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Nigeria
Thursday, October 21, 2021
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THE RIGHT OF NIGERIANS TO ORGANIZE AND PARTICIPATE IN RALLIES MUST BE RESPECTED – MIKE EGBUNE ESQ.

I am a believer and an advocate of the adherence of the rule of law. I believe that the constitutional rights of Nigerian citizens must be guaranteed by the government of Nigeria and her agents, no matter what. The right of Nigerians to organize and participate in rallies must be respected by the Nigerian Government and security agents. In fact, the law as it is today is that it is the duty of the security agents to to protect those participating in a rally to ensure that there is no breakdown of law and order.

It would appear that there is a great fear that promoters of self-determination of the Yoruba ethnic nationality and other promoters of self-determination for their other ethnic nationalities would use the opportunity to cash in on their struggle.

Whether the Federal Government likes it or not, it is the right of ethnic nationalities to seek for self-determination. Whether they can achieve it or not is a different ball game entirely. The right to self-determination of ethnic nationalities is a guaranteed one given to ethnic nationalities all over the world by the United Nations through one of its agencies, which is the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) is an international instrument adopted by the United Nations on the 13th day of September, 2007, to enshrine (according to Article 43) the rights that “constitute the minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of the indigenous peoples of the world.” The UNDRIP protects collective rights that may not be addressed in other human rights charters that emphasize individual rights, and it also safeguards the individual rights of Indigenous people.

The Declaration is the product of almost 25 years of deliberation by U.N. member states and Indigenous groups.

The first of the UNDRIP’s 46 articles declares that “Indigenous peoples have the right to the full enjoyment, as a collective or as individuals, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms as recognized in the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (4) and international human rights law.” The Declaration goes on to guarantee the rights of Indigenous peoples to enjoy and practice their cultures and customs, their religions, and their languages, and to develop and strengthen their economies and their social and political institutions.

Indigenous peoples have the right to be free from discrimination, and the right to a nationality. It is the right to their own nationality that they are seeking to promote by organizing these rallies such as the one planned to take place at Ojota, in Lagos today.

It is such a shame that we have as Attorney General of the Federation, a man who does not seem to understand what the state of the law is. He only sees law from the position of politics, indigenous tribes and their practices, North and South divide and Moslem/Christian divide. Whereas, he ought to be a man that should look at things the way the state of law is and advice Mr. President properly. He will choose to keep quiet when there are serious constitutional issues. This is a man that has caused serious problems in the Lawyers Community (NBA) by unilaterally amending the Rules of Professional Conduct of practicing lawyers without following due process because of the incidents that played out in the last NBA Conference when the LOC of NBA Conference withdraw the invitation of Governor Nasir El Rufia as one of the Guest Speakers at the virtual event.

I can conclude presently that “Nigeria is not a tragedy about to happen, but is a happening tragedy”

A country where terrorists are negotiated with, but freedom fighters are hunted down is a tragedy.

A country with the world’s extreme poverty rate, highest inflation, worst governance, erratic judiciary, useless legislature, and carefree citizens is a tragedy!

A country where the Government have no respect for the rule of law, of fundamental human rights, and of the life of the citizens is a tragedy.

A country where the protection of life is not guaranteed, where citizens go to bed with the hope that they won’t be killed before morning – where they travel with fear, where they talk in codes, where they see, but decide not to speak out – tell me what a tragedy means again!

A country where most of its elderly are mockingly stupid, its youths enmeshed in fraud and cowardice, and its little ones without a definite future is a tragedy.

A country where, if given the opportunity, even Nigeria itself will travel out of Nigeria if given a passport, is that not a tragic country?

A country where we are faced with illegal arrests every day, the killing of youths, protesters and freedom fighters, while bandits, armed herdsmen, Boko Haram and ISWAP continues to operate unabated in the North, their presence ever growing in the South, yet – they get compensated, pardoned, petted, and condoned – how do people even defend a country like this?

Nigeria is not sitting on a keg of Gun Powder; Nigeria is the Gun Powder. We are the Keg forcing it to stay put, when this Gun Powder explodes, it will destroy the keg irreparably – and there will be nothing to hold on to, or anything to hold.

As for me at this moment, I will continue to mourn the passing on of my dear Senior Prophet T. B. Joshua. Meanwhile, I have joined the rally for self-determination of ethnic nationalities with my black attire.

Aluta Continua, Victoria Ascerta!!!!

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