Monday, 23 May 2016

Biafran News: Biafra delegates count gains from UN conference

Biafra delegates to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) have returned home with a catalogue of what they described as gains from the meeting,

Their arrival was celebrated at the weekend by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) whose members constituted the delegates to the conference,

Among other things, IPOB said the agitators’ presence at the UN confab was confirmation that the struggle for Biafra State could no longer be swept under the carpet by the Nigerian authorities.

In a statement on behalf of IPOB, Nnabuike Nnadede of Voice of Biafra said the conference held at the UN headquarters in New York from May 9 to May 20, 2016 exposed the participants on how to channel the plight of Ndigbo and the agitators in the Nigerian state to the UN Security Council.

Nnadede said the delegates sent nine draft reports to the UN Economic and Social Council containing proposals, recommendations and three draft decisions, including a call on the General Assembly to consider establishing a procedure to guarantee indigenous peoples’ participation in its 17th session.
The theme of the conference was “Indigenous Peoples: Conflict, Peace and Resolution”.

According to IPOB, the session addressed the implementation of the six mandated areas of the PFII with reference to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP); peace and conflict resolution and coordination among the three UN mechanisms on indigenous affairs.

IPOB added that its delegates had a dialogue with the Un Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Chair of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The session also considered the future work of the PFII and other emerging issues.

The group said that it was well represented by Prof. Evans Anuforo, IPOB Coordinator in the United States of America (USA), Mr. George Ezuike and Rev. Anthony Okoro.

Prof. Anuforo said: ”It was an eye opener for us, and it was an opportunity to meet other nations.”
He added that through UNPFII, IPOB could push their agitation and plight to the United Nations Security Council.

Similarly, the IPOB Solicitor, Mr. Emeka Emekesri said that he was impressed with the progress the group has made in pushing its agitations to UN.

He said that more IPOB delegates would have attended the conference, but the Bilie Human Rights Initiatives, which represents the group at the UN received the invitation from the world body very late.”
The conference was an opportunity to share perspectives and best practices on the realisation of the rights of indigenous peoples, including pursuing the objectives of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Emekesri said.

Biafra spread has proved Gowon, Obasanjo, wrong – IPOB
Apparently basking in the obvious mileage for the organization of its presence at the UN Conference, IPOB has said that the growing support for Biafran autonomy across the globe has disproved the assertion by former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon and former President Olusegun Obasanjo that those clamouring for the break-away republic are miscreants.

In a statement by its Media and Publicity Officer, Emma Powerful, IPOB said the former leaders’ prediction that the agitation would soon fizzle out has been proved wrong as the number of people joining the struggle has continued to increase both locally and internationally.

The statement said the agitation has continued to gain global attention and sympathy despite the crackdown by the country’s security operatives.

According to the statement, the agitators including the IPOB leader are willing to lay down their lives because of the Biafran cause which is so dear to them unlike Nigeria that “nobody is willing to die for because of tribalism, religious bigotry and endemic corruption.”

The group claimed that no Nigerian leader, past or present, is as influential as the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, who has remained unwavering in his belief in Biafra despite his detention.
Meanwhile, the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) has said in Onitsha, Anambra State, that it now exchanges naira for Biafran currency in Igbo land because of the latter’s higher value.

The Anambra North Director of Finance of MASSOB, Mr. Martins Ezeaka, told newsmen that “we now exchange the Nigerian naira for Biafran currency because the naira has depreciated tremendously.
“You remember that our leader, Chief Ralph Uwazurike, had on February 27, 2011 launched the Biafran currency, vehicles, motorcycle number plates and driver’s license for the unity and progress of our people,” he said.
But, The GutsyNaija learnt that the currency is only accepted for transactions among MASSOB members