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Monday, 1 January 2018

BIAFRA: WILL THE AFRICAN UNION ALSO BE INTIMIDATED BY THE NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT OVER IPOB?

 BIAFRA: WILL THE AFRICAN UNION ALSO BE INTIMIDATED BY THE NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT OVER IPOB?


Written by Onyebuchi Eze
For Family Writers Press

In her dogged pursuit for justice, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) worldwide, ably led by it's Supreme Commander - Mazi Nnamdi Kanu through its team of legal luminaries, has dragged the Nigerian government to the Court of the African Union (AU) on Human and People's Rights. This follows innumerable and bizarre violations of the rights of the Biafran people by the  Nigerian government. The civilized world is closely watching to see if the African Union Court will fall for the callous intimidating antics of Nigeria like the Court of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), in the pending litigation between Mazi Nnamdi Kanu (IPOB) and the Nigerian government.

On several occasions, the ECOWAS Court has displayed absolute unwillingness and incompetence to deliver justice due to the seemingly overbearing influence of Nigeria over it, since 3rd of March 2016, when the case was instituted. It could be recalled that the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) worldwide, instituted a court case in the ECOWAS Court against the Nigerian government over gross violations of his fundamental rights, which the sub-regional court immorally repudiated it's role of justice delivery against the respondent (Nigerian government) due to financial support it is enjoying from her. The sub-regional court has wittingly mortgaged it's legitimate responsibility as an unbiased umpire, thereby ridiculing the respect for as a fearless judiciary. It has maintained a chain of needless cases of adjournments just to unduly favor it's sponsor and culprit (Nigeria) whose conviction was imminent. The Court of the Economic Community of West African sub-region blatantly failed in its duty of protecting the interests of a West African citizen whose rights were being recklessly violated.

Now that the Continental body (African Union) has acknowledged receipt of the petition forwarded to her by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) through it's legal team, centering on numerous human rights abuses against the Biafran people by the Nigerian government, the lens of the entire International community are now focused on the African Union, to actually see how the bastardized human rights activities in Nigeria particularly and in Africa as a continent, will be addressed and protected. The Nigerian government through the draconian instrumentality of her military, defiantly and murderously, under the despotic orders of the Nigerian Presidency, heavily descended on uncountable occasions against all civilized/ acceptable democratic tenets, on Biafran harmless population who were peacefully exercising their rights for justice and freedom. The question now bugging the minds of many is: Now that the matter has got to the attention of the African Union as acknowledged, will there be a difference? The shameless antecedents of the ECOWAS Court as stated, has inadvertently, given all the tyrannical governments especially within the West African sub-region, the impetus to carry on with the various shades of human rights violations of their citizens.

The African Union is presently and unavoidably being confronted with two major tasks of:

1) Employing proactiveness in rejuvenating their valued mandate of responsibility to the overwhelming populace of the African continent. Their respect for and uncompromising obedience to the guiding charters of the continental body no matter whatever nation is involved are being tested.

2) Falling prey to the intimidation of Nigeria is a tacit approval and support for institutionalized violation of people's rights. The traps of corruption and lobbying antics of the Nigerian government is being closely monitored. They must therefore be adequately avoided if justice must prevail untainted.

The neutrality of the African Union in this case is being brought to the fore. The obnoxious Nigerian government's approach since this case was instituted in 2016, is nothing but disheartening. This continental body must realize that the gross abuses of human rights so far suffered without commensurate justice and fair play, prompted the leadership of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to approach her. And because Nigeria is involved, she must not compromise justice. Let her guide against creating a scenario that will strengthen the despotic impunity of tyrants in Africa. Concerned Human Rights Bodies are closely watching. African Union therefore, must extricate herself from the temptation of massaging the parochial and jaundiced interests of obvious erring member nations and dispense justice accordingly. They should not give room for the collapse of human rights protection in Africa. The Union must always bear in mind that "the truest test of integrity lies in the blunt refusal to be compromised"as echoed by Prof. Chinua Achebe of blessed memory.

Known for her corruption tendencies, the Nigerian government will not relent in her efforts to unduly influence court officials. Envoys will likely be sent soon from one country to the other for this purpose of lobbying against the interests of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

The African Union should not trade the protection of Biafra citizens whose rights are being trampled upon for mundane profits from the Nigerian government. The world is undoubtedly keenly watching proceedings and the eventual outcome of this case, will either boost the human rights protection of the African people throughout the continent, jeopardize their welfare in the hands of oppressors or mar the integrity of the officials just because of the satisfaction of crass desires of a conscienceless and undemocratic member nation.

The Nigerian government can go all out of limit to bribe it's way so long it concerns the Biafran restoration effort. So the officials of the continental body should diligently play the ball expeditiously according to the required and internationally acceptable standard, now that it has the ample opportunity to exert her authority. The rights of the African people must be protected and by all legitimate means too.

Biafrans need nothing else but justice!

Edited by Peter Oshagwu
For Family Writers Press

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