Britain will have no problem explaining to the world why it accepts 5 million Scots to exercise their right to self-determination which could cause the collapse of a union of 310 years of willing partners, but is unrelentingly instrumental in supporting a 51-year-old genocide campaign against 50 million Igbo people, forced into a conquest agglomeration of a “state” created and called Nigeria by Britain, but who, equally as the Scots, want their freedom.
(Nicola Sturgeon, first minister of Scotland: “The UK Government was clear in 2014 that an independence referendum should be, in their words, ‘made in Scotland, by the people of Scotland’ – that is a principle that should be respected today. The detailed arrangements for a referendum – including its timing – should be for the Scottish Parliament to decide ...We believe that the Scottish Parliament should have the right to hold another referendum if there is clear and sustained evidence that independence has become the preferred option of a majority of the Scottish people – or if there is a significant and material change in the circumstances that prevailed in 2014, such as Scotland being taken out of the EU against our will” – extract from speech in Bute House, Edinburgh, Scotland, official residence of Scottish first minister, Monday 13 March 2017)
Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the Scottish Nationalist Party and First Minister of Scotland, has announced that Scotland will try again to vote in a new referendum, a second referendum, for the restoration of independence, 310 years after union with England in the state called United Kingdom. In the last referendum exercise in October 2014, the “Yes-for-independence” vote scored 45 per cent against the “No” campaigners who won by receiving 55 per cent. Speaking earlier on in the week (Monday 13 March 2017) at a specially convened media conference in her residence in Edinburgh, Sturgeon is emphatic about the second referendum that she could call as early as next year:
“I am ensuring that Scotland’s future will be decided not just by me ... it will be decided by the people of Scotland ... it will be Scotland’s choice and I trust the people to make that choice.”
No peoples are exempt
Sturgeon’s studied position on this all-important subject of independence, an inalienable right indeed, is not only shared by Scots but by a stretch of peoples and nations across the globe. The Igbo people of Biafra in southwestcentral Africa, 3475 miles southeast of Scotland, are proud to belong to this illustrious heritage. For 51 years, beginning on 29 May 1966, the Igbo have sought to exercise this “choice” but have been subjected to a devastating genocide by Nigeria and Britain, the very country that Scotland has been part of since 1707. In fact, quite a few prominent Scottish politicians, most of who were in the (British) Labour party at the time, were active agents in the perpetration of this genocide. In phases I-III of the genocide (29 May 1966-12 January 1970), the Anglo-Nigerian genocidist amalgam murdered 3.1 million Igbo people or 25 per cent of this nation’s population.
This genocide is continuing as these lines are written. Since Muhammadu Buhari (current head of regime in Nigeria who the British government, under Prime Minister Cameron, and the ex-US President Obama, played a key role to install and wholeheartedly supports) came to power in May 2015, 2000 Igbo people demanding the restoration of their independence have been murdered – usually shot at sight during peaceful freedom marches by the Nigerian military equipped mostly with British weapons. Several human rights organisations in Biafra and abroad, including Amnesty International, have reported extensively on this current phase of the Igbo genocide.
Unlike the Igbo, Scotland is not seeking freedom from the United Kingdom because it has been assailed by genocide or any other crimes from the union. Of course not. On the contrary, Scotland has been a distinct beneficiary from the union, this quintessential expression of the “nation-state” if ever there was one, including access to the gargantuan wealth seized by the union across the globe during its centuries of conquests and occupations which included Biafra and other regions of the African World (Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe, “Rights for Scots, rights for the Igbo”, Pambazuka News, 26 January 2012). What Scotland seeks from the UK is freedom to be in the “driving seat of their destiny”, a Sturgeon phrase used in the past to capture this quest, the right of self-determination which, we just noted, is inalienable, which is for all peoples, which is recognised by the United Nations. No peoples are therefore exempt from this right whatever may be their status, experience or circumstance in the state from which they wish to exit.
Appropriately it couldn’t
Britain, a signatory to the relevant articles of the UN convention that recognises this right to self-determination, prefers, understandably, that Scotland continues its constituent relationship with the UK-union but respects Scotland’s right to seek to be “in the driving seat of [its] own destiny”. Appropriately, the British military or police couldn’t, conceivably, dare disrupt nor wish in any way to stop this morning’s Nicola Sturgeon’s press conference speech for renewed referendum for the restoration of independence. As in the 2014 Scottish voting process, no Scottish voter, for or against restoration-of-independence at the Forth Bridge, outside Edinburgh, or in Glasgow or Inverness or Aye or Aberdeen or Stranraer or Edinburgh or Arbroath or Wick or indeed anywhere in Scotland would ever be shot at or harmed in any way by the British police/military/MI5/whatever in exercising this inalienable right, guaranteed by the United Nations, to decide on this crucial testament of freedom.
British suzerain state’s Nigeria
Astonishingly, in sharp contrast, Britain’s Nigeria, also a signatory to the UN declaration on the rights of peoples to self-determination, would have sent its genocidist military to drown an Edinburgh-style Biafran freedom party news conference held in any of the Biafran cities of Enuugwu, Onicha, Ugwuta, Oka, Igwe Ocha, Aba, Umuahia, Igwe Nga, Ehuugbo, or Asaba, for instance, in an orgy of massacres of the attending delegates and leaders.
Nnamdi Kanu and several leaders and officials of the Biafran freedom movement are currently incarcerated in illegal detentions by the Nigeria regime. Given the antecedent of Britain’s stony silence (since the Cameron administration and Theresa May’s), not only these arrests but also on the string of recent massacres of Biafrans, beginning November 2015, Britain would very unlikely condemn any such expanded murder outrage by its Nigeria client-state and leadership.
Many observers, including those sympathetic to the course of the Nigeria genocidist regime, have shown repeatedly that if a referendum were held in Biafra today to determine the wishes of the people, the overwhelming majority of the population would vote for “restoration-of-independence”. Inevitably, Britain will surely explain to the wider world much sooner than later why it accepts the rights of 5 million Scots to exercise this freedom which could cause the collapse of a union of 310 years of willing partners but is unrelentingly instrumental in waging/supporting a 51-year-old genocide campaign against 50 million Igbo people, forced into a conquest agglomeration of a “state” created and called Nigeria by Britain, but who, equally as the Scots, want their own freedom.
Statute of limitations
It is absolutely crucial to remind all those involved in the prosecution of the Igbo genocide, wherever they are domiciled, that there is no statute of limitations in international law in the apprehension, prosecution and punishment of persons or institutions involved in the crime of genocide. Igbo seek and will achieve justice for the perpetration of this crime against its people, a crime against humanity. It doesn’t matter how long it takes. Igbo seek and will achieve the restoration of Biafra.
* THE VIEWS OF THE ABOVE ARTICLE ARE THOSE OF THE AUTHOR AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF THE PAMBAZUKA NEWS EDITORIAL TEAM
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