PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari’s chief of staff Professor Ibrahim Gambari is to lead a delegation of federal government officials to New York later this week to counter the propaganda of self-determination groups critical of this administration.
On September 14, President Buhari us due to appear before the United Nations General Assembly but several civil society groups agitating for all kinds of concessions from his government plan to storm the event. To try and ensure the Nigerian government does not totally lose the propaganda battle, Professor Gambari is leading a high powered team to New York on Thursday.
Part of the mandate of the government officials is to try to infiltrate the ranks of these self-determination groups, especially those demanding referendums. While President Buhari will be attending the UN Assembly, the entourage led by Professor Gambari is being sent ahead to weaken the strengths of the agitation groups before his arrival.
One source said: “The UN programme is starting on September 18, but the chief of staff is leaving for the US on Thursday with some people working with him, including his personal assistant Lukman Emiola. No one knows when they will be back but they are not supposed to have any business with the president’s trip.
An umbrella body known as Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination (Ninas), has said they will hold a 1m man march at the UN Headquarters in New York, to reiterate the demand for a referendum on self-determination and abolition of the 1999 constitution. This march is scheduled to hold between September 14 and 21, when the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly holds.
On December 16 2020, Ninas leaders and members signed a document known as the Constitutional Force Majure, rejecting the 1999 constitution of Nigeria and calling for a UN supervised referendum. It also called on all indigenous people from southern Nigeria and the Middle Belt around the world to unite and stand together in solidarity in their demand for the restoration of their sovereignty, inalienable right to their self-determination, assets and right to freely choose their association with any state.
Ninas spokesman Maxwell Adeleye, had said the march would be led by renowned historian and emeritus professor, Banji Akintoye and other participants will include Yusuf Turaki, Tony Nnadi and Wale Adeniran. According to the group, it seeks to dismantle the purported fraudulent 1999 constitution, end the unworkable unitary union that it has foisted on the people and champion the processes for self-determination by which sovereignty would be restored to the constituent regions.
It was stated that during the freedom march, a demand would be made to the United Nations to send a peacekeeping force to Nigeria to save embattled indigenes who are daily massacred by criminal elements among Fulani herdsmen and other terrorists, including Boko Haram and Islamic State. Ninas is hoping to mobilise Nigerians living in the US to participate in the one week march.