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Urhobo group goes to ICJ over 1914 amalgamation

By Emma Amaize
WARRI—URHOBO Nationalists Movement, UNM, in Delta State, has challenged the 1914 amalgamation of the various ethnic nationalities in Nigeria at the International Court of Justice in the Hague, The Netherlands.

The group wants an interpretation of the various United Nations covenants on Human Rights, as well as the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

UNM had in a recent petition to the United Nations, urged the world body to prevail on the Federal Government to grant the Urhobo ethnic nationality autonomy to control its resources, among other demands.

The group, yesterday, said: “This is sequel to a report of a five-man committee by the Urhobo Nationalists Movement, which was set up to examine the jurisdiction of the Court as well as the International covenants on human rights.”

President of the group, Mr.Umakai Unagha, in a statement, said: “We, as Urhobo people are now ready to take a step further, to address the economic social, political, civil and cultural injustice committed against our people by the government of Nigeria, as we are being treated as second class citizen in our own country, and denied economic, social, civil and political rights.

“As you may be aware, we wrote to United Nations to prevail on the Government of Nigeria to grant us political autonomy to enable us control our resources, we wish to here again renew our agitation. We are not comfortable with the Nigerian Federation, as the country was not brought together on the base of equity and justice.

“The Nigerian Government has trampled on the Urhobo, we cannot justify the reason why we should continue to be part of Nigeria. Despite the economic resources,  which God has deposited in the area to better the lives of our people, our life style still reflects extreme disparity.

“The situation today is that of total disillusionment arising from oppression by past and the current government. There are times when we suffered casualty in the hands of invading federal forces and even in infernos arising from pipeline fire. Thus, we do not only lose people, but we suffered from ecological disaster as we lost farmland, rivers and unquantifiable flora and fauna,” the group added.


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