Southern, Middle Belt Leaders Give Terms For Continued Stay In Nigeria

18/03/2021 48 Views

Leaders of Southern Nigeria and Middle-Belt, under the aegis of Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination (NINAS), Wednesday, set modalities to extricate their people from what they described as the “contraption called Nigeria.”

At a world press conference at New Bodija, Ibadan, Oyo State, Chairman of NINAS, Prof. Banji Akintoye, and other leaders of the group, comprised of indigenous nations and people of southern and Middle-Belt of Nigeria, complained of injustice in the country and contradictions in the polity and 1999 Cotermsnstitution.

The press conference was organised at the expiration of a 90-day notice of grave constitutional grievances Issued by NINAS to the Federal Government on December 16, 2020.

Other leaders of the group who participated in the event include Tony Nnadi (Secretary), Prof. Mayowa Ogedengbe, and Chief Sunday Adeyemo (a.k.a Sunday Igboho).

Akintoye said: “As the distressed federation of Nigeria continues to wobble through what seems its terminal throes, it will be recalled that NINAS, aggregating the indigenous nations and peoples of southern and Middle- Belt of Nigeria, who have found themselves at the receiving end of a most vicious ethnic cleansing onslaught by heavily-armed invading Fulani militia, masquerading as ‘herdsmen’, formally declared a dispute with the federation of Nigeria as represented by the Federal Government of Nigeria via the constitutional force majure proclamation of December 16, 2020, in which it made a five-point demand upon the Federal Government of Nigeria to formally commence the remediation of the grave constitutional grievances enumerated in the said proclamation, within a period of 90 days beginning from midnight of December 16, 2020.

“The full text of the December 16 proclamation was published unedited as an advertorial in the January 20, 2021 edition of The Guardian on pages 38, 39, 40, and 41. Hard copies of the proclamation were also dispatched to the President of Nigeria, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, President of the Senate, Speaker of House of Representatives, Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Conference of Speakers of State Assemblies, United Nations (UN), European Union (EU) and AU missions in Nigeria, ambassadors of United States, China, Russia, France, Germany, Belgium, and Japan to Nigeria; High Commissioners of the United Kingdom and Australia to Nigeria, ECOWAS Secretariat and other stakeholder institutions.

“We report to you now that at the expiration of the 90-day notice by the midnight of March 16, 2021, no formal contact was made with NINAS by the Federal Government of Nigeria and so we are gathered here today March 17, 2021, to inform our people, as well as the international community, what our next steps will be in our resolve to extricate ourselves from the death-trap and bondage unitary Nigeria has become for our various peoples.

“In refusing to step forward to the table of dialogue and in the characteristic arrogant disposition of the Federal Government of Nigeria, we call your attention to several knee-jerk, patch-work and bad-faith options the Federal Government of Nigeria chose to pursue in the desperation to once again evade the sovereignty question it had been evading since 1967, instead of embracing the comprehensive framework tabled by NINAS via the December 16, 2020 proclamation”.

Akintoye said NINAS interpreted the attempt to railroad the resolution of the grave constitutional grievances to the National Assembly as “a clear evasion of the fundamental sovereignty question relating to the deep distortions in our union agreement (Constitution) which must now be engaged by the constituent components of Nigeria whose sovereignties are currently hijacked and confiscated by the Nigerian state via the fraudulent 1999 Constitution.”

According to Akintoye, “This interpretation stems from the fact that the National Assembly, which itself, is a product of that constitution, had, a few months ago, acknowledged that it has no constitution-making powers as that power vests exclusively in the constituent component nationalities of Nigeria as an incident of their sovereignty.”

NINAS said it would amount to treason for the National Assembly or the executive arm of government to continue to “usurp the sovereignty of the peoples of Nigeria confiscated by the fraudulent 1999 Constitution which is already repudiated and rejected by the peoples of Nigeria, especially in the alliance territories as represented by NINAS.”

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