The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has said that the embattled leader of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and his group are nothing but prisoners of conscience.
Naija News reports that the rights group stated this while reacting to Northern Governors’ rejection of power shift to the Southern region of the country.
According to HURIWA, President Muhammadu Buhari-led government has no basis in law and morality to continue to detain the secessionist.
The group said this is because the Southern and Northern governors have caused division in the country by their actions, inactions, speeches and conflicts around which zone between North/South produces the next president in 2023.
Naija News reports that Governors from the Northern region of the country met on Monday, 27th September 2021 to discuss and take a stand on certain national issues as it concerns the region and its people.
During the meeting held at the Council Chamber (Sir Kashim Ibrahim House) of the Kaduna State government house, the Governors, under the auspices of the Northern States Governors’ Forum, jointly with some traditional rulers and Emirs from the region led by the Sultan of Sokoto, condemned the position earlier adopted by their southern counterparts, arguing that zoning is not a constitutional issue.
The governors also discussed the issue of Value Added Tax (VAT) collection and the current controversy it is generating between the federal and state governments.
In their position, made known in the communique after their meeting, the Northern Governors also rejected the stand of their Southern counterparts on the issue.
They said in order not to cause economic hardship and multiple taxation, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) should continue collecting VAT in the country.
Reacting to the outcome of the Northern Governors’ meeting in a statement signed and released on Tuesday by Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, the National Coordinator of the rights body, HURIWA said there is no basis for Northern Nigeria to insist on producing Buhari’s successor if their intention is not to move for the eventual split of Nigeria in 2023.
The statement reads: “We are ever more convinced beyond the shadows of doubts that the actions, inactions, speeches, threats made by governors of North versus South have shown that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and his unarmed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) are prisoners of conscience and the members and leader of this otherwise proscribed IPOB must be released immediately since even the governors who are exercising constitutional powers are saying those same divisive sentiments and positions espoused by IPOB.
“Infact, the governors are terrorizing the peace of Nigeria by failing to peacefully agree to the transfer of presidential power from the North to the South in 2023 which is the irreducible minimum condition precedent for Nigeria to remain as a United entity beyond 2023. The arguments and actions of the governors, the president and the Northern dominated Appeal Court on the collection of the value-added tax shows that the presidency, the governors and the courts are now to be categorized as functional secessionists because this divisiveness and actions are stoking up tensions in Nigeria and are capable of inflaming passion and creating an uncontrollable schism between North and South and eventually dovetail into a civil conflict which may lead to the division of Nigeria by 2023.
“The Forum reiterates its commitment to the politics of equity, fairness, and unanimously agreed that the presidency of Nigeria be rotated between southern and northern Nigeria and resolved that the next president of Nigeria should emerge from the south,” Rotimi Akeredolu, Ondo state governor, said on behalf of the Southern Governors Forum (SGF).”