1999 Constitution is Nigeria’s death certificate comment: Join forces, NINAS urges Bakare

The Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-determination (NINAS) has counselled the Senior Pastor of the Citadel Global Church, Tunde Bakare, to join forces with its well thought out template and recommendations for decommissioning the military-era imposed “1999 Constitution,” rather than reinvent the wheel.

LNC and NINAS Co-Convener Tony Nnadi, ESQ, speaking during a news conference organized by NINAS to push home its demands.

The advice was necessitated by a comment from Pastor Tunde Bakare on Sunday, in which he declared that the 1999 Constitution was “Nigeria’s death certificate” that should be torn down by the Federal Government to address concerns persistently raised by stakeholders regarding the pitfalls of the document.

Pastor Bakare, who was Buhari’s running mate under the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) ticket in 2011 presidential election, said rather than waste time organising the 2023 general elections, President Muhammadu Buhari should first “tear down the 1999 Constitution” as it would no longer matter what part of the country a new president emerges.

NINAS alliance partners have been at the forefront of an organised campaign for terminating the operation of the disputed 1999 constitution, describing it as a “military document” that is “lacking in general consensus and democratic authority.”

NINAS had set out a clear and orderly framework for the decommissioning of the document and invited Pastor Bakare to identify with its existing framework, the NINAS Secretariat stated through Tony Nnadi on Sunday, October 10, 2021.

Enquiries from members of the public concerning the call by Pastor Tunde Bakare on President Muhammadu Buhari to tear down the 1999 Constitution, which Bakare described as a “Glorified Death Certificate,” informed its position.

The NINAS Secretariat said it therefore advises the “politician-cleric” to align his efforts with the “clear framework” already provided by NINAS for the “orderly decommissioning of the disputed 1999 Constitution instead of reinventing the wheel.”

NINAS had outlined in a Constitutional Force Majeure Proclamation on December 16, 2020, a five-point demand by which the 1999 Constitution could be decommissioned through an orderly transitioning process.

The Demands are as follows:

(1) 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.

(2) 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.

(3) 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 governed by that Constitution.

(4) 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, distil 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.

(5) 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 a well as the time frame for the transitioning and other ancillary matters.

“With the wide consensus around the flaws of the 1999 Constitution and rapidly deteriorating Nigerian situation, it is no longer enough to make fiery assertions against the 1999 Constitution.

“There is now an urgent need to put a timeframe to the jettisoning of that Constitution, and it is for this reason NINAS would invite Pastor Bakare and all other persons who agree on the urgent need to ease out the 1999 Constitution to embrace the NINAS propositions which include the immediate deferment of further national elections (2023) for the purpose of the long-awaited fundamental reconfiguration of the damaged constitutional basis of Nigeria,” NINAS further stated.