Opinion

Countrywide consensus on Nigerian national question: Imperative of seizing the moment

By Tony Nnadi
Mr. Tony Nnadi, Co-convener of Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-determination (NINAS).

The postulations and prescriptions of the notoriously belligerent, Caliphate-propped “Coalition of Northern Groups” in this BBC Interview bear a striking semblance with the postulations and prescriptions of the December Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-determination (NINAS) Constitutional Force Majeure (CFM) Proclamation to the extent that it agrees:

(1) That as things stand in Nigeria, we have no Union and that it has been pretenses since 1914 and 1960, compounded by the totally unnecessary War of 1967-1970.

(2) That the “1999 constitution” currently holding the union of Nigeria together has been rejected by all sides in the union, along with the unitary union it foists.

(3) That the constitution amendments currently being pursued by the National Assembly of Nigeria is an exercise in futility since it cannot cure the grave constitutional grievances raging all over Nigeria amongst and between the constituent component blocs and that what the Nigerian situation demands right now is an immediate grand renegotiation of the union agreement around a table of dialogue so that we can agree to form a union; and such that we can disperse peacefully if we cannot find common ground enough to carry on as one political union.

(4) That referendums should be used to ascertain the true wishes of the constituent blocs of Nigeria, (not just the Igbo as previously canvased by the same CNG), preferably conducted by the appropriate institutions of the international Community, i.e., the United Nations (UN).

(5) That the urgency of the situation is one in which all pretenses need to be jettisoned forthwith and immediate steps taken to commence the remediation of the deep pains of the aggrieved constituent components of Nigeria to avoid a repeat of the catastrophic implosion of 1966 that precipitated the unfortunate War of 1966-1970.

It is noteworthy that key international stakeholders in the current Nigerian union dispute debate, particularly the US, the EU and the UK had in April 2021, taken a common position on the Nigerian union dispute, pointing Nigeria to exactly the same remediation as the CNG and the NINAS proclamations.

Incidentally, the December 16, 2020 Constitutional Force Majeure Proclamation contains a clear and  comprehensive mechanism for immediately undertaking the remediation prescriptions of the CNG as articulated in this BBC interview and those of the aforementioned key international stakeholder community.

It could therefore be said that there has now emerged, a significant convergence of thoughts amongst the constituent components of Nigeria on the questions and disputes raging around the basis and terms of the distressed Nigerian union.

There is thus, an urgent need to seize the moment in this sudden but rare ray of countrywide consensus on a subject matter that had constantly pushed Nigeria to the brink and the edge of most dangerous precipice.

All that remains now is a formal announcement by the Federal Government of Nigeria, accepting the aforementioned propositions and prescriptions of the December 16, 2020 Joint Multi-Regional Constitutional Force Majeure Proclamation by the Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination (NINAS), the first urgent step being to immediately stand down and jettison ongoing preparations for another round of National Elections in 2023 in order to commence the remediation process upon which all sides now agree.

Here is the link to the aforementioned BBC interview with the spokesman of the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG).

Written by NINAS Co-convener Tony Nnadi on behalf of the Alliance with the titled: “The imperative of seizing the moment in the sudden emergence of a rare countrywide consensus on the hitherto intractable Nigerian National Question.”

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