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South, Middle Belt seek transition plan ahead of 2019 polls

By Seye Olumide
12 December 2018   |   4:17 am
The Nigeria Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination (NINA) yesterday proposed a transitional arrangement to replace the 1999 unitary...

The Nigeria Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination (NINA) yesterday proposed a transitional arrangement to replace the 1999 unitary constitution and a postponement of the 2019 elections.

The group, which comprises Southern and Middle Belt representatives, also advocated immediate review of the country’s constitution.

Speaking at a media briefing in Lagos yesterday, George Akinola of the Yoruba Liberation Command (YLC) who represented other ethnic nationalities, said: “We Demand that instead of next year’s general elections, a transitional arrangement be immediately instituted to peacefully ease out the unitary constitution.

“A body with constituent powers should also be instituted to midwife the emergence of constitutional arrangements in line with preferences of the country’s ethnic nationalities to be ascertained by referendum.”

It urged politicians from the South and the Middle Belt to choose between the people they claim to lead, who have rejected the 1999 Constitution and the 2019 elections or stand with their representatives, who are insisting on preserving the 1999 Constitution, which has enslaved and impoverished Nigerians.

The group said having watched the rudderless ship called Nigeria sailing into deeper troubled waters, it concluded that the country is not the consensual project of its component nationalities.

It disclosed that a recently declassified secret colonial records, confirmed the heavy manipulations by the British to create a lopsided union in which what was packaged as ‘independence’ in 1960 was, for the Southern and Middle Belt, a mere transition from British colonialism to colonialism of an internal caliphate.

It also faulted the military coup of 1966, which it said, truncated the federal model of the country, saying the current inverted federalism is responsible for the failure of the Nigerian project in all its ramifications.

The group lamented that Nigeria’s failure had been manifesting in corruption, decayed infrastructure, gross insecurity, mass poverty and hopelessness, all of which have plunged the country on the global podium as a case study of a failed state.

Other groups represented are Itsekiri Nation led by Dr. Fred Agbeyegbe; Comrade Shuaibu Abalaka of Igala Nation; Dr. Uduma Idiaka of Biafra Coalition and Tony Nnadi, among others.