ADF Admonishes Senator Abaribe’s Committee on the Dangers of Basing Igbo Position on Fake Documents.
(The following is full text of latest open letter from the Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) leadership to the committee appointed by the Ohanaeze Ndiigbo to lead in the endeavor to distill an Igbo position on the deteriorating circumstances in the country and thus Nigeria’s future from the Igbo perspective.)
Senator Enyinna Abaribe
NASS – Abuja,
March 4, 2018
Dear Distinguished Senator,
The entire Igbo nation is aghast to learn that the document which your Committee has been parading as the Igbo Position at the 2014 National Conference is FAKE!
I personally have come across two documents posted by Mazi Obi Okoli.
- “In carrying out this assignment we reasoned that to start the discussions there should be a starting point. On advice from eminent people like Amb George Obiozor, we decided that the Igbo Position at the 2014 Political Conference should form the basis of our interaction with our people in Abuja, Lagos and Enugu. One is the document which you are presenting to Umuigbo as the Igbo Position as presented by Ohanaeze Ndigbo to the 2014 National Conference organized by the regime of President Jonathan. According to your letter announcing your assignment, you wrote:
“So, the draft is nothing but Ndigbo position at the 2014 National Conference….”
This version was copiously discussed at Abuja and Lagos and is also intended to be the basis of the discussions today at the Enugu meeting as the 2014 Igbo Position on the basis of which you want Ndiigbo to base their discussion and decision on their position regarding their future in Nigeria.
Many of us opposed the use of this document you were parading as Igbo Position during the 2014 National Conference. And now, Mazi Obi Okoli has posted another document which carries Ohanaeze Logo and address of its official Secretariat. Besides it contains the signature of the leadership of Ohanaeze at the time and other veteran Igbo leaders, to wit –
- Chief Gary Nnachi Enwo-Igariwe (President General).
- Dr Joe Goziem Nworgu (Secretary-General).
- Chief Mbazulike Amechi (Dara Akunwafor).
- Chief O. A. U. Onyema (Deputy President General).
- Prof. Ukwu I. Ukwu OFR (Committee Chairman).
- HE Dr Sam Egwu (Committee Member).
- HE Okwesilieze Nwodo (Committee Member).
- HE Senator Ken Nnamani (Committee Member)
I am very familiar with this Ohanaeze document because;
Some of the key ADF Members were largely responsible for writing of the Ohanaeze Memorandum to the Okoronmu Committee that monitored the broad view of Nigerians on the nature of the envisaged Conference of 2014.
After the historic Colloquium that formally ushered the Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) in 2014, the participants (over 2500 Umuigbo from all parts of the world) mandated the leadership of the Colloquium to forward the major conclusions of the Colloquium to Igbo Delegates at that Conference. I still remember that among Igbo leaders who were in the official delegation to submit the documents to our delegates at Abuja were Dr Dozie Ikedife (a delegate to the Conference), Prof, Barth Nnaji, Prof. Vin Anibogu, Chief Chekwas Okorie, late Dr Emeka Enejere, Col Justino Ezeoke, Dr Onyi Gbujie, Barr, Maxwell Alaeto, my humble self, etc.
I shall send you a bound copy of the Memorandum to delegates. I do remember that many of us felt somehow comfortable with the final Memorandum submitted by our delegates. Even so the situation today calls for a deeper and more profound document to reflect the current state of our predicament in Nigeria and the state of the predicament of other nationalities who were being deceived as lately as 2014.
Indeed, I have been looking at what you have been parading as the outcome of that Conference with utter amazement.
In view of this development dear Senator,
Do you still feel it is useful continuing to proceed the way you have been doing with what appears now to be a fake document?
By the way, could you address Umuigbo on this discovery?
I know that a Senator, within the context of history and global best practices, is meant to be a man of honor, and I know that you cannot set out deliberately to deceive Umuigbo. Don’t you think it is necessary to disqualify yourself from this exercise and hand over this assignment to those who got you into it in the first place?
Finally, brother Senator, take a look at just two paragraphs of the authentic document on the Igbo Position in 2014 Conference and compare them with WHAT THEY GAVE YOU TO TAKE ROUND THE COUNTRY as IGBO POSITION IN 2014.
Don’t you think they owe you an Apology for this embarrassing situation?
But, at least, you owe Umuigbo an Apology because your staff should have ensured that the Distinguished Senator was in a position to speak truthfully and loyally as Nwafor Igbo at this period of our great travail.
Dear Senator, for the avoidance of all doubt, be it known that if there be any existential disservice any Igbo can do to Ndiigbo at this critical time in history, it is to attempt deceiving them from within. May you and other well-intentioned members of your committee not be found in the wrong side of the history of the building of the Igbo nation, for history never forgets! And for those who authored that fabricated document, with a view to deceiving Ndiigbo and thus attempt railroading them to their slavery, may history take records.
Now to the two paragraphs from the authentic document on Igbo Position. Can you see that the purpose of producing and parading a fake document as Igbo Position is to tighten noose on the neck of our people and ensure their perpetual slavery in Nigeria?
Culled from the Authentic Igbo position in 2014 National Conference
UNITY OF NIGERIA
Unity is oneness of mind or feeling. It is a state of being united or combined into one or being in full agreement. Political unity brings development and progress to a nation. A country is considered developed, if it is founded on the principles of justice, equity and the rule of law. When these utilitarian resources are applied in the administration of the country, the result is cohesiveness progress and a shared vision. Blessed indeed is such a country for its citizens will be happy. A happy citizenry is necessary to ensure peace and stability.
That Nigerians still identify themselves as Northerners, Southerners, Easterners, or Westerners, and are perceived from their religious inclinations, is clear testimony that we are yet to achieve the desired unity. That is part of the reason why we need to renegotiate our unity so that we can become a people with a shared common vision and destiny in spite of our cultural and religious diversities.
Ohanaeze Ndiigbo is of the view that mere affirmation of Nigerian unity as is being taunted in many quarters is not enough. That is the “unity “of the horse and its rider”. In renegotiating Nigeria, which is what we believe the proposed conference would do, we should seek for a country which would guarantee her citizens opportunities to aspire and achieve their potentials regardless of religious and ethnic considerations, social class, gender or circumstances of birth. Our country should guarantee in practice, to her citizens their inalienable rights to life, freedom of conscience and the pursuit of happiness without let or hindrance. It is only then that the country would be on the path of sustainable unity and progress.
We therefore propose:
- That the unity of Nigeria shall be discussed and renegotiated;
- That the unity envisaged should be one that guarantees Nigerian citizens opportunities to aspire and achieve and maximize their potentials according to their abilities, regardless of religion, ethnic origin, social class, gender or circumstances of birth;
- That we support a united Nigeria based on Justice, Equity and Fairness. It must also guarantee our freedom to live and own property where we choose to without the fear of being the target of wanton killings and destruction at the whims and caprices of any one. In this regard, our minimum objective is a broad and inclusive perspective or platform that allows the constitutive parts of this country to develop at their own pace and ability within a framework of citizens who are treated as equal stakeholders in the Nigerian project.
- INDIVISIBILITY AND INDISSOLUBILITY OF NIGERIA
Consequent upon the above observations and considerations, Ohanaeze Ndiigbo is of the view that the continuous use of the word “indivisibility” in a heterogeneous society like Nigeria, which historically was put together by a colonial fiat and for purely economic reasons, does not make for peaceful co- existence and sustainable growth of Nigeria (until reviewed as proposed). It runs counter to many international, multilateral and bilateral treaties that allow for the right of existence and self-determination of peoples in plural societies. Nigeria is signatories to these treaties. A typical example is the African Charter on Human and Peoples Right of 2005. Article 20 states inter alia that “All peoples shall have the right to existence. They shall have the unquestionable and inalienable right to self-determination. They shall freely determine their political status and shall pursue their economic and social development according to the policy they have freely chosen”. The United Nations Declaration on the right of indigenous people in Articles 3 and 4 recognize the right of indigenous people to self-determination and by virtue of that right can freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.Self-determination embodies the right for all peoples to determine their own economic, sociopolitical and cultural development. In the case of Western Sahara, the International Court of Justice defines self-determination as the need to pay regard to the freely expressed will of peoples. It does NOT most often imply secession from the state.We believe that there is advantage in number and size and a big Nigeria where work is better for all Nigerians, but that should not deprive any group who feels otherwise not to offer an alternative view and the way forward for Nigeria, subject to due process things and international best practices.
We, therefore, further propose:
That the constitution of Nigeria should recognize the Right to Existence and self -determination as enshrined in Article 20 of African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights 2005 and Articles 3 and 4 of the United Nations Declaration on the Right of Indigenous Peoples 2007.
Can you see how close this position comes to some of the proposals of the Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) in her Memo on the Future of Alaigbo and the Federal Republic of Nigeria which several pan-Igbo organizations have endorsed but which your Committee has brazenly ignored?
Prof. Uzodinma Nwala
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