group to negotiate the unconditional release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

“The Rights group alleged that the Senior Special Assistant on media to President Buhari Garba Shehu may have immediately syndicated a provocative and speculative attack against IPOB and Yoruba Nation agitators just so the aggressive attacks against these Southern Nigerian self-determination Campaigners are sustained using Nigeria’s Public Fund and Security Institutions.

“HURIWA is beckoning on the SSA Alhaji Garba Shehu to calm down and read up the legal position published by the Cornell law school on self-determination under international law thus: “Self-determination denotes the legal right of people to decide their own destiny in the international order. Self-determination is a core principle of international law, arising from customary international law, but also recognized as a general principle of law, and enshrined in a number of international treaties. For instance, self-determination is protected in the United Nations Charter and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as a right of all peoples.

“The Rights group then reminded Garba Shehu that international law scholars confirmed that: “Contemporary notions of self-determination usually distinguish between “internal” and “external” self-determination, suggesting that “self-determination” exists on a spectrum. Internal self-determination may refer to various political and social rights; by contrast, external self-determination refers to full legal independence/secession for the given ‘people’ from the larger politico-legal state. Besides, the Rights group said Advocacy for self determination devoid of armed struggle is not unconstitutional.

“HURIWA recalled that on Wednesday Garba Shehu issued a Statement thus: “Nigerian diaspora groups to use the world’s largest platform – the United Nations General Assembly – to garner attention to their causes is not unexpected. It was, however shocking, to see “Yoruba Nation” advocates yesterday unequivocally throw their lot in with Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). IPOB is a designated terrorist organisation. It has now publicly revealed a 50,000 strong paramilitary organisation.It regularly murders security services and innocent civilians, with a significant uptick of violent attacks this year. And it is currently attempting to hold Nigerian states hostage with orders to stay at home under threat of terror. Without doubt, Nigerians and the entire world will judge the Yoruba Nation by the company it keeps…”

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