CONSTITUTIONAL FORCE MAJEURE, UNION DISPUTE AND THE EXPIRATION OF THE 90-DAY NOTICE OF GRAVE CONSTITUTIONAL GRIEVANCES: NEXT-STEPS FOR TRAPPED ETHNIC NATIONS OF NIGERIA
(Being the Text of the World Press Conference by the Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination, (NINAS), Delivered by Prof Banji Akintoye at the Expiration of the 90-Day Notice of Grave Constitutional Grievances Issued by NINAS to the Federal Government of Nigeria, December 16, 2020).PROTOCOLS.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press,
1) As the Distressed Federation of Nigeria continues to wobble through what seems its Terminal Throes, it will be recalled that the Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination (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 UNION DISPUTE with the Federation of Nigeria as represented by the Federal Government of Nigeria via the CONSTITUTIONAL FORCE MAJEURE 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 the midnight of December 16, 2020.
2) The full text of the December 16 Proclamation was published unedited as an Advertorial in the January 20, 2021 Edition of the Guardian Newspaper at pages 38, 39, 40 and 41. Hard Copies of the Proclamation were also dispatched to the President of Nigeria, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation of Nigeria, the President of Nigeria’s Senate, the Speaker of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, the Conference of Speakers of State Assemblies, the
UN, EU and AU Missions in Nigeria, the Ambassadors of the United States, China, Russia, France, Germany, Belgium, and Japan to Nigeria; the High Commissioners of the United Kingdom and Australia to Nigeria, ECOWAS Secretariat and a other Stakeholder Institutions.
(3) We Report to you now that at the expiration of the 90-Day Period 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.
(4) In refusing to step forward to the table of Dialogue and in the Characteristic Arrogant Disposition of the Federal Government of Nigeria, we wish to 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 the Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-
Determination, NINAS via the December 16, 2020 Proclamation. In this regard, we note the Emergency Conference anchored by Channels Television and tagged “Pulling Nigeria Back from the Brink” featuring Nasir El-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State (who Chaired the APC Restructuring Committee); Kayode Fayemi, Governor of Ekiti State who is Chairman of Nigerian Governors’ Forum as well as Enyinnaya Abaribe, Senator and Senate Minority Leader.
In their various Presentations at that Conference, they spoke of the Urgency of the Nigerian Situation; they alluded to many of the Grave Constitutional Grievances raised by the NINAS Proclamation but without any direct mention of NINAS or the December 16, 2020 Constitutional Force Majeure Proclamation. In what seemed like an unprecedented Bi-Partisan Consensus and Legislative -Executive Cooperation, they all agreed that immediate Remediation Steps need to be taken forthwith including the return of Niger Delta’s Oil & Gas Assets to its owners, the Decentralization of Policing to allow State and Local Government Police but most curiously, they proposed Urgent Amendments to the 1999 Constitution and the Invocation of the Doctrine of Necessity by the National Assembly to commence the Remediation Processes. NINAS interprets this attempt to railroad the Resolution of the Grave Constitutional Grievances to the National Assembly as a clear-minded 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. 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. It indeed amounts to Treason for the National Assembly or the Executive Branch of the Federal 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.
NINAS also see external collaboration to this Treasonous Conduct of the National Assembly when Groups of individuals craft and Present to the National Assembly, Proposals inviting the National Assembly to embark on the exercise of Writing or Re-Writing the Constitution of Nigeria via Amendments, without the Constituent Component Nationalities first Addressing Sovereignty Dispute. Those external collaborators also talk about inserting a “National Referendum” Provision in the 1999 Constitution at a time the Indigenous Nationalities of Nigeria are Clamouring for Regional Referendums to Determine their Sovereignty. Some talk about Resuscitating the 1963 Constitution (i.e. Constitution-Writing) as the way to go. This also amounts to evading the Sovereignty Discussion. NINAS Unequivocally rejects these Propositions insofar as they would operate to commandeer and railroad our Hijacked Collective Sovereignty to the National Assembly.
There was also a recent suggestion by Nigeria’s Senate President, Lawan, that the assignment of Constitutional roles to Traditional Rulers in Nigeria will solve the broken down Security of Nigeria. These are all parts of begging the Question. We have to ask Mr Senate President why have State Governors who have Constitutional Roles, not resolved the Security Nightmares of Nigeria or even of their States.
In all, it is clear to NINAS that the both Federal Government of Nigeria and the National Assembly of Nigeria, are fully aware of the Grave Constitutional Grievances of the Constituent Component Nationalities of Nigeria, but are unwilling to address the Grievances, thereby inviting upon us all, a dangerous regime of Self-Help, especially against the Hydra-headed Monster of Gross Insecurity running wild all over Nigeria wearing at various times, the Garment of Boko Haram, Fulani Herdsmen, Miyetti Allah or Bandits.
(5) For the benefit of those who may not have read the December 16, 2020 Constitutional Force Majeure Proclamation and for the purpose of putting a contextual backdrop to the Post-Notice Action Outlines that we shall be spelling out today, permit me to Read in Full, the Five Demands of the December 16, 2020 Proclamation, along with the Paragraphs immediately preceding the Demands and the one immediately after it (ie the Closing Paragraph) so that we can better understand the reasoning behind the extraordinary measure of Constitutional Force Majeure as well as the Implications for the Distressed Nigerian Union and various Stakeholders including Government, Political Parties and International Interests, and I quote: “ACCORDINGLY, WE THE UNDERSIGNED, BEING Accredited Representatives of the Indigenous Nationalities of Nigeria’s Southern and Middle-Belt Territories, hereinafter called “the Alliance Territories”, (Constituting over 75% of the Population of Nigeria), on behalf of the Peoples of the Alliance Territories, and in Invocation of the Universal Rights appurtenant to our Sovereignties as Indigenous Peoples of the Distressed Nigerian Federation, including the Right To Self-Determination as enshrined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 2007 as well as the United Nations Charter On Human Rights; HAVING exhausted every Democratic, People-Driven Process in seeking an orderly redress for the aforementioned Grave Constitutional Grievances emanating from the Unilateral Imposition of a Unitary Constitutional Order on our supposed Federal Union by a Section of Nigeria that has also Imposed Sharia in their own Part of our supposed Secular Union; AND NOW in circumstances that have become an extraordinary emergency for our Peoples, being confronted by the Clear and Present danger of Extermination in the hands of our supposed Compatriots in the of Nigeria who are Pursuing an Ethnic Cleansing Campaign against the Indigenous Nationalities of Nigeria HEREBY DECLARE A SOVEREIGNTY DISPUTE with the Federation of Nigeria as represented by Federal Government of Nigeria, on account of our Repudiation and Rejection of the Imposed 1999 Constitution of Nigeria whose authorship was Fraudulently imputed to us by the Preamble to that Constitution in its False Claim that “We the People”, Made, Enacted and Gave To Ourselves the said 1999 Constitution, with a further lie in that same Preamble, that we had Firmly and Solemnly Resolved to submit Our Peoples and Our Lands into the Union of Nigeria.
FURTHERMORE, IN INVOCATION OF OUR LONG-SUPPRESSED COLLECTIVE SOVEREIGNTIES WE HEREBY PROCLAIM A CONSTITUTIONAL FORCE MAJEURE effective from the Midnight of the 16th Day of December 2020, with a 90-Day Notice to the Government of the Federation of Nigeria, the Security Council of the United Nations, the Government of the United States of America, the European Union as well as the International Community, of the Intention of the Peoples of the Alliance Territories to reconsider our Continued Allegiance to the Disputed 1999 Constitution as well as the Unitary Union of Death, Attrition and Backwardness it foists on us.
FOR THE SAKE OF PEACE AND TO AVOID ANARCHY, IT IS OUR DEMAND THAT IN THE 90-DAY PERIOD OF THIS NOTICE, THE FOLLOWING SPECIFIC ACTIONS MUST BE TAKEN BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA TO FIRMLY SET IN MOTION, AN IRREVERSIBLE PROCESS BY WHICH THE AFOREMENTIONED GRAVE CONSTITUTIONAL GRIEVANCES WOULD BE ADDRESSED:
(A) 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.
(B) A Formal Commitment by 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.
(C) 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.
(D) 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.
(E) 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.
BY THIS PROCLAMATION, Let it be known to ALL, including International Money Lenders, that Nigeria is now a Disputed Project and that while the Constituent Components commit to honouring existing International Debt Obligations, WE CAUTION that whatever Obligations that may arise from any Foreign Loans contracted by the Federal Government of Nigeria from the date of this Proclamation may come into controversy. Similarly, all Loans contracted by the Federal Government of Nigeria, containing any
Clause that may Cede the Sovereignty of Nigeria or any part thereof in the event of Repayment Default shall be disputed as illicit, and in breach of the Sovereignty of the Federating Units.
We also invite Politicians from the Alliance Territories and all Political Parties Operating in the Alliance Territories, to TAKE NOTICE, that the 1999 Constitution by which the winner of any National Elections in Nigeria will Swear, and Govern, is the very Object of the Sovereignty Dispute We Have just Proclaimed, with a Demand that Further National Elections premised upon that Repudiated Constitution, be Deferred Forthwith, for the purpose of first Reworking the Damaged Constitutional Basis of Nigeria. It is therefore our Expectation that you will stand with the People you Claim or Seek to Serve as Politicians or Political Parties in their current resolve to Wind up the Operation of the 1999 Constitution and Extinguish the source of their Misery. If instead of standing with your People, you choose to go to another round of General Elections in 2023 under that Constitution, it will simply mean that you are a part of the enemy-imposed Mechanism for Inflicting Death, Misery and Impoverishment upon your own People, for no other reason than Personal Gain.
The Signatories to this Proclamation commit themselves to providing a Detailed Proposition for Undertaking this Fundamental Reconfiguration of
the Damaged Constitutional Basis of Nigeria. In this regard, the Signatories Adopt and Incorporate the MNN Alliance’s November 16, 2018 OPEN MEMORANDUM TO PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI ON THE RESTRUCTURING DEBATE, reported by Guardian of Nov 18, 2018, as an outline of our Prescriptions in this Proclamation.
ISSUED THIS 16thDAY OF December 2020” end of quote.
(6) Before I proceed with the Next-Steps, permit me to make a few clarifications about the Nature and Substance of the Sovereignty Dispute we Declared and about the Exact Remediation Propositions we made:
(i) The Constitutional Force Majeure is a carefully Designed Decisive Action Process that will continue until it achieves its Twin Objectives of Peacefully Easing out the Imposed Fraudulent 1999 Constitution of Nigeria and the Orderly Emergence of Successor-Constitutional Protocols, in keeping with the Self-Determination Rights of the Constituent Component Ethnic Nations of the Distressed Federation of Nigeria. It is therefore not a one day Armageddon in which the roof of heaven will fall upon the earth as being Speculated by some commentators, whether out of ignorance or mischief.
(ii) The 90-Day Period of Notice was for the Federal Government to Fully Consider the Grievances Raised and to Bring Itself to the Table of Dialogue set up by the Aggrieved Constituent Components of Nigeria. In that Period, NINAS persuaded the Peoples of the Alliance Blocs to refrain from any acts that might aggravate the volatile situation of Nigeria even in the face of severe provocations such as when amidst much killings across Nigeria, the Governor of Bauchi State Bala Muhammed, recklessly Declared that the Murderous Fulani Herdsmen rampaging everywhere in Nigeria, had the right to be in every part of Nigeria they choose and to carry AK-47 Automatic Riffles.
This means that after the 90- Day Period of Notice, the Peoples of Nigeria as aggregated in the Alliance will Proceed with various Processes towards achieving the Objectives of December 16, 2020, Proclamation, namely, the easing out of the Fraudulent 1999 Constitution and the Distillation of Successor-Constitutional0Protocols.
(iii) The Next Line of Action expressly indicated by NINAS in its Proclamation is that of Reconsideration of its Continued Allegiance to the 1999 Constitution. It is important to state here that the exact Processes by which this Reconsideration will be enacted shall be communicated to the Public in Measured Steps as the days progress and so NINAS hereby invites all Stakeholders to be on the Lookout for Directions, every care is taken to avoid Anarchy or any kind of Breakdown of Order.
(iv) Building upon the Formal Repudiation of the 1999 Constitution by the Constituent Components of Nigeria including by Solemn Assemblies over the last 20 years, the Joint Proclamation of December 16, 2020, by NINAS was to Serve NOTICE of the Impending Formal Withdrawal of the
Contrived Consent (Forged Signature) of the Peoples of Nigeria by which the 1999 Constitution is being sustained and validated as Basis of the Nigerian Union and it’s Governance.
The Press Conference of today is to commence the retirement process of the 1999 Constitution in a manner that restores the Hijacked Sovereignties of the Constituent Components of Nigeria from which they may freely enter into Fresh Protocols, all through a Transitioning Process that retains Existing Governance Structures throughout the Transitioning Period as South Africa did to ease itself out of the Apartheid Constitutional Order.
(7) NOW TO THE NEXT-STEPS:
(i) After Due Consultations with Stakeholders; Bearing in mind that the Five-Point Demand Contained in the December 16, 2020 Proclamation was addressed to Federal Government of Nigeria, and Considering the fact that in the event that matters progress to the Reconsideration of Allegiance to the 1999 Constitution, Political Office Holders from the Alliance Territories who will be directly impacted, may be caught in the middle of a Dispute to which they have not been made parties, NINAS, therefore, deems it appropriate and necessary to first bring in such persons that may be so impacted, into the Dispute before further steps. ACCORDINGLY, NINAS Hereby Invites All Elected Political Office Holders from the Alliance Territory for Consultations with Stakeholders in their Respective Home Regions within a Period of 30 Days Commencing from the Midnight of March 17, 2021. Appropriate Communications Channels shall be used to Formally extend the Invitations to affected persons and such details as Modalities, Dates, Time, and Venue shall be Communicated along with the Invitations.
(ii) In the aforementioned 30-Day Period of Consultations, NINAS enjoins the Peoples of the Alliance Territories, particularly the younger generation, home and abroad, whose Future have been badly compromised by the Nigerian State, to intensify the enlightenment about the December 16, 2020, Constitutional Force Majeure Proclamation amongst the Populace, with a view to mobilizing the Local Populace towards the inevitable engagement with Political Parties and Political Merchants from their Localities, who for humongous personal gains, cling tenaciously to the 1999 Constitution, and even planning to partake in further National Elections in 2023 under that Constitution at a time when the People they claim to Lead and Represent are struggling to ease out the same 1999 Constitution from which all their miseries flow, (including Killings, Gross Insecurity and Mass Impoverishment) and which make them Slaves In their Homeland. The Political Parties must now be persuaded to Close Shop forthwith, albeit Temporarily, until the Constitution(s) by which the Winners of any future Elections (especially 2023) will Govern since all Political Parties in Nigeria operate under the 1999 Constitution and the winners of any Elections must Swear to, and Govern by the 1999 Constitution.
This 30-Day Period of Consultations offers the Federal Government of Nigeria a fresh window of opportunity, beyond the 90 Days Period of Notice that expired March 16, 2021, to bring itself to the table of Dialogue set up by the Constituent Components of Nigeria, by way of the December 16, 2020, NINAS Proclamation.
Being all agreed that no progress is possible for the Peoples of Nigeria under the 1999 Unitary Constitution, we cannot be Proclaiming Restructuring, Resource Control, Rule of Law Security, EndSARS, End Corruption, or even Good Governance and still be warming up to go to another round of General Elections in 2023 that will renew the life of the 1999 Constitution which Guarantees Unitarism, Resource Hijack, Impunity, Insecurity, SARS Killings, Corruption, and Bad Governance.
We must now get honest with ourselves and Turn off the Tap from which these evils flow without further delay. The 1999 Constitution is that Tap.
In Closing Let it be Clearly Understood that in the Face of the Demise of the 1999 Constitution and the rapid progression towards self-help across Nigeria by People who find themselves under the invasion by Murderous, Heavily armed Fulani Militia masquerading as Herdsmen while the Security Agents look the other way, it is only a matter of time for the bloody altercations that are currently building up to explode into the Violent Disintegration of Nigeria with Catastrophic Consequences.
Let it also be understood that the Propositions of the December 16, 2020 Proclamation by the Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self- Determination NINAS, offers Nigeria, Nigerians and the Concerned International Community, the Most Viable, Most Comprehensive and Most Peaceful Framework for Undertaking the Inevitable Fundamental Reconfiguration of the Damaged Constitutional Basis of Nigeria.
As we may all recall, the situation of Nigeria compelled the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Nigeria, Agnes Callamard in a September 2019 visitation, to describe the Constitutional arrangements of Nigeria as “a Pressure Cooker for Injustice”, in circumstances that pose a Threat to Global Security in the event that Nigeria snaps since the most notorious Global Terror Networks including ISIS and Al-Quaeda are already converging in the large swathes of UNGOVERNED spaces Nigeria offers and with frightening prospects of an unprecedented Refugee Crisis for the World should Nigeria come undone. As we sit here today, we are already seeing the beginnings of the flood of Nigerian refugees into the rest of West Africa particularly the Yoruba who are now taking refuge in the Benin Republic.
Now that Sheik Ahmad Gumi has helped us piece together the last pieces of the jigsaw puzzle regarding who the Terrorists tormenting Nigeria are, where they are, what their motives are, what the Nigerian Government and Security Agencies know, and the Ethnoreligious fissures within the Terror Battlefields, NINAS is confident that the illusions of many regarding the Monster we are up against, will be dispersed and more indigenous Nigerians will step forth to embrace the efforts that NINAS has initiated.
Those who insist on Governing Nigeria with the Imposed, Fraudulent and Unworkable 1999 Constitution, as well as those who still aspire to contest further National Elections under that Constitution, should know they are the ones pushing Nigeria towards a Violent Disintegration but the Ethnic Nations Currently Trapped in the Failed Lugardian Experiment of 1914 will do everything Legitimate under appropriate International Instruments to extricate them from the Union of Death, Attrition and Backwardness that Nigeria has become for them. NINAS urge our Various Peoples across the Alliance Territories to remain calm and confident as measured steps are being taken towards ending our Bondage.
For the avoidance of doubt, the NINAS proclamation of constitutional dispute on December 16th 2020 terminated the life of the fraudulent 1999 constitution of Nigeria and therefore restored our sovereignty that was confiscated by that constitution. What we are doing today is to outline the processes and modality for the necessary and orderly transition to our full self-determination and sovereignty in the World therefore we hereby call on the peoples of our alliance territory to rise to the challenge of shaking off the shackles and manacles hitherto imposed on them by the defunct 1999 constitution.
The task before our peoples are as follows:
1.To distill and perfect the documents of their sovereignty namely Map of their Territory and draft constitutions or charters of relationships for multi-ethnic blocks.
2.To embark upon and intensify their effort towards UN-Mandated referendums and plebiscites.
3.In the face of the demise of the 1999 constitution which had been an impediment to the control and management of their territories and resources (Particularly the 68-item exclusive list), the Governors of the State in the Alliance Territory are hereby advised to, in the interim, work as there state assemblies to make necessary Legislative and regulatory arrangement for the effective control and security of their respective territories as a part of the transitioning process to the new order which has been commenced today.
4.As a part of the overall management of the transition process we call on our people to co-operate with our State Governors for the maintenance of Law, Order, Peace and Good Governance.
Thank you for your attention.
PROFESSOR (SENATOR ) BANJI AKINTOYE, CHAIRMAN, NINAS
March 17, 2021.