…Says Buhari Has Disdain for Agitation Demanding Restoration to Federal Constitutional Governance The National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), says it plans to approach the United Nations, European Union and the international community to “assist the entrapped ethnic nationalities to regain their fundamental human rights, freedom, human dignity and right to self-determination enshrined in global laws and
…Says Buhari Has Disdain for Agitation Demanding Restoration to Federal Constitutional Governance
The National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), says it plans to approach the United Nations, European Union and the international community to “assist the entrapped ethnic nationalities to regain their fundamental human rights, freedom, human dignity and right to self-determination enshrined in global laws and protocols.”
The coalition says the move became necessary because President Muhammadu Buhari has turned down all entreaties to convene a conference of all ethnic groups that make up the country.
Buhari has asked all groups complaining about marginalisation to seek solace at the National Assembly that is presently embarking on amendments of different sections of the 1999 Constitution that many say is a document imposed on the citizenry by the Military.
“In responding to the challenges that this period imposes on us, Government also recognises the need to acknowledge notions of marginalisation and agitations for constitutional amendments among various segments of our population.
“While this government is not averse to constitutional reform as part of our nation building process, everyone must understand that the primary responsibility for constitutional amendments lies with the National Assembly.
“This body which, as I said, is the arm of government responsible for constitutional changes has concluded the preliminary stages of amending and improving our constitution in a way that the majority of Nigerians will be happy with.
“Government is, however, willing to play a critical role in the constitutional amendment process without usurping the powers of the National Assembly in this regard,” he says.
Restating his avowed commitment to “the corporate existence of Nigeria, Buhari maintains that, “As your President, I remain ever committed to upholding and defending Nigeria’s Corporate existence.”
A communiqué read by its leader, Mr Ayo Opadokun after its national dialogue on June 12, 2021, entitled, “Return to federalism to save Nigeria” says that “NADECO hereby puts President Buhari on notice that since he has rejected all appeals to convey a Conference of Ethnic Nationalities who were the building blocks upon which Nigeria was constructed in 1960, to discuss and produce an autochthonous constitution, and since there is no independent institution where Nigerians can seek redress and resolution of Nigerian crisis because the Nigerian State has overbearing control over all public institutions, we shall be transmitting our open letter to President Buhari to other international community.”
The group says, “it would transmit copies of its proposed open letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations Organisation (UNO), Security Council of the UNO, President of the United States of America, Speaker of the Congress and Leader of the Senate of the United States of America, European Union and European Parliament, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and the House of Commons, President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and President of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs of Nigeria.”
NADECO also hinges insecurity and other raging crises in Nigeria on the alleged failure of President Buhari to implement his campaign “promises to restore the country to federal constitutional governance if voted into office”.
Floated by pro-democracy activists in 1994 for the actualisation of Mr Moshood Ksshimawo Olawale Abiola’s mandate and restoration of democracy, the coalition says the continuous operation of the 1999 Constitution, which NADECO described as a “fake document” imposed by the Military, would lead the country into precipice.
While calling for the adoption of the 1960 Independence Constitution, Opadokun says: “It has been proven by deliberate actions or inactions of President Buhari and his government that they made false promises that they did not intend to execute.”
NADECO noted further: “The El-Rufai Committee’s Report, which itself could never solve the National Question has been kept in the shelve for about three years now to prove that the undertaking was a ruse, a gimmick to hoodwink the public to imagine that the government was doing something.
“But President Muhammadu Buhari has insensitively proven his disdain for any agitation and suggestion for restoration to the federal constitutional governance upon which Nigeria secured its independence in 1960.
“It is therefore understandable that President Buhari’s so-called three pillars to secure Nigeria, to revamp the economy and to fight corruption have clearly recorded very low achievements because the current centralist and unitarist governance structure remains unsuitable, unsustainable and counterproductive in a heterogeneous geographical and political pace like Nigeria, where the over 350 different ethnic nationalities or group of them have local and international legal and constitutional rights for self-determination to order their lives in accordance with their chosen divergent languages, religions, traditions, cultures, artefacts and folklores etc. of their peoples.”
The pro-democracy group faulted the Federal Government for calling those agitating for a return to the 1960 constitution secessionists while ignoring the 12 Northern states that “adopted Sharia Law in 2001 in utter violation and contempt for chapter 1, part 1 of the 1999 Constitution.
“In other words, the 12 Northern states operating Sharia Law are the real secessionists who are applying sharia law on anyone living in their states by force. For example, there is the enforcement by HISBAR against sale of liquor, yet the sharia states have no moral shame as they collect their share portions from VAT collected on liquor. Christians in most Northern state are being denied the right to build churches to worship,” NADECO added.
The coalition also condemned what it termed “nepotic appointments to senior political, economic, security and intelligence posts” by the Buhari administration, adding that “what is supposed to be the National Security Council is in fact Northern Security Council in violation and utter disregard to part II of the 1999 Constitution.”
“Till date, PMB is the Chairman; Minister of Defence is Maj. Gen. Magashi (Kano) and National Security Adviser, Monguno (Borno). Majority of other key officers are also from the North West and North East. In other words, only people from PMB catchment area can guarantee his national security. And the resultant consequences are there for all Nigerians to see in the gross inefficiencies and inadequacies of Nigeria security architecture.”
NADECO expresses support for the May 11, 2021 declaration by 17 Governors of the southern states demanding for a return to the federal system.
“The mindless, tyrannical and unwise criticism of the Asaba Declaration by the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan and AGF Malami constitute the open declaration of a mindset which regard the South and the Middle Belt as appendages and errand groups that must accept the dictates of their masters. Their reliance on the 1999 Constitution which is a fake document that lied against itself in its preamble “WE THE PEOPLE” when in fact it was a military enactment brought into illegal operation by Decree 24 of 1999 must convince them that they either work with the South to return to 1960 negotiated federal constitution or the component units take the legitimate and legal option of self-determination granted them in the UNO and African Charters on Human Rights Protocols to free themselves from the suffocating enforced cohabitation where other ethnic nationalities are treated as second or third-class citizens. The nepotic appointments to the highest political, economic and security offices to a particular sectional group cannot be tolerated further,” it says.
It reveals that it has resolved to write an open letter to President Buhari “re-informing him that having regard to the unacceptability of the 1999 Constitution which lied against itself, because it was not made by Nigerians, but by a military clique, we formally endorse the Southern Governor’s Asaba Declaration and their various demands.”
NADECO says it will also ask the President to stop his sectional assault on the South, “the original House landowners and the Middle Belt peoples who have decided to take back their rights to self-determination” since the 12 Northern States introduced Shariah Laws in 2001 against sections 1 and 10 of the 1999 Constitution and have implemented it to the detriment of most Nigerians without any repercussion.
“For a Nigerian President to be threatening other sections of the country with dire consequences as was unleashed during the Nigerian Civil War of 1967-1970 is outrageous, unfortunate, unacceptable and unbecoming,” the group notes.
Opadokun also says NADECO endorses “the clarion call made by Gen. T. Y. Danjuma and the Save Our Soul Plea of the Ilana Omo Odua led by Prof. Banji Akintoye asking Nigerians to exercise their rights to self-defence.
“This is particularly so as the Federal Government has failed to fulfil its constitutional responsibility as contained in section 14 (2) (b) of the 1999 Constitution which states that “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government,” the coalition affirms.