Akintoye, others lead indigenous Nigerian nationalities in march to UN
Ojo Peter, Ibadan
The agitation for the Yoruba Nation intensified as the eminent leaders of thought from the South and Middle Belt of Nigeria have announced a One Million March to be held in front of the United Nations Headquarters in New York, the United States from 14th to 21st September 2021.
According to the agitators, the march is meant to demand a referendum on self-determination and abolition of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria.
The leaders are members of the Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination (NINAS) who signed the Constitutional Force Majure (CFM) declared on 16th December 2020, rejecting the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria and calling for a United Nations supervised referendum.
NINAS is the umbrella body of leading regional Self-Determination Groups in the South and Middle Belt of Nigeria with Ilana Omo Oodua representing the Yoruba blocs, Lower Niger Congress representing the South-South and South-East and Middle Belt Forum representing the Middle Belt blocs.
The 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) holds from 14th to 21st September 2021.
The One Million March, according to a statement signed by the communications manager to NINAS, Mr Maxwell Adeleye and made available to journalists on Tuesday is expected to be led by a renowned Historian, Emeritus Professor Banji Akintoye, respected varsity don, Prof. Yusuf Turaki, Secretary-General of NINAS, Barr. Tony Nnadi, pioneer commissioner for education in Osun state and national chairman of Ilana Omo Oodua, Professor Wale Adeniran, amongst others.
The statement reads inter alia “We have read a trending statement authored by a faceless group demanding for the ban of Ilana Omo Oodua from making a presentation before the world at the upcoming United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
“NINAS shall be calling on all indigenous people from the South and Middle Belt around the world to unite and stand together in solidarity in their demand for the restoration of their sovereignty, their inalienable right to their self-determination, their assets and right to freely choose their association with any state.
“The Freedom March will feature a demand from the United Nations to send a peacekeeping force to Nigeria to save the embattled indigenes who are being daily massacred by Fulani herdsmen and other terrorists including Boko Haram and ISIS operating with impunity.
“We wish to say very expressly that Ilana Omo Oodua, contrary to media reports, will not be making any official presentation at UNGA.
“What will be happening at UNGA is that the members of Ilana Omo Oodua under the leadership of Emeritus Professor Banji Akintoye alongside other members of NINAS from the Lower Niger and Middle Belt of Nigeria will be holding a One Million March opposite the United Nations Headquarters in New York, the United States from 14th to 21st September 2021 to demand a referendum to decide on the rights to self-determination of the people who want an end to unitary systems of Nigeria which has been turned into an apartheid state.
“We shall also be demanding, first and foremost, for the abolition of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria which we have shown to be a fraud perpetrated against the people of the South and Middle Belt of Nigeria given that the people did NOT make it.
“All the Sons and Daughters of the Lower Niger (South East, South-South), South West and Middle Belt’s Clans living in the United States of America are being mobilised to stand up for their Indigenous Nationalities by participating in the one week one Million March for the liberation of their people.
“The planned march shall be historic and epoch-making. We want the whole world to see the level of injustice, oppression and intimidation currently going on in Nigeria. The time is NOW!”, the statement, said