Leadership (Abuja)

Nigeria: Igbos in U.S. Back Bar Association Call to Review ICJ Judgment On Bakassi

The World Igbo Congress (WIC) says it will support the Nigeria Bar Association's (NBA) call for appeal of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) judgment on the Bakassi Peninsula.

NBA had in a communiqué issued at the end of its 52nd annual conference in Abuja recently called for a review of the 2002 judgment on the Peninsula.

The Hague Court had described its Judgment as final, without appeal and binding for the parties - Nigeria and Cameroon.

WIC in a communiqué at the end of its 18th Annual Convention in Orlando Florida, made available to journalists in New York today noted that the ICJ judgment detached the Bakassi indigenes from their kith and kin in Cross River State.

The group also said that the judgment exposed the people of Bakassi to irreversible harm.

According to them, the overall objective of the convention was to leverage the resources of the WIC in the restoration of Igbo dignity worldwide.

The communiqué was signed by Chief Joe Eto, WIC Chairman, Chief Cyril Nwaguru, Secretary-General, Dr. Anthony Ejiofor, Executive Director and Dr Acho Orabuchi, Media Director.

The communique noted that Igbo unity should be pursued as a primary objective to ensure oneness and success in the pursuit and protection of Igbo interests within Nigeria and elsewhere in the world.

According to the group, the Ohaneze Ndi Igbo should be recognised and respected by all Igbo as the Igbo mouth-piece, and that it should not be undermined by individuals, or Igbo state leaders on national issues which are of interest to the Igbos.

They, however, directed that all Igbos worldwide would fund the Ohaneze Ndi Igbo, stressing that Igbos should co-operate with their neighbours, especially their kith and kin in their contiguous homeland.

The group also urged Igbos to actively pursue sustainable regional cohesion and search for power as a means of righting the wrongs in Nigeria as presently constituted.

"WIC will seek Private, Public Partnership in her quest for immediate and successful establishment of a Regional Medical Centre of Excellence (RMCE) anywhere in Igbo homeland to provide healthcare delivery of international standards to our people.

"And mitigate the avoidable runaway and often unsuccessful and untenable ferreting of terminally-ill Igbo to opportunistic foreign entities.

"It was agreed that the first Igbo state to offer 50 hectares of land and a minimum of 5 per cent of the estimated 150 million dollar cost for a 120 bed hospital will be the location of the RMCE," the group stated.

WIC added that a committee would be empanelled to look into underlining factors leading to the high erosion of Igbo cultural values, loss of interest in agricultural practice and production as well as the flight of manufacturing jobs in Igbo homeland.

It explained that the committee would recommend ways and means to mitigate the cogs and revive the imperative tools to Igbo advancement.

WIC demanded that the Late Odumegwu Ojukwu be immortalised through institutional projects such as a library, a museum and incorporation into the curriculum of schools in Igbo areas.

"It was further resolved to educate Igbo families on the impact of violence on the families and the Igbo society.

"This effort is being championed by the WIC Committee on Women and Family which is already making waves in the UN-promoted radio talk show," the group added.

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