According to the THE UNITED NATIONS DECLARATION ON THE RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLE, it answers the question: Who are the indigenous People?
The United Nations’ “working definition” of Indigenous Peoples states:
“Indigenous communities, peoples and nations are those which, having a historical continuity with pre-invasion and pre-colonial societies that developed on their territories, consider themselves distinct from other sectors of the societies now prevailing on those territories, or parts of them.
They form at present non-dominant sectors of society and are determined to preserve, develop and transmit to future generations their ancestral territories, and their ethnic identity, as the basis of their continued existence as peoples, in accordance with their own cultural patterns, social
institutions and legal system.”
It also notes that an indigenous person is:
“… one who belongs to these indigenous populations through self-identification as indigenous (group consciousness) and is recognized and accepted by these populations as one of its members (acceptance by the group). This preserves for these communities the sovereign right and power to decide who belongs to them, without external interference.”
According to International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention No. 169, indigenous peoples are descendants of populations “which inhabited a country or geographical region during its conquest or colonization or the establishment of present state boundaries” and “retain some or all of their own social, economic, cultural and political institutions”.
While not providing a definition, the Chairperson-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations has listed the following factors that have been considered relevant to the understanding of the concept of “indigenous”:
(a) Priority in time, with respect to the occupation and use of a specific territory;
(b) The voluntary perpetuation of cultural distinctiveness, which may include the aspects of language, social organization, religion and spiritual values, modes of production, laws and institutions;
(c) Self-identification, as well as recognition by other groups, or by State authorities, as a distinct collectivity; and
(d) An experience of subjugation, marginalization, dispossession, exclusion or discrimination, whether or not these conditions persist.
Based on the aforesaid definition, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) perfectly meets and qualifies 100% with this UN definition and that is why the UN body has already recognized IPOB.
(1). Biafra had a pre-historical continuity dating back even before Nigeria.
(2). Biafra pre-invasion and pre-colonial history and developed on its territories before it was invaded by the British.
(3). Biafra people have always considered themselves distinct from other societies and nations that make up present Nigeria and even before Nigeria was formed in 1914.
(4). Biafra is non-dominant part of the present society called Nigeria.
(5). The Biafran people are determined to preserve, develop and transmit to future generations their ancestral territories, and their ethnic identity, as the basis of their continued existence as peoples.
(6). The Biafran people have cultural patterns, social institutions and legal system that uniquely identify them.