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Do not paint our protest as IPOB event, Yoruba Nation agitators reply Presidency

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Yoruba Nation agitators and other self-determination groups have asked the Nigerian government not to tag their protest at the United Nations Headquarters in New York as an event organised by the Indigenous People of Biafra.

They said this in a reaction to an earlier statement by the presidency asking them not to associate with IPOB.

Media had reported that the agitators under the aegis of the Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination are holding a march at the UN headquarters in New York.

The march conincides with the ongoing UN Assembly where Nigeria’s president, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), and other World leaders are expected to attend and give addresses.

Earlier, the Chairman of NINAS, Prof Banji Akintoye, declared that a Million-Man Freedom March would hold opposite the United Nations Headquarters in New York, the United States of America from September 14 to 24, 2021.

Akintoye said the protest is meant to seek a referendum and show the world “the genocide being perpetrated by murderous herdsmen in the name of grazing in the South and Middle-Belt of Nigeria”.

“Rattled” by the continuous protest by the agitators, the Presidency threatened to deal with Yoruba Nation agitators based on the association they keep.

The news media gathered that apart from Yoruba Nation agitators, there are protesters from South-Eastern Nigeria, and other countries at the UN headquarters also seeking self-determination.

A statement issued by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity on Wednesday, read, “It was, however shocking, to see “Yoruba Nation” advocates yesterday unequivocally throw their lot in with Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

“Without doubt, Nigerians and the entire world will judge Yoruba Nation by the company it keeps. “No one can take seriously this organisation if it continues its IPOB association.

“The cooperation is a worrying development, once parsed with Yoruba Nation’s increasingly violent rallies in Nigeria.”

Reacting, the spokesperson for NINAS, Maxwell Adeleye, accused the presidency of attempting to use divide and rule tactics.

He said, “The ongoing NINAS March opposite the United Nations Headquaters in New York has now caused the Nigerian Presidency a serious headache

“We put the Fulani Oligarchy on notice that the biggest March is holding on 24th September, the day President Buhari will address the United Nations General Assembly.“While we respect their rights to association and loyalty to their beliefs, we want to state very expressly, again, that NINAS or Ilana Omo Oodua has nothing whatsoever to do with IPOB.

“Garba Shehu should stop this unintelligent attempt to play divide and rule game. He merely wanted to paint the struggle bad which has failed.

“Nigerian Government should address our six-point demands – Abolition of 1999 Constitution, conduct a Referendum, end to Fulani Genocide, Declaration of Miyyeti Allah a Terrorist Organisation, Etc and stop being petty.”

NINAS is the umbrella body for self-determination Groups in the South and Middle-Belt of Nigeria with Ilana Omo Oodua representing the Yoruba Land, Lower Niger Congress representing the South-South and South-East and Middle-Belt Rennaissance Movement representing the Middle Belt Region.

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