By Tony Nnadi
“The Federation of Nigeria has Broken Down completely and is now on the verge of Breaking Up Violently if urgent steps are not taken to wheel the Terminally-Sick Country into the Operation Theatre of Restructuring as being Vigorously and Trenchantly Demanded by the Constituent Component Blocs of the Distressed Federation of Nigeria”.
This would be my interpretation of the STATESMANLY alarm recently raised by Nigeria’s Former Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Alexander Ogomudia (Rtd) about what seemed like Nigeria’s downhill plunge into the Valley of Violent Disintegration. Gen Ogomudia raised this alarm over the Weekend while delivering the Keynote Address at a Church Event in Warri, as reported by the Guardian Newspaper of December 1, 2019.
He specifically cautioned against the grave danger posed by the adamant refusal of the Federal Government of Nigeria to yield to the Consensual Countrywide Demand for a Fundamental Reconfiguration of the Damaged Constitutional Basis of Nigeria (ie Restructuring), warning that the situation seem now on the verge of resolving itself by way of a Violent Break-Up of Nigeria.
Unfortunately, the Spokesman of Nigeria’s President, Shehu Garba, (whose designation is Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity) took umbrage at General Ogomudia’s timely Counsel and declared that Nigeria cannot be Restructured by Force, going ahead to lecture the Public that “Nigeria is a Constitutional Democracy and so, changes to the Country’s Structure, System, Policy and Politics, must abide by the norms of Democracy otherwise they would be extra-judicial and therefore unconstitutional”.
He went on to make even more outlandish and outrightly false claims that : “The biggest challenge to Country today is not necessarily from perceived Regional or State Imbalances or Conflicts between the Government at the Center and the States but from the mindsets and Entities rooted in the idea of Violence as a Means of Change”
Nothing can be farther from the Truth.
Regarding the Claim that today’s Nigeria defined by the Imposed Master-Servant Unitary Constitution of 1999, Unless Garba can furnish us with a better Definition of Democracy than the simple one the World knows, being “Government OF the People, BY the People and FOR the People, Nigeria’s 1999 Ordinance does not pass any of the three legs of test outlined in that Definition. Nigeria is therefore not a Constitutional Democracy as Shehu Garba would want the World to believe.
On the hand, the claim by Garba that the biggest challenge in the Country is not necessarily from bitter complaints of Marginalization or Conflicts between the Federal Government and Federating Units ARE PATENTLY AND SELF-EVIDENTLY FALSE as the Various Regional Agitations which inform Gen Ogomudia’s present alarm, (whether such Agitations are for Self-Determination or for Restructuring) ARE SIMPLY EXPRESSIONS OF GRAVE CONSTITUTIONAL GRIEVANCES BY THE CONSTITUENT COMPONENT BLOCS OF NIGERIA IN REJECTION OF THE IMPOSED UNITARY CONSTITUTIONAL STRUCTURES OF NIGERIA. In other words, the currently emasculated Federating Units called “States” and the expanded caricature aggregations called “Geopolitical Zones”
General Alexander Ogomudia has done his duty as a Statesman to warn the current Operators of Unitary Nigeria of an impending Catastrophe he and the rest of the World Can See very Clearly in the horizon. The Report of the UN Special Rapporteur that visited Nigeria in August 2019 described the Constitutional Arrangements of Nigeria as A PRESSURE-COOKER FOR INJUSTICE which is now a danger to the Global Community.
The Indigenous Nationalities of Nigeria who are trapped and are cooking in the Unworkable Union of Death, Attrition and Backwardness called “Nigeria” and who are at the receiving end of the Ethnic Cleansing Campaign being orchestrated by an Invading Murderous Caliphate, are certainly not going to remain quietly inside the aforementioned Pressure-Cooker for Injustice until they all die, while the presence is being made by Shehu Garba and his Principals that Nigeria is a “Constitutional Democracy”, even at time the Constituent Component Blocs of Nigeria have expressly Repudiated and Rejected the Imposed 1999 Ordinance as the Basis of Nigeria.
Nigeria has arrived at that bus-stop reached by Apartheid South Africa in 1990 when the Operators of the Master-Servant Apartheid Constitutional Order, under President Frederick W DeKlerk, found the wisdom and courage to accept that the Apartheid Constitution could no longer carry the Broken-Down South Africa, and therefore went into the TRANSITIONING (1990-1994 CODESA) by which it eased itself out of the Toxic Apartheid Quagmire.
The Response to the wise Counsel of General Ogomudia should be for the Federal Government of Nigeria to embrace the Propositions, Demands, Campaigns and Agitations of the Constituent Component Blocs of Nigeria, and find the common ground process for the inevitable Reconfiguration of the damaged Constitutional Basis of Nigeria, just like Apartheid South Africa did in 1990.
Here is a link to a November 16, 2018 OPEN MEMORANDUM TO PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI by the LNC and it’s MNN Alliance Partners on the Details and Modalities for the Reconfiguration of the Constitutional Basis of the Distressed Federation of Nigeria:
Visit : www.lowernigercongress.org
Tony Nnadi, the Secretary-General of both Movement for New Nigeria, MNN, and Lower Niger Congress, LNC, writes from Lagos, Nigeria.