Ndiigbo Have Unalienable Right to Self-determination Within Nigeria or Outside of It – Declares Igbo Forum, Chicago
Ndiigbo Must Assure Security of Igbo Homeland & Defend the Fundamental Right of Alaigbo as an Autonomous Self-governing Region – Declares the Forum of Igbo Communities in Chicago
Below is the text of the communique released by the Forum of Igbo Communities in Chicago at an event organized at the First Immanuel Church, 1126 South Ashland, Chicago, Illinois on September 9, 2018, to receive a delegation of the Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) currently on tour of the USA.
A Forum of Igbo Communities in Chicago, USA was convened by the leadership of Igbo Communities in Chicago to receive the President of Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) and his team who are on a visit to United States of America to exchange views with the Igbo Diaspora on the current challenges of survival and development of Alaigbo.
In his address to the Forum, the President of ADF, Professor Uzodinma Nwala, spoke on the issues of Igbo regional integration; homeland security; the on-going ethnic and religious cleansing in Nigeria; the militarization of Alaigbo and the brute torture of her women and youths; the infiltration and occupation of ancestral homes of Alaigbo by trained Fulani insurgents masquerading in various guises; the imperative of self-defense as fundamental natural right of Alaigbo and all humanity; the neglect of Alaigbo in the distribution of immense foreign aid flowing into the coffers of Federal Republic of Nigeria; the seizure of the organs of organs of state authority and concentration of same in the hands of one ethnic group – the President’s kinsmen; urgent necessity of Youth Empowerment programs to alleviate the excruciating level of poverty in Alaigbo; the need to drive the Akuruo-Ulo (Invest-at-Home) Movement as a vital element in the rebirth and development of Alaigbo, etc.
The ADF President also spoke on the latest attempts to define the future of Alaigbo with particular reference to the Awka Declaration hosted by the Ohanaeze Ndiigbo which President Buhari has dismissed as personal agenda. He narrated the background to the Enugu Declaration of July 28, 2018 as a re-affirmation of Igbo position and which has been endorsed by over sixteen pan-Igbo and pro-Biafra organizations, including major stakeholders in Alaigbo.
On the fundamental position of the Enugu Declaration, the ADF President explained the need to synergize all the committed patriotic viewpoints in Alaigbo.
According to ADF President, there are two positions in Alaigbo today:
Those who want Ndiigbo to continue to remain as part of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the expectation that the situation of Ndiigbo will get better, and
Those who believe that after 104 years, the artificial federation has remained a graveyard for Ndiigbo.
However, those Igbo citizens who wish to remain in Nigeria also believe in and demand their inalienable right of Ndiigbo to self- determination, insisting that any continued political union of Ndiigbo with their neighbors in Nigeria must be based on the fundamental principle of free choice, the choice to remain or opt out of the union; the recognition that Alaigbo is a nation, a land of free peoples and therefore, any union with any other nation must be based on the hallowed principle of Self-determination.
It is to be noted that Alaigbo did not become part of the Federal Republic of Nigeria initially out of choice, but by force, due to the determination of a foreign power that led to the Amalgamation of 1914.
Scenes at the Ohanaeze-convened pan-Igbo summit held at the Ekwueme Square, Awka, Anambra state on May 21, 2018.
In light of the above, if Alaigbo is to remain as part of Nigeria, Alaigbo must be recognized as an autonomous self-governing region, in full control of our lives, our land, our resources and our security and legal system; free to relate to the world, but collectively agreeing on a union with our neighbors in Nigeria or with those willing to live under the same principle of Self-determination as we cherish and desire for ourselves.
However, if this fundamental national right of Ndiigbo is ultimately rejected by the forces of hegemony dominating the affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Ndiigbo shall opt out of Nigeria and establish the independent REPUBLIC OF ALAIGBO or whatever name we chose to name our independent Republic.
For Alaigbo, this is the option of self-determination and freedom guaranteed by our Creator and enshrined in the United Nation’s Charter of People Rights as well as African Charter on Human Rights.
This is the position which has been clearly articulated in the Enugu Declaration as a reaffirmation of the Igbo position on their future. It has received the endorsement of the two shades of opinion in Alaigbo.
Finally, the ADF President distributed the text of the Enugu Declaration which was read and discussed at the Forum.
The ADF President briefed the participants on the programs and activities of ADF since its birth which has made it a major voice in the Igbo struggle and affairs.
The Forum engaged in spirited discussion on the speech by the ADF President, fielding fundamental questions, expressing the concerns of the Igbo Diaspora over the urgent need to ensure that the survival of Ndiigbo and development of Alaigbo are not neglected or compromised; the need for synergy of all patriotic citizens of Alaigbo, the special role of Igbo Diaspora in helping to pilot the struggle for the survival and development of Alaigbo, etc.
Finally, the Chicago Forum resolves as follows:
To recognize and express deep satisfaction over the emergency and achievements of the Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) as well as the new strategic impetus it has brought to the struggle to chart a new course for the survival and development of Alaigbo
The forum called on the ADF to help promote greater synergy and focus among all the groups and forces presently engaged in the struggle to liberate Alaigbo from the shackle of annihilation.
The Forum urged the Ohanaeze Ndiigbo and the State Governments in Alaigbo to recognize and support the role of the Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) in the affairs of Alaigbo.
The Forum firmly endorsed the ENUGU DECLARATION and calls on umu-Igbo to align with the Igbo struggle to establish the Igbo nation either as an autonomous region in the new federal union or as an independent republic if the first option is rejected by the forces of hegemony in Nigeria.
Projected map for a devolved and restructured Nigeria. Without peaceful devolution through consensus, various ethnic constituents can opt to pursue their own self-determination agenda independent of the central government in power today.
The Forum condemns the military occupation of Alaigbo, the killings of Igbo citizens by the Nigerian military and Fulani insurgents, the harassment and torture of Igbo citizens as if they are disposable items or slaves whose lives do not matter.
The Forum condemns the recent arrest, torture, and detention of Igbo women who were peacefully demanding the release of Nnamdi Kalu, the IPOB leader.
The Forum called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to release Nnamdi Kanu and his parents who disappeared during the invasion of Alaigbo by the Nigerian Army under the guise of Operation “Python Dance II” since 2017 and also release all IPOB and other freedom agitators in prison.
The Forum condemns the seizure of all the organs of governance in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to wit the Executive, the Judiciary, the military, security forces and civil authority by Fulani leaders and their agents who have virtually rendered the federal legislature comatose.
The Forum calls on all the citizens of Alaigbo to support all measures to ensure the security of Igbo homeland, defend the fundamental right of Alaigbo as an autonomous self- governing, region, effectively in charge of the protection of the lives of her citizens and security and to freely participate in global affairs in pursuit of the welfare and survival of her citizens.
Alaigbo must not compromise her right of free association with her neighbors either in a Federal Union of Nigeria or Biafra based on the principle of Self-determination and the right to opt out of such union if we so wish.
The forum calls for an urgent need of action to promote youth empowerment through promoting food production, through re-launching the Food Army Program that sustained Ndiigbo and her neighbors during the Biafra War.
The Forum calls on Igbo businessmen and women to help promote the Akuruo-Ulo (Invest-at-Home) program initiated by ADF.
The Forum urges the Governments in Alaigbo to provide the enabling legal and political environment to promote investments in Alaigbo.
The Forum congratulates the state governments in Alaigbo for their courage in rejecting the attempt to seize Alaigbo through the spurious creation of cattle-grazing colony.
The Forum pledged support for the anti-Open Grazing Bill which the Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) has placed before the State Houses of Assembly in Alaigbo.
The Forum urges Umuigbo to render financial and other forms of support to all the legal cases instituted to challenge the brutal and arrogant killings and torture of Umuigbo.
The Forum took a decision to work with other Igbo organizations and Igbo stakeholders and organizations to host an IGBO SUMMIT in Chicago as soon as consultations and arrangements can be concluded. The Igbo Community Organization in Chicago shall host the IGBO SUMMIT.
Long Live the Igbo Nation
Long live all the communities of civilized nations, the world over!!
Friday Nwokeoma Onwukwe
President Igbo Associations of Chicago
Adamazi Adanna Okoro
Dr. Ndieze Nnawuchi
Chief Emeka Nnadi
Mr. Emeka Ukachukwu
Prince Odinakachi Ubani
Mr. Hardy Ogele
Pastor Victor Anukem
Rev. Paulicap Nwachukwu
Dr. Sam. Enyia
Mr. Chidi Enyia
Dr. K.K. Odeluga
Dr. Mrs. Odeluga
Professor Uzodinma Nwala
President Alaigbo Development Foundation
– on behalf of the ADF Delegation
Chief Eddie Nwosu
Chairman, Committee of Conveners
– on behalf of the conveners
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