Akintoye, others want referendum to decide secession
• Seek new constitution before 2023 general elections
• Urge political parties to shun submission of candidates for polls
The Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination (NINAS), yesterday, said that it would use lawful means to ensure that the 2023 general elections do not hold unless the government agrees to hold a referendum for aggrieved indigenous nationalities to decide whether they want a federation.
It also urged complete abolition of the current 1999 Constitution is described as an agent of slavery and fraud, promoting injustice, under-development, and impunity in the South and Middle Belt of Nigeria.
The group noted that after the proposed referendum, the people can now decide on the constitution they want for themselves in their separate nations or within the Nigerian federation.
NINAS is the umbrella body of self-determination groups in the South-West, South-South, South-East and Middle Belt with Ilana Omo Oodua under the leadership of a renowned Historian, Prof. Banji Akintoye, representing the South-West and Yorubaland, Lower Niger Congress under the leadership of Tony Nnadi represented the South-South, South-East and Middle-Belt Renaissance Movement under the leadership of Prof. Yusufu Turaki representing the Middle Belt.
Also, at a world press briefing in Lagos, yesterday, NINAS appealed to political parties to save Nigerians from slavery by refusing to submit candidates for the 2023 general elections to halt the 1999 Constitution being used to renew the woes currently battling Nigeria on all fronts.
The group also urged the people of South and Middle Belt of Nigeria living in the United States (U.S.), Canada and Europe to troop out in solidarity with their oppressed people in the homeland to participate in the one million march being organised to hold in front of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) commencing from September 14-24, in New York, U.S.
Leaders at the briefing held physically and virtually were Akintoye, Yusufu Turaki, Wale Adeniran, Dr. Rotimi Olokodana, Tony Nnadi, Otunba Folashade Olukoya, Don Pedro Obaseki, Mr. Ogbo Awoke, Mr. Maxwell Adeleye, Jean Onaguluchi and others.
Part of the text of the press conference delivered by Pedro Obaseki on behalf of Akintoye and others read in part: “It is no longer a matter for debate that elections are the mechanism by which the life of the 1999 Constitution is renewed once every four years.
“It follows, therefore, that those who are tormented by that constitution but who nevertheless accept to go to another round of national elections under that constitution are the ones renewing and reinforcing their own damnation, bondage and enslavement.
“It is now, therefore, a matter of choice whether we want to renew the source of our miseries once again in 2023 or we want to Free Ourselves by Rejecting NOW (inside 2021), the Invitation to join in the Preparation for another round of National Elections in 2023. These Cycles of Renewal must be Broken if we Must Be Free.
“On the other hand, If we halt the Voyage to 2023 inside 2021, the 1999 Constitution will lose its life inside 2021, and we will immediately get into a transitioning and therefore on the way to regional referendum for self-determination. This is the safe route to freedom for all constituent blocs that are fed up with the toxic Nigerian union.”