June 12: NADECO Mulls foreign support on confab
The group said 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.
A communiqué read by its leader, Chief Ayo Opadokun after its national dialogue on June 12, 2021, entitled, “Return to federalism to save Nigeria” said 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 said, “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 blamed insecurity and other crises bedeviling 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”.
The group which, was formed by pro-democracy activists in 1994 for the actualisation of Chief M. K. O. Abiola’s mandate and restoration of democracy, said 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 said: “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.
It 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 expressed 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 declared.
It disclosed 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 said it would 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,” it noted.
Opadokun also said that NADECO endorsed “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.”
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