THE Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination (NINAS) distanced itself from the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and any dealing with terrorism or criminality.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the multi-ethnic group, which is staging a 10-day one-million-man freedom march at the United Nations headquarters in New York, the United States, also distanced itself from IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu and the term ‘Biafra.’
“We know that ‘Biafra’ does not meet the requirements/criteria to get self-determination, therefore NINAS has nothing to do with the word ‘Biafra,” the statement said.
It also cautioned all those representing the group at the United Nations 76th UNGA to “avoid the words IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu and Biafra, because we would not want the effort of 150 million people of our Alliance Territory to be ruined.”
The presidency had expressed ‘shock’ and ‘worry’ on Wednesday at the relationship between the Yoruba Nation agitators and IPOB, stressing that the world would judge the Yoruba Nation by the company it kept and no one would take the organisation seriously if it continued its IPOB association.
Reacting to a protest by diaspora Nigerians under the auspices of the Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination (NINAS) at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York, US, on Tuesday, Presidential Spokesperson Garba Shehu said the alliance was unexpected.
The presidency alleged that IPOB murdered security services and innocent civilians, and its members were “attempting to hold Nigerian states hostage with orders to stay at home under threat of terror.”
“It was shocking to see “Yoruba Nation” advocates yesterday (Tuesday) unequivocally throw their lot in with Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). IPOB is a designated terrorist organisation. It has now publicly revealed a 50,000 strong paramilitary organisation.
“Without doubt, Nigerians and the entire world will judge Yoruba Nation by the company it keeps. When their allies systematically trample human rights, it raises sober questions about their claims to uphold the values of the UN,” Shehu said.
The one-million-man freedom March held under the auspices of NINAS has rejected the 1999 Nigeria Constitution and is insisting on ‘Regional Referendums’ for what it calls ‘self-determination.”
The group is also calling for an end to ethnoreligious killings in Nigeria and wants the government to expose and punish those funding terrorism.
NINAS is also calling on the international community and international funding bodies to stop loans and the sale of arms and ammunition to the Federal Government of Nigeria.