Indigenous Nationalities of the Southern and Middle Belt Territories of Nigeria have given the Federal Government of Nigeria, in a joint proclamation, a 90-day ultimatum to begin a transitioning process for an orderly reconfiguration of the constitutional basis of the country’s federation.
Below is the full text of the proclamation which was monitored live via zoom by our editorial team.
NOTICE OF CONSTITUTIONAL GRIEVANCES, DECLARATION OF CONSTITUTIONAL FORCE MAJEURE AND DEMAND FOR TRANSITIONING
PROCESS FOR AN ORDERLY RECONFIGURATION OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL BASIS OF THE FEDERATION OF NIGERIA
(Being the Joint Proclamation of a Sovereignty Dispute by Accredited Delegates of Nigerian
Indigenous Nationalities of the Southern and Middle Belt Territories of Nigeria,
Issued This 16th Day of December 2020 in Lagos).
This Proclamation is Titled:
CORRECTING THE MISTAKE OF 1914
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press.
(1) As the Distressed Federation of Nigeria wobbles in what seems it’s Terminal Throes; As Young Nigerians Rise up Massively in Revolt against System that Ruin their Present and Compromise their Future and as Bloody Conflicts rage in all parts of Nigeria in disputation of the Terms of the Distressed Nigerian Union; and As Concerns mount in the International Community, first, regarding the shaky Future of the Troubled Nigerian Federation, and second, the impact of a possible disorderly Dissolution of Nigeria over the West African Sub-Region, the rest of Africa and indeed the World.
We gather here this day as Accredited Delegates of the Constituent Component Nationalities of Nigeria, under the aegis of: “Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination”, being a Joint-Cooperation Framework for the Self-Determination Initiatives of the Southern and Middle-Belt of Nigeria on behalf of our Various Peoples and Interests, to Pronounce an end to our toleration of Nigeria’s Unitary Constitutional Order, Unilaterally Imposed and Forcefully Maintained by a Section of the Nigerian Country, in negation of the Federal Basis Upon which Nigeria became one Political Union at Independence in 1960 and in brutal Subjugation of our Collective Sovereignties currently being Forcefully and Fraudulently appropriated by the Nigerian State.
We gather here today before the Global Community, to Formally Proclaim a Sovereignty Dispute in Rejection of the Further Operation of the Imposed, Unity Constitutional Arrangements of Nigeria and in Assertion of our Inalienable Right to Self-Determination.
(2) The History of the Colonial beginnings of Nigeria as a Commercial Venture of Britain is too well-known to admit of any further repetitions here but suffice it to recall:
(i) That the manipulations that went into the Flawed Foundations laid by the British in the 1914 Amalgamation of the Protectorates of Southern Nigeria with the Protectorate of Northern Nigeria, (as revealed in recently Declassified British Colonial Records on Nigeria), created a lopsided Union, locking the Diverse Peoples of Nigeria into one Political Union with two mortally opposed Civilizations.;
(ii) That as Independence approached in 1960, the Diversities of the Various Peoples of the Nigerian Union Dictated the Adoption of the Federal Constitutional Model by the then three largely Autonomous Regions, (namely Eastern, Western and Northern Regions of Nigeria) as the Basis of entering Into Independence as one Political Union in 1960.
(iii) That amidst the early strains of Post-Independence Nigeria arising mainly from the aforementioned Foundational and Pre-Independence manipulations by the British Colonial Rulers of the Nigerian Union, the Military Coups of 1966 Truncated the Federal Constitutional Basis of Nigeria and plunged the fledgling Union into a catastrophic 30-Month War with it’s Breakaway Eastern Region between 1967 and 1970, triggered by disputations around the Terms of the Nigerian Union and leaving in its trail, human carnage in excess of 3 million People and a fractured Union now resting on an Unworkable Unitary Constitutional Order Imposed in 1979, by the Fiat of the illicit “Federal Government” which emerged since the 1966 Collapse of the Federation of Nigeria, Forcefully Hijacking and Confiscating the Sovereignties of the Constituent Component Regions of Nigeria that Federated their Sovereignties in 1960.
(iv) That the Prevailing 1999 Constitution of Nigeria which was a wholesale adoption of the 1979 edition via Decree No.24 of 1999, revalidated and reinforced the aforementioned Hijack and Confiscation of the Sovereignties, Powers and Assets of the Four Erstwhile Federating Regions by the aforementioned Illicit “Federal Government of Nigeria” which by Decrees, fractured the Four Regions into 36 States, that are completely emasculated by a 68-Item Federal Exclusive Legislative List that Comprehensively strip the “Federating” States of All Key Economic Assets and Governmental Powers, thereby creating a totally dysfunctional, Corruption-Prone, Over-Centralized System that has failed in every respect, manifesting in Gross Insecurity, Decayed Infrastructure and Mass Impoverishment such that Nigeria, with its Vast Human and Material Resource Endowments, has now emerged as the Poverty Capital of the World as well as the Global Leading Example of a Failed State.
(v) There is a Countrywide Consensus against the Unitary Constitutional Arrangements Imposed incrementally on Nigeria by a combination of Guile, Brute Force and Impunity between 1966 and 1999 now codified by the 1999 Constitution. This Countrywide Consensus had manifested in Several Unilateral Regional and Joint Multi-Regional Actions in Repudiation and Rejection of the
Unitary 1999 Constitution of Nigeria:
(a) The first indication was when in year 2000, the 12 Contiguous States of the Far North, Simultaneously Imposed and began to implement Sharia in their Domains against the express provision of the 1999 Constitution which in Section 10, forbids the Adoption of any State Religion. This Translates to a Unilateral Secession from the Secular Union of Nigeria.
(b) Between 2005 and 2006, a Sovereign Conference of the Ethnic Nationalities of Nigeria, Convened by the Pro-National Conference Organizations (PRONACO), Deliberated exhaustively and produced A Draft Peoples’ Constitution 2006 which had the Potential of restoring Nigeria to it’s damaged Federal Foundations. Though Ignored by successive Federal Governments in Nigeria, that Draft became the New Federating Consensus against the Prevailing Unitary Constitutional Order in Nigeria. It will be recalled that prior to the 1999 return to Civil Rule in Nigeria and before PRONACO, there was NADECO which vigorously challenged both the aberration of Military Governance in Nigeria and Nigeria’s Unitarized Federalism imposed by Military Decrees.
(c) As a way of easing out the Rejected Unitary Constitutional Order and paving the way for the emergence of a New Federating Consensus, the Conveners of PRONACO, aggregating under the aegis of the Movement for New Nigeria, MNN, (being an Alliance of the Regional Self-Determination Initiatives of the South and the Middle Belt Territories of Nigeria, hereinafter called “the Alliance”), in May of 2007, instituted a Lawsuit at the Federal High Court in Abuja, challenging the Legitimacy of the 1999 Constitution on the Grounds of Fraud and Forgery and sought an Order of Court for the Termination of the Operation of the 1999 Constitution via an 18-Month Transitioning Arrangement.
(d) The MNN Alliance by it’s MNN LAGOS DECLARATION OF JUNE 30, 2011
(http://goo.gl/dLVIHR ) Jointly Repudiated the 1999 Constitution as the Basis of the Nigerian Federation and Mandated the Alliance Blocs to Distill their various Regional Charters and Constitutional Drafts in readiness for the Inevitable Fundamental Reconfiguration of the Distressed Nigerian Federation, to be Ratified by Referendums and Plebiscites. We hereby adopt and incorporate the said MNN LAGOS DECLARATION OF JUNE 30, 2011 in support of this Proclamation.