The Citizens of Kingdoms and City States (COKACS) has emerged to champion the cause of indigenous kingdoms and city states that existed before the creation of colonial states and countries by invading European nations in the 19th century.
Addressing a world press conference at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) press centre, the Shepherd of the group, Elder Kalada Jene, said after decades of research and consultations with leaders of ethnic nationalities, the organization was formed in line with the spirit of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.
He said these rights, which are also recognized by the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, are supposed to be enjoyed by all ethnic nationalities and kingdoms in the whole of Africa before the “forceful balkanization by imperial masters” for economic and socio-political interests without due consultation with the indigenous people.
Elder Jene, who was supported by the full compliments of the leadership of the organization drawn from all over Nigeria, said the suppression of the rights of indigenous people is responsible for conflicts and sometimes full blown wars in the world today.
“Indigenous people have rights to self-determination. By virtue of that right, they can freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development,” Elder Jene said.
He disclosed that CKACS had come as a mass movement to mobilize the founding ethnic nationalities in the regions and the Diaspora to realize fully their natural potential and respect for their freedom and identities.
This he said they would do “knowing that the indigenous peoples have the right to practice and revitalise their cultural tradition and customs, including the right to maintain, protect and develop the past, present, and future manifestations of their cultures such as archeological sites, artifacts, designs, ceremonies etc as outlined in Article II of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”
Jene said COKACS, which is still reaching out to traditional rulers and other stakeholders in the indigenous kingdoms and city states will carry out its activities with diplomacy and other nonviolent methods.