Sunday, August 28, 2011
Nigeria's Terrorism Against MASSOB: An Affront To The United Nations
By Ikechukwu Eyiagu, Modern Ghana
It's unfair, and the UN knows this well enough. It's gross injustice yet the UN remains silent. The many atrocious and terror acts carried out against MASSOB and its leadership by the Nigerian government is not only highly condemnable, it's a direct affront to the United Nations and everything it stands for. The constant harassing, killing, torturing and detaining of many MASSOB members in the South-East of Nigeria by Nigerian security operatives should and must be condemned in its totality by the UN's body, the United States of America, Britain and other world powers. When an individual or a group attacks a people for no justifiable reasons, it's quickly called terrorism by the international community, but when a state marginalizes, deprives, tortures, kills, arrests and detains peace loving and innocent citizens because they are asking for their rights through due process, what is it called-modern slavery, perhaps? No! It's terrorism; terrorism in the highest order! It's worse that slavery!
In 1960, Nigeria joined the United Nations and consequently became a signatory to the Geneva convention treaty. As a result of this membership, Nigerian government is required by global law of rights and governance to , wholly, abide by all UN accords in relation to how its government is run-whether towards foreigners or its citizens. After the 1967-70 Nigerian-masterminded genocide against Ndigbo, and till date, the very reasons against which the declaration of the Sovereign State of Biafra were made still show themselves; only this time, in a much higher scale. It's only a man without common sense who sits down and allows others to strangle his children one after another right before his eyes without as much as saying a word. Nigeria prides itself in the systematic extinction of the Igbo race within Nigeria, but Ndigbo would not sit down and watch silently why the very reasons we started our journey towards a separate nationhood repeat themselves; should we? By all mean, no!
In line with these United Nations Human Rights declarations, and especially in the general silence of the UN body towards the brutalization, killing and unlawful arrests and detention of MASSOB members by the Nigerian government, I would like to ask from these few articles:
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Question: Many Igbo people in the military answer Hausa and Yoruba names simply because the Nigerian government has a standing order against everything Igbo in Nigeria. How has this law been to the interest of Ndigbo in Nigeria as it has been for other tribes and ethnic groups?
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
Question: Since the Nigeria civil war ended and MASSOB came up to continue the fight for a Sovereign State Of Biafra through a non-violent means, they have been brutalized, killed, arrested and detained in their numbers without any reasonable proof of any sort; is this not an affront to this article of the UN declaration? If this declaration covers every person and state in the world, why has the UN remained unconcerned while the Nigerian government continuously disregard these rules? Since no distinction shall be made of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty, why has the UN thought it unimportant to openly defend the rights of MASSOB but allowed the Nigerian security personnel to carry out, in defiance to this declaration, criminal acts against innocent people?
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
Question: When the Nigerian government negotiates with and doles out money to Niger-Delta militants, releases without charge and seeks to negotiate with those who murder Ndigbo and other Nigerians all over the North, is it not considered a form of slavery when the same government jumps at will on Ndigbo here and there, throwing them into prisons without charge, and killing some of them even when they are clearly non-violent in their rightful pursuit and determination for a a state where they will be treated as fellow humans?
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Question: Is the unwarranted arrests, torture, detention and killing of MASSOB members by the Nigerian government thugs not an enough subjection to torture to bring the UN in?
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.
Question: When the Nigerian government negotiates with and doles out money to Niger-Delta militants, releases without charge and seeks to negotiate with those who murder Ndigbo and other Nigerians all over the North, is it not seen as a great form of discrimination when the same government, on the other hand, jumps at Ndigbo here and there, throwing them into prisons without charge and killing some of them even when they are clearly non-violent in their rightful pursuit and determination for a state where they will be treated as fellow humans? The Movement for the actualization of the sovereign state of Biafra (MASSOB) is internationally recognized as non-violent; when the government discriminates in their response to non-violent MASSOB from that of violent Niger-Delta militants and Boko Haram, is that not clearly an affront to the UN and all it stands for? When the people of the North in Nigeria jumps on Ndigbo in the North because of or without any slightest provocation from Ndigbo, killing them in their numbers, burning their places of worship and houses, and carrying away their property and goods as war loots while the federal government does nothing but releases the culprits and arrests and detains, instead, the policemen involved in the arrests, isn;t than enough reason for any group, community, or tribe to be frightened in the midst of the people they live?
Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.
Question: If the Nigerian government is a signatory to the United Nation, it invariably means that most of Nigerian constitutions are accepted or under review by the international community; if that happens to be that case as indeed it is, then the Nigerian government is clearly violating the rights of movement, speech and pursuit. Why has the United Nations looked the other side when the Nigerian government flaunt their wickedness against Ndigbo? If people indeed have a right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law, would I be faulted if I said that it's time that UN came in to remedy the many injustice carried out against MASSOB and the entire Ndigbo by the government of Nigeria? Certainly not.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
Question: Clearly, this violation of human rights against Ndigbo is perhaps more wicked than terrorist acts. The story of subjected arbitrary arrests, detentions or exiles is a common treatment against the Igbos of Nigeria. Now that hundreds of MASSOB members are in different prisons all over Nigeria, and many other Igbo youths, through many carefully crafted plans by the Nigerian government to achieve its vision of an extinct Igbo race-to achieve the very intent of other states against Israel, have been forced into exiles in different parts of the world, should the United Nations not call the Nigerian government to order and to call for a Sovereign National Conference (SNC) without further delay; should the UN not accept the fact that Nigeria is long overdue for a peaceful breakup after years of hot and cold war which have all been to the detriment of Ndigbo in a 'One Nigeria?'
Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.
Question: Every dot in this declaration is clearly bent on maintaining human rights to the highest level. MASSOB members were and still are arrested and detained (for those who managed to stay alive after the indiscriminate shooting from the Nigerian security operatives) without any public hearing. They are kept without any legal rights and against their wish; the UN knows this, why has it kept silent?
(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
Question: According to the Nigerian government, Chief Barrister Ralph Uwazuruike, along with other Igbo sons, were arrested in Enugu on the 24th of August, 2011, as they were going for/celebrating an award to Chief General Chukwuemeke Odumegwu-Ojukwu (retd) and charged with 'treasonable felony;' since these incessant arrests have become a terror act against, not only Ndigbo, but the entire humankind, should the UN not insist that their case be brought to the international court where all the guarantees necessary for their defence will be in place, and treated, once and for all and without further delay?
(2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.
Question: The Nigeria security personnel shoot at peaceful MASSOB members with live bullets and kill many amongst them every now and then even when it's clear that MASSOB does not threaten Nigeria in any way. Those that promised threats to the Nigerian government have been carrying them out and the federal government has been pleading with them while, at the same time, killing, arresting and detaining innocent Igbo people simply because they have refused to threaten any part of the country. With the big offices that UN has in Nigeria, why has it refused to defend the rights of MASSOB and that of Ndigbo; why has the UN not considered the action of the Nigerian government against MASSOB and Ndigbo in general a 'treasonable felony' since it directly undermines Nigeria's signatory to the UN?
(1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.
Question: Before the war, many Igbos have property in different parts of Nigeria; but after the war, even when most of those property were still standing and valid, the Nigerian government refused every step the Igbo owners made towards reclaiming their property even after the said Nigerian genocide against Ndigbo was declared a 'No victor, no vanquished.' The Nigerian government, along with depriving Ndigbo of their many property in different parts of Nigeria outside of the South-East, still deny than it's been guilty against genocide all along. This is very clear; what has the United Nations done about this and why the continued silence?
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.
Question: The United Nations had been before Nigeria became an independent state; this means that the United Nations can't possibly claim to be unaware of matters going on in places throughout the world. Non-violent MOSSOB members have assembled severely in their pursuit for a different state where everyone will be treated with mutual respect and equality; but, with each assembly, has often come a ruthless crackdown by the government of Nigeria. Not only has the government of Nigeria been carrying out this affront against the UN, it has often done it with bloodshed.
(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.
Question: Since the war ended, everyone knows that the Nigerian government has systematically denied Ndigbo of relevance in the Nigerian polity. For forty years and counting, no person of Igbo race has been allowed in the presidency, nor as Nigeria has proven, will ever be elected as a president. A call for a Sovereign National Conference (SNC) has been coming out from the great and simple alike in Nigeria, yet the federal government won't hear anything of it. Is the United Nations truly representing the people or is it just a global body set up to further the destruction of the minorities and the downtrodden by the great and mighty?
Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.
Questions: Clearly, everything the Nigerian government does deprives Ndigbo of the South-East of all these above-mentioned entitlements. Ndigbo have been and are still treated as second-class citizens in Nigeria, why has the United Nations kept quiet as these wickedness continue?
Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.
Question: The people of the South-East Nigeria have cried out for close to fifty years against injustice, and insisted on becoming independence; the government of Nigeria refuses and crushes, with every strong measure, the genuine desires of a people driven beyond the banks slavery. In accordance with this declaration, should not the UN rise up to defend these rights and these people deprived in Nigeria?
(1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
Question: What wrong has the MOASSOB members in Igboland committed in carrying out the duty of seeking freedom from slavery and marginalization for their community away from the state called Nigeria?
(2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
Question: The reason that MASSOB adopted a non-violent approach in their quest is clearly in honor to this declaration, why then has the UN kept silent when the Nigerian government refuses to respect the same law and crashes, every now and then upon the MASSOB members and its leadership?
(3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
Question: Like already said above, MASSOB follow due process, why is the UN silent even against the wickedness of the government of Nigeria and its unacceptable crackdown on men seeking peace and their human rights in the most peaceful way in a country where violence is the order of the day?
Having weighed in the balance of these UN declaration acts the reactions of the Nigerian government against MASSOB and what MASSOB stands for, I have come to an obvious conclusion and to make this recommendations:
1. That the United nations and the world powers prevail upon the Nigerian government to call for and hold a Sovereign National Conference (SNC) where every community would be made relevant towards the pursuit for any possible future as one truly functional country or as separate states
2. That it's high time the United Nations and the world powers, for peace in this geographical area called Nigeria and in Africa as a whole, stood up to the Nigerian government to demand, once and for all, the freedom of the South-Easterners, their rights to an independent and sovereign state of Biafra
3. That a complete release of all MASSOB members held in different prisons throughout the country be immediately demanded by the UN and effected.
4. I further ask that the United Nations, without undue delay, issue a statement which confirms that Ndigbo, the people of the Sout-East of Nigeria, and indeed, the people who have gone through years of masterminded cruelty and genocide from the Nigeria government, be given a clean bill to further their pursuit for a Sovereign State of Biafra.
5. Among these, I request that those in and out of the Nigerian government who have been accused of the genocide carried out against Ndigbo in the Nigeria-Biafra war be summoned to the Hague to defend their cases without further undue delay.