THE CONSTITUTIONAL FORCE MAJEURE AND A COUNTDOWN TO THE ENTHRONEMENT OF THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE.
(Being the Text of a Stocktaking, Status, and Next-Steps Statement, Presented December 19, 2021, by the Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination, NINAS at a World Press Conference in Lagos, One Year after the December 16, 2020 Activation of the Joint Multi-Regional Constitutional Force Majeure, CFM).
Theme: Terminating the Fraud of 1999
Dear Compatriots and Gentlemen of the Press;
- By a Joint Multi-Regional Constitutional Force Majeure (CFM) Proclamation, the Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination (NINAS) Declared a Union Dispute, on the Ground of Grave Constitutional Grievances, with a Five-Point Demand and a 90-Day Period of Notice to the Government of the Federation of Nigeria, within which Formal Commitments must be made by the Federal Government of Nigeria for the Resolution of those Grave Grievances, Failing which the Peoples of the Alliance Territories may Reconsider the Limited Toleration and Allegiance being extended to 1he Disputed 1999 Constitution. An Online Petition Addressed to the UN Security Council was launched by NINAS to keep the International Community abreast of developments in Nigeria regarding the aforementioned Union Dispute.
- For ease of reference, we reproduce here, the Five-Point Demand of the NINAS CFM, which now stands as the Five-Point Proposition of NINAS to Peoples of Nigeria, currently being pursued vigorously by the Peoples themselves to retrieve their Sovereignty, Hijacked since 1967 by the “Federal Government”:
- A Formal Announcement by the Federal Government of Nigeria acknowledging the Constitutional Grievances and Sovereignty Dispute now Declared by the Peoples of South and Middle-Belt of Nigeria.
- A Formal Commitment by the Federal Government of Nigeria to the wholesale Decommissioning and Jettisoning of the 1999 Constitution as the Basis of the Federation of Nigeria as was done by the Government of Apartheid-Era South Africa in 1990 to commence the process by which the Apartheid Constitution of the then South Africa was eased out.
- A Formal Announcement by the Federal Government of Nigeria suspending further General Elections under the Disputed 1999 Constitution since winners of such Elections will Swear to and Govern by that Constitution.
- A Formal Initiation of a Time-Bound Transitioning Process to midwife the emergence of Fresh Constitutional Protocols by a Two-Stage Process in which the Constituent Regional Blocs will at the first stage, Distill and Ratify their various Constitutions by Referendums and Plebiscites and in the second stage, Negotiate the Terms of Federating afresh as may be dictated by the outcomes of Referendum and Plebiscites.
- A Formal Invitation to the Peoples of the South and Middle-Belt of Nigeria to work out and emplace a Transitional Authority, which shall specify the Modalities for the Transitioning Process including the Composition and Mandate of the Transitional Authority as well as the Time-frame for the Transitioning and other Ancillary Matters.
- At the Expiration of the 90-Day Notice, March 16, 2021, a 30-Day Period of Consultations was extended to the State Governors and other Elected Officials from March 17, 2021, after which another 120-Day Period of Consultations was extended to the Peoples of Nigeria and the Stakeholder-Segment of the International Community from April 17, 2021, concluded August 16, 2021. Thereafter, a Million-Man Freedom March was staged at the UN Headquarters in New York September 14-24, 2021 during the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly.
- The outcome of these Notices and Consultations has been spectacular and successful as they forced to the front-burner, a much more enlightened debate around the agitations for a Grand Reconfiguration of the Damaged Constitutional Foundations of the Distressed Nigerian Federation, producing a Countrywide Consensus against the Unitary Constitution of Nigeria.
- Specifically, the Federal Government of Nigeria, in response to the NINAS CFM, rushed to the National Assembly for Constitution Amendments targeted as some kind of Palliative to the Grievances raised, but the National Assembly, for the first time, confessed it does not possess the constituent powers required to make or remake Constitution for Nigeria.
- Pressured by their People, the Governors of the Southern States decided in their Maiden Meeting in Asaba to pass Anti-Open Grazing Laws by September of 2021 and followed with a decision in another meeting in Lagos to insist on the right of being consulted by the Federal Government ahead of any Military Deployments in their States. Most of the States have since Passed the Anti-Open Grazing Laws, but the Governor of Benue State has taken one more step in signing also a Law under which Local Security Outfits could carry Arms. (NINAS expects that other Governors of the South and Middle-Belt Alliance Territories will follow the courageous example of the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom since the Invading Fulani Militia “Herdsmen” are armed with assault rifles).
- The Peoples of Nigeria, in response to the Increasingly Loud Campaign for Self-Determination, which followed the December 16, 2020, NINAS Constitutional Force Majeure, poured out on the Streets in Pursuit of their Right to Self-Determination, particularly in Yorubaland, taking their Campaign to the Streets of New York, Washington DC, London, and European Cities where Easterners have been clamoring for the same right.
- On the International Circuit, the US did cancel an Order for Attack Helicopters from Nigeria, and China did cancel a $1 Billion Loan on Nigeria in circumstances that indicate that both the US and China were paying close attention to the Union Dispute raging in Nigeria.
It is against the backdrop of these happenings and upon a review of all that has happened since the December 16, 2020 Activation of the Constitutional Force Majeure that we invite you here today to share with you information on the Commencement of the Retirement Processes for the 1999 Constitution, for which we state as follows:
- As Nigeria continues to wobble in the throes of State Failure, writhing in blood, and as the Constituent Components of Nigeria continue their Frantic search for extrication from the bondage of Unitary Nigeria, that has become for them, a Union of Death, Attrition and Backwardness, we invited you here today to Announce to our People and the Concerned International Community, the Success of our December 16, 2020, Constitutional Force Majeure in Precipitating the Countrywide Consensus required for the IMMEDIATE Decommissioning of the Caliphate-Imposed 1999 Unitary Constitution of Nigeria by which we are in bondage in our Homelands and from which all the many Miseries, Woes and Failures of Nigeria and Nigerians Flow.
- Standing on this Countrywide Consensus that now includes practically all the Constituent Ethnic Nationalities of Nigeria, the Federal Government (via the Restructure-to-Reduce-Cost-of-Governance Prescription by the Director-General, Budget Office of the Federation in the presence of his Principal, the President) and the Conservative North (Umar Ghali Na’Abba Obsolete-Constitution Thesis), for the wholesale Jettisoning of the 1999 Constitution, it is therefore with a huge sense of relief that we announce to you today, the Commencement of the Peoples-led Processes for the Orderly Retirement of the 1999 Constitution.
- Still on the Question Consensus amongst the Ethnic Constituent Components of Nigeria on the total Rejection of Master-Servant Union imposed on them by 1999 as well as the Self-Determination Imperative for the Peoples of Nigeria, NINAS, firmly supports the Far-Reaching Decisions on Self-Preservation by the All Ijaw Summit in Yenagoa of December 4, 2021, particularly Resolutions A, B, C, D E & F, relating to Ijaw Rejection of Nigeria’s current Unitary Constitutional Arrangements as well as the Unequivocal Resolve to Pursue and Actualize the Ijaw Inalienable Right to Self-Determination using all Peaceful, Diplomatic and other Non-Violent Tools including Civil-Disobedience.
- Let it be known to the whole world and the operators of the Nigerian State that this Position Clearly Articulated by the Ijaw for themselves in the aforementioned December 4, 2021 Declarations largely apply to and represents the collective Aspiration and Resolve of the rest of the Indigenous Nationalities of Nigeria, particularly in the South and Middle-Belt, now cooperating as NINAS.
- Let it also be known that the purpose of December 16, 2020, Joint Multi-Regional Constitutional Force Majeure Proclamation by the Nigerian Indigenous Alliance for Self-Determination NINAS (Full Text published as Advertorial at Pages 38, 39, 40, and 41 of the January 20, 2021 Edition of the Guardian Newspaper of Nigeria) was to Aggregate the Grave Constitutional Grievances of the Constituent Components of Nigeria, (such as was raised by the All Ijaw Summit in their December 4, 2021, Declaration at Yenagoa) and to Provide a Viable, Time-Bound Framework and Process for an Orderly Resolution of those Grievances, within the Context of the Self-Determination Rights of each of the Nationalities currently trapped in the Failed Lugardian Experiment of 1914.
- It is significant to note that the December 16, 2020 NINAS CFM Proclamation Incorporated and Adopted November 16, 2018, OPEN MEMORANDUM TO PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI ON THE RESTRUCTURING DEBATE written by the NINAS ALLIANCE as a comprehensive articulation of the exact Meaning of “Restructuring”, as well as the Step-by-Step Procedure for Undertaking that inevitable Fundamental Reconfiguration of the damaged Constitutional Basis of Nigeria (Guardian Newspaper of November 18, 2018). We make bold to say that this OPEN MEMO offers the clearest guide for addressing the Grave Constitutional Grievances raging across Nigeria as encapsulated in the Union Dispute raised by the NINAS Constitutional Force Majeure Proclamation, now driving Nigeria to a disorderly collapse.
- As indicated in the 5-Point Proposition by NINAS, the Successor-Constitutional Arrangements dictated by the Self-Determination Right of the Peoples of Nigeria shall be ratified by Referendums and Plebiscites to be undertaken during a Period of Transitioning that would commence from the point at which a Formal Announcement is made, suspending Preparations for Further National Elections under the Repudiated 1999 Constitution.
- As we prepare to commence the Practical Winding-Up Processes for and Orderly Retirement of the 1999 Constitution, let us remind ourselves that everything we currently lament in Nigeria Flows from the 1999 Unitary Constitution, whether it is the killings going on everywhere in Nigeria, the General Insecurity, the seizure of all Economic Assets, including Oil and Gas, the Ports and other Maritime Assets, Solid Minerals, including Gold, the Monumental Corruption we see, Quota System and skewed Opportunities Distribution, the Egregious Impunity constantly on display, the Decay in Infrastructure, the Lack of Electricity and mounting Tariffs, the Broken Down Refineries and the frequent hike in Petroleum Prices; everything flows from the 1999 Constitution, especially the 68-Item Federal Exclusive Legislative List. Also, there is no possibility of the Rule of Law under a Worse-Than-Apartheid 1999 Constitution.
Nothing will get better in Nigeria under this Unitary Constitutional Order, no matter who gets to power.
- Let us also remind ourselves that whether we seek Regional Autonomy, Resource Control or Outright Exit from Nigeria to become an Independent Sovereign State, the first order of business is the Decommissioning and Easing out of the 1999 Constitution, then a Transitioning Process during which Referendums, Plebiscites, and Negotiations for Fresh Protocols will be undertaken as indicated in the NINAS Five-Point Proposition.
NOW TO THE ACTION, WE MUST TAKE TO COMMENCE THE DECOMMISSIONING AND ORDERLY RETIREMENT OF THE 1999 CONSTITUTION
It is no longer a matter for debate:
- That the Source from which the Woes and Miseries of Nigeria and Nigerians Flow are the 1999 Unitary Constitution of Nigeria.
- That the life of the 1999 Constitution is renewed and reinforced once every Four Years by General Elections.
- That only Political Parties Contest Elections in Nigeria as declared by the Supreme Court of Nigeria in a Governorship Election Suit from Rivers State.
- That ALL Political Parties in Nigeria subscribe to the 1999 Constitution and therefore, contest Elections under that Constitution.
This means that whichever party wins the General Elections in Nigeria, the Elected Candidate must as a prerequisite for assuming Office, Swear to, and Govern by the 1999 Constitution. This further means that after each round of Elections, the Constitution and all the Debilitating Structures and Provisions Erected by it, remain intact and so also the Woes of Nigeria and Nigerians, getting only worse.
From the foregoing, it is clear that whoever genuinely seeks to extinguish the Source of the Woes and Miseries of Nigeria and Nigerians must find a way to break this set cycle of periodic Renewal of the Life of the 1999 Constitution by way of Elections.
Unfortunately, on account of the humongous personal financial and other benefits that flow from Political Power in Nigeria, the Political Parties and Political Merchants of Nigeria, who are fully aware of the evils embedded in the 1999 Constitution, choose to be dishonest by constantly grandstanding about changing the lives of the People for better or bringing down paradise for the People if Voted into Power knowing fully that nothing will change for the Masses.
They prefer to take Advantage of the Ignorance of the Masses who despite being the Chief-Victims of the Impoverishment and Deadly Malfeasances of the 1999 Constitution, get easily lured every Four Years by the Political Parties and Political Merchants into Elections under the same 1999 Constitution that simultaneously Guarantees their Damnation as well as the Opulence of the Political Merchants.
The Next Round of Renewal for the Source of our Collective Misery (ie., Elections) is in 2023.
The Action to be Taken to end our Bondage and Misery is to Shut Down the Voyage to any further National Elections under the 1999 Constitution, which merely renews our Bondage.
ACCORDINGLY, Guided by the Five-Point Proposition of the NINAS CFM of December 16, 2020, we must now brace up and prevail on the Political Parties to halt their Preparations for the 2023 Round of National Elections so that the Transitioning Process can Commence instead of wobbling on to another Round of National Elections in 2023 under the 1999 Constitution as Nigeria could snap without further warning having shown all the vital signs of a failed State.
CALL TO ACTION
To Current Political Officeholders in Nigeria, NINAS says that our Campaign is not to get you out of office, nor are we anarchists. That is the reason for the Transitioning Process contained in our Five-Point Proposition under which current Governance Structures will remain in place (on an adjusted basis) for the Period of the Transitioning just as Apartheid-Era South Africa had to do in 1990 to ease itself out of the Quagmire of Apartheid Constitution. We cannot continue to play the role of the Judas Goat, luring our own People to deeper Damnation, Impoverishment, and Slaughter every four years. We could be Statesmen for once even in our enlightened self-interest as the kind of societal collapse staring Nigeria in the face right now will not spare anyone.
To the Media, NINAS says, Nigeria is in Distress and the People are dying in large numbers. The Task of Taking this Redemption Message to the Masses of our People falls squarely on you, just as was the case during the fight for Independence from British Colonial Rule.
To the Religious Leaders in Nigeria, NINAS says: on which side are you in this contestation between Light and Darkness. Where are the Bishop Desmond Tutus in this Land? Ditto for the Lawyers in Nigeria, where do you stand in this Debate that is costing lives and blood?
To the Peoples and Masses of Nigeria, NINAS say: the Prison Gate is open. Let us get up and walk swiftly past it to our Freedom. All we need to do is to firmly tell the Political Parties and Merchants that we shall not go with them to renew our Enslavement yet again in 2023. That choice is one between life and death as failure to stop the vicious cycle only leaves us open to the invasion of those who are on a Mission to Conquer us and who are being enabled by the 1999 Constitution they imposed on us.
To the Young People who enacted the EndSARS Revolution, NINAS says: the Redemption of your Future that is mortgaged by a Country that feeds on its young is in the Five-Point Proposition of the NINAS Constitutional Force Majeure. Join the Task of halting the Voyage to the next renewal of your bondage in 2023. When they ask you to form or join Political Parties to take over power, ask them: “Under Which Constitution?”
Thank you for your attention.
Long Live the Indigenous Peoples of Nigeria.
Issued this 19th Day of December 2021.
NINAS BOARD OF CONVENERS