- The federal government of Nigeria has been asked to ensure the country gets a fresh constitution before the conduct of the 2023 general election
- NINAS, which gave the advice, said that the only solution to Nigeria's myriad problems is to jettison the 1999 constitution
- The group, however, noted that the country would continue to be in crisis if the next general election is conducted without a new constitution
Ikeja, Lagos - The Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination (NINAS) has asked the Nigerian government to decommission the 1999 constitution in order to pave way for people-oriented law to govern the country before the 2023 general election.
Legit.ng reports that the group, which made this known in Lagos on Sunday, December 19, during a press conference, said most of the problems being faced by Nigeria were caused by the 1999 constitution.
Speaking on behalf of the NINAS board of conveners, Prof. Yusuf Turaki, said the federal government should make a formal announcement acknowledging the constitutional grievances and sovereignty dispute now declared by the peoples of the south and Middle-Belt of Nigeria.
Elective officeholders swear to the 1999 constitution
He noted that there should be a formal announcement by the federal government of Nigeria suspending further general elections under the disputed 1999 constitution, adding that winners of such elections would swear to, and govern by the constitution.
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The group also stated that there should be 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 would at the first stage, distill and ratify their various constitutions by referendums and plebiscite.
Turaki added that there should be 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 authority.
According to the group, the peoples of Nigeria in response to the increasingly loud campaign for self-determination which followed the December 16, 2020, NINAS Constitutional Force Majeure, came out on the streets in pursuit of their right to self-determination.
"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 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.
"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, the decay in infrastructure, or the lack of electricity and mounting tariffs."
The group emphasised that nothing would get better in Nigeria under the current unitary constitutional order no matter who gets to power, saying that the source from which the woes and miseries of Nigeria and Nigerians flow is the 1999 constitution.
NINAS, therefore, said that the life of the 1999 constitution is renewed and reinforced once every four years by general elections, noting that only political parties contest elections in Nigeria as declared by the Supreme Court of Nigeria in a governorship election suit from Rivers state.
Political parties subscribe to 1999 constitution
It also noted that the apex court said that all political parties in Nigeria must subscribe to the 1999 constitution and therefore contest elections under that constitution.
"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 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.
YAF condemns agitation for secession in southwest
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the Yoruba Appraisal Forum (YAF) said it was committed to unity and peace in the country, as it said it is against the lingering agitation for secession in the southwest region.
It was reported that the national coordinator of the YAF, Ayo Animashaun, made this known in a statement on Wednesday, July 21, saying that the Yoruba-dominated region must not be destabilised.
the YAF national coordinator blamed an alleged rise in the crime rate in the southwest on the agitation for secession.