Comrade Rex Anighoro

By Emeka Nwokocha

Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Governor of Delta State, on Civic Engagement and Civil Society, Comrade Rex Anighoro, on Monday 9, 2021, joined other Organisations, groups, persons, and countries across the world to commemorate this year’s United Nations World Indigenous Peoples day with citizens conversation session, tagged, “the rights of indigenous peoples in Nigeria: is President Muhammadu Buhari a Supremacists Agent of Indigenous Peoples or a Revolutionist Force for Indigenous Peoples Emancipation.”

The conversation was held via zoom with scores of civil rights activists, social crusaders, and indigenous rights advocates across the globe participating in the “explosive” interactive session that raised the bar on indigenous rights advocacy in Nigeria.

Famous and fearless legal luminary, Human Rights Activist and Social Crusader, Omemiroro Ogedegbe Esq, led other speakers to speak eloquently on indigenous peoples and their rights of self-determination, noting that indigenous peoples’ rights of self-determination was first enshrined in the Charter of the United Nation, even as he noted that the regional instrument, the African Charter for Human and Peoples’ rights, which was adopted on July 27, 1981, in Banjul, protects the right to self-determination.

The session continued with the participants aired their views on indigenous peoples vis-a’-vis their rights of self-determination in Nigeria. Some opted for “unbundling” of Nigeria, noting specific contradictions and tensions in the evolution and operation of the Nigerian federal system, and inadequate recognition of the country’s ethnic configuration in the territorial organization of the federation, with attendant alienation of some indigenous peoples and politico-economic marginalization. While others advocated for restructuring of the country, saying, “it will put the nation in the right footing, and enshrine equity, fairness and justice in administration of the country.”

Continuing, the participants called on the federal, state and local governments to take the lead in raising awareness on the rights of indigenous peoples and ensure such rights are duly protected. They charged the Nigerian government to respect the indigenous peoples’ right to self-determination, even as they admonished the governments to stop criminalizing self-determination advocacies by activists and indigenous peoples.

The participants commended Comrade Rex Anighoro for his uncommon commitment to promoting and protecting the rights of citizens, urging him to continue his good work. They  described him as a shining light in the Government of Delta State.

They wondered why the President Muhammadu Buhari led federal government did not issue a statement on the global event, noting that no event was held by the Nigerian government in commemoration of the International day of Indigenous Peoples. They praised the Delta State Governor Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa for recognizing the day through the office of the Senior Special Assistant on Civic Engagement and Civil Society.

Among the participants were Hon. Aroloye Brown Ibisime, Barr Innocent Akpotedja Adjenughure, Comrade Phils Thomas, Elder Emmanuel Anderson Ogan, Citizen Otas Elum, Comrade Emeka Nwokocha, Comrade Tagbarha Malcolm, Activist Egbo Festus, Comrade Sobebo Princewill, Citizen Ochuko Jude O’Ruemu, Comrade Ogbe Collins, Dr. Eris Jewo – Ibi, Activist Izobo John, Activist Ambrose Mine Egbe, Comrade Dafese Godswill, Comrade Edwin T. Uje Prince Elvis Oharisi, Comrade Sane E. Peter Darah, Comrade Ibebe Rufus Akpobome, Citizen Edijana Omote Anighoro, Comrade Ese Kelly Omaminiovo, Mrs Helen Dike, Comrade Osademe Otuyene Joseph and more.



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