Ndidi Uwechue’s Column: The Smart African… a place for intelligent discourse

Opinion | Nigerians must insist on the principle of “consent of the governed”

By Ndidi Uwechue

A free society is the happiest and safest type of society to find anywhere. A free society is one where the principle of “consent of the governed” applies. In such lands, leaders and citizens both know that leaders gain their positions by the “consent of the governed”. In addition, those leaders can only retain their jobs for as long as they act with the “consent of the governed,” and should they not, would resign immediately, or be impeached (removed) then face prosecution if needs be.

In such free societies citizens are informed, and they understand that they are born free and so sovereignty is with the people, and certainly not with their leaders whether politicians or monarchs. The more recent history of Nigerians is such that the meaning of being “born free” has not yet sunk in. People seem to feel that they are under the power, and thus the control, of their politicians, traditional ruler, pastor or priest. Too often therefore, those in leadership positions would manipulate or coerce those they lead in ways that are against their followers’ interests, and thus abuse their power or abuse their position.

If we take the political class in Nigeria for instance, their levels of corruption and impunity are most incredibly high, a fact known worldwide. Therefore, the ordinary citizen just dismisses them with a hiss and a sneer when the names of politicians from any party are mentioned. Going further, there is a mass exodus of Nigerians out of Nigeria. Firstly it is those classed as youth, then, when they have reached a place to stay particularly in Europe, the Americas or Australia, they bring over their children or parents as dependants. They are seeking a better life, or best yet, a new citizenship in a free society where governance has the “consent of the governed”.

That, in a nutshell is what the exodus out of Nigeria is about. Also, some already living abroad for years, want to return to Nigeria to use their knowledge and skills to improve the lot of their people. However, they dare not, because they know that returning to Nigeria would be a return to a living hell where citizens are abused by having their civil and human rights trodden upon.

Not unexpectedly, the misery that Nigerians are daily placed under such as lack of electricity, lack of proper healthcare facilities, lack of sanitation, lack of proper roads, lack of a public transport system, and lack of homeland security (there is an ongoing Silent Slaughter genocide, plus Islamist Terrorism) places a toll on people’s mental health, including the ability to focus, and therefore to analyse issues that affect them and the community.

In Nigeria, it all starts and ends with the 1999 Constitution. It is a document, a forgery, foisted upon Nigerians through deceit, and kept there by State power including rigged elections such that only those willing to uphold that document (when they swear an Oath of Office) are ever the ones declared winners. It is that forged instrument called the “1999 Constitution” which does not have the “consent of the governed,” but which the political class and their Judas Goat influencers (i.e. pastors, priests, NGO/CSO heads, plus various types of celebrities) continue to hope to keep Nigerian masses powerless captives under. That is done by having elections. Thus, the political class and their Judas Goats are pushing Nigerians to general elections in 2023 so as to renew the life of that sham 1999 Constitution.

They are doing so in several ways, not just the direct method of elections promises and bribes to citizens, plus keeping the media constantly talking about Elections 2023. They are also using distractions such as deceiving Nigerians by talking about “amending the Constitution” (a forgery cannot logically be amended, it must be thrown away); by saying that they will write Bills for that Constitution to allow for Referendum (again any Bill added to a forgery is logically invalid); by increasing insecurity e.g. by militarising the South-East Zone where some Biafra agitators (really a street gang) reportedly killed several law enforcement officers and prominent people but which should have been dealt with through intelligence-led policing, and not the military.

All these distractions are there so that through all the chaos, confusion, and multitude of voices saying one thing or another, the real enemy, that 1999 Constitution is carried above the clamour and over everyone’s heads, into those Elections 2023 that will renew its life for yet another four years.

The NINAS Movement pushing for Self-determination for indigenous ethnic nations is the growing voice of the people who know that having the “consent of the governed” is the only way for peace and stability to come to the Nigerian territory. They want a free society where they and their community will have democracy and progress.

The global community should therefore support the non-violent NINAS Movement that uses an orderly process to push for a land where the “consent of the governed” happens. Otherwise the mass exodus of Nigerians to the West will continue, but added to it would be a refugee crisis worse than what has yet been seen coming out of Africa.

For information on the NINAS movement, please go to http://www.ninasvoice.org

Ndidi Uwechue is a British citizen with Igbo heritage from the Lower Niger Bloc. She is a retired Metropolitan (London) Police Officer, she is a signatory to the Constitutional Force Majeure, and she writes from Abuja.