By Olakunle Olafioye
Indications have emerged that some leading figures of self-determination groups may have fled from the country following alleged plot by the Federal Government to clamp down on them ahead of the planned ‘One Million March’ slated for September 14 at the United Nations headquarters in New York, USA.
Sunday Sun reliably gathered during the week that self-determination groups in the country uncovered a surreptitious plan by the government to embark on massive arrests of key figures of the groups ahead of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, UNGA, which holds from September 14 to 21.
A notable supporter of Oodua Nation who craved anonymity told Sunday Sun that the alleged move by the government was aimed at throwing spanner into the entire arrangements by self-determination groups to appear at the United Nations headquarters with a view to pressing home the groups’ demand for a referendum to decide on the rights to self-determination of the people.
According to the source, ”since the secret plan by the government to arrest prominent supporters among the self-determination groups in order to bungle the groups’ presentations at the United Nations was uncovered, leading figures that are key to the presentation have been leaving the country ahead of time,” the source revealed.
The source also noted that the government was shocked to realise that the arrest of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, and the attempt to get the Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, out of circulation are yet to yield desired results of suppressing the clamour for self-determinations by the groups. So, their next plan is to embark on massive crackdown of other known figures within the groups.
“It has now dawned on them that the proponents of Oodua Nation and Biafra really mean business because of the way these groups have carried on with their demand for freedom despite the clampdown on the leaders of the groups,” the source said.
Reports had claimed that Ilana Omo Oodua would be making an official presentation at the United Nations General Assembly, UNGA, on the need to convince the world organisation for a separate and independent Yoruba nation, a development, the source said, might have jolted the government into plotting to disorganize the groups’ move at getting the much-sought international attention.
But a statement released by the Communication Manager of the Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination, NINAS, the umbrella body of leading regional self-determination groups in the South and Middle Belt of Nigeria, Maxwell Adeleye, indicated that the group would not be making an official presentation at the United Nations General Assembly. Rather, it stated that NINAS was currently perfecting plan to stage a ‘One Million March’ during the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly billed for 14 to 21 September 14 to 21.
The statement reads in part: “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, United States from 14th to 21st September, 2021 to demand for 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 Southeast, South-south, Southwest 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 listed Prof Banji Akintoye, Prof Yusuf Turakithe Secretary-General of NINAS, Mr. Tony Nnadi; and National Chairman of Ilana Omo Oodua, Prof Wale Adeniran, among others as leaders of the ‘one million march.’