Senior Special Assistant to the President on media and publicity, Alhaji Garba Shehu has been counselled to wean himself of extreme Northern irredentism and phobia for South East of Nigeria by scaling down on his politically motivated rhetorics against the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) and his calculated hate speeches against the detained director, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
HURIWA said Alhaji Garba Shehu, who has gained notoriety as a sympathiser of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association has always accused IPOB of all kinds of atrocities but has failed to show one legal evidence linking the banned Indigenous Peoples of Biafra from any act of terrorism since his Principal President Muhammadu Buhari was wrongly advised by haters of political pluralism to classify the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist organisation even when the sane group is recognised in civilised democracies including the United States of America and the United Kingdom including Germany.
Making the call is the leading Civil Society group in Nigeria Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) which is advocating the immediate deproscription of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) and the unconditional freedom for detained associates and members of the group to give way for national reconciliation and dialogue.
HURIWA has also appealed to members and sympathisers of all the self determination groups in Southern Nigeria to embrace constructive and civil dialogues and to continue to resist all attempts to embrace armed struggles.
HURIWA said each time a constructive move by some patriots are being made to reach out to President Muhammadu Buhari to appeal to him to have a rethink and embrace dialogues as a way out of the groundswell of agitations for self-determination in Southern Nigeria, the President’s most influential Northern Nigerian born spokesperson in the person of Alhaji Garba Shehu has always put out provocative media accusations against the peaceful agitators just so the aggressive clampdown by government against the Southern Nigeria based self-determination agitators is sustained by President Muhammadu Buhari.
HURIWA has therefore asked President Muhammadu Buhari not to surround himself with persons who are bellicose and are doing things that are painting them graphically as ‘conflicts entrepreneurs’.
HURIWA accused the Presidential spokesman of preempting the position of the South East 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.
According to the Rights group, it 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.”
HURIWA further said the international law experts state that the scope and purpose of the principle of self-determination has evolved significantly in the 20th century. In the early 1900’s, international support grew for the right of all people to self-determination. This led to successful secessionist movements during and after WWI, WWII and laid the groundwork for decolonization in the 1960s.”
The Rights group asked if Garba Shehu is aware 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 saying it was shocking, to see “Yoruba Nation” advocates yesterday unequivocally throw their lot in with Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), a designated terrorist organisation, saying It now has now publicly revealed a 50,000 standing paramilitary force, regularly murders security services and innocent civilians, with a significant uptick of violent attacks this year, and 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 Yoruba Nation by the company it keeps…”, he further stated.
HURIWA strongly condemns such statements which is subjudice and unconstitutional given that under Section 6 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria only the competent court of law has judicial powers of the Federation just as HURIWA says IPOB and its detained leader are already charged before the Nigerian legal system and therefore wonders why the Presidential spokesman wants to impose a fait accompli on the Court through his provocative and speculative accusations against a group and citizens who are in Court charged by the same executive arm of government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
HURIWA also asserted that it is public information that the group is reportedly challenging its classification as a terrorist organisation in Nigeria before competent courts of law. “Garba Shehu as a Senior official of government should allow the courts of law to reach a determination about IPOB and Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and should not deploy public fund to undermine genuine efforts by patriotic groups such as the South East National Assembly Caucus to negotiate a truce between President Muhammadu Buhari and the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra.