- Nigeria: Constitutional Force Majeure Proclaimed Over A Sovereignty Dispute - December 22, 2020
- Nigeria 1999 Constitution Deceit: Lawyers, Pastors and Priests – Unmute Yourselves! - November 18, 2020
- Nigeria: Referendum By Ethnic Nationalities Not Restructuring - October 22, 2020
18th November 2020
As the end of 2020 approaches, needless to say Africa, and notably Nigeria will not achieve the African Union (AU) pledge set in 2013, “not to bequeath the burden of conflict to the next generation of Africans and undertake to end all wars by 2020.” Silencing the Guns in Africa is a chief initiative of the AU’s Agenda 2063, but it seems that Nigeria has chosen to go in the opposite direction for conflicts escalate, weapons proliferate, injustice increases.
Whether one is a Unionist or a Non-Unionist* it is becoming clear that Nigeria is going to be reconfigured through the Union being reviewed. The reason being found in the defective social contract that Nigeria operates. Its 1999 Constitution was not only imposed upon the people, but is a proven forgery as it deceitfully claims that “we the people” were involved in producing it, thereby making it illegitimate and incapable of inspiring confidence. Thus, when this forged 1999 Constitution states that Nigeria is “indivisible and indissoluble” that is only the opinion of Unionists, and this opinion simply cannot be imposed on others! Hear Senator Professor Sola Adeyeye, “…Although I am an incorrigible believer in the unity of Nigeria, I have taken extensive time to discuss the pros and cons of Nigerian unity so as to debunk the oft-repeated fallacy that Nigerian Unity is non-negotiable. Those who tout this arrant superstition [my emphasis] do so because of their mistaken ideology that the greatest purpose of nationhood is unity…”
Unity is good, but only when those involved are compatible. Just like its predecessor the Organisation of African Unity, the AU adopted the principle of “inviolability of inherited boundaries”. By doing so, they entrenched in many people’s minds the assumption that the boundaries between African countries that were established by colonial rule should not be changed. Despite that, after lobbying and being pressurised, the boundaries of some countries have been changed such as Sudan’s and our own Nigeria when in 1961 after a UN-backed Referendum Northern Cameroon joined Nigeria (now in Borno, Adamawa, and Taraba states), and Southern Cameroon opted to join Cameroon. Then again in 2002, Bakassi Peninsula could have been part of southern Nigeria if not ceded to Cameroon. So, national boundaries can and do change! Therefore, personal opinions and superstition should no longer be the basis of decision-making in Nigeria, but it should be by democratic processes.
In order to challenge the “fantastically corrupt” culture that Nigeria is known for, plus help bring in democracy, there is now an Alternative Culture interested in “doing the right thing” and “doing the right thing the right way”. Therefore, given that the 1999 Constitution is a forgery, it is illegitimate, null and void. A null and void Constitution cannot legally and logically be amended, so the added deceit of “constitutional amendment” exercises should simply stop, and the only right thing to do now is to repudiate, discard and abandon this imposed and sham 1999 Constitution.
As in South Africa where Black people had (of course!) not prepared the Constitution that gave minority White people dominance, was against them, so too the situation with Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution that is biased against the indigenous peoples especially those of the South. South Africa’s Apartheid Constitution was thrown out through the galvanizing input of lawyers like Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo, plus religious leaders like Rev Desmond Tutu. So this is an appeal for Nigerian lawyers, pastors and priests (both at home and in the Diaspora) to show public spiritedness and a love for truth, by getting involved in bringing about a just and democratic reconfiguration of Nigeria to prevent violent outcomes overtaking us all.
Pastors and priests are held in high esteem in Nigeria so have much influence over their congregations. This, and their duty of care should be used for the benefit of society, to show, then help guide the people in paths of justice (and righteousness).
Legal professionals above all others, know that the void 1999 Constitution cannot be amended. Lawyers are in a position of responsibility towards the entire country. It is not too late to turn a new leaf, and espouse the Alternative Culture.
The task before us all is two-pronged. First the imposed and sham 1999 Constitution must be repudiated and jettisoned. Then, the various ethnic nationalities should hold their Referendum in their regions where they will decide if they want to be in this Union. This is the first task. The results will determine what happens next. Lawyers would know the process, it is by Force Majeure, specifically by Constitutional Force Majeure. This is a globally accepted non-violent legal method of discarding the illegitimate Constitution. Experts know what to do, plus how to do it. So all that is necessary is for expert guidance to be relayed to the people, then followed.
Since the 1999 Constitution that upholds the Union is a forgery, it is inevitable that the Union is unravelling. Justice and democracy are two things we should put our efforts into obtaining. After the Referendum by ethnic nationalities, the outcome will certainly be a new arrangement for this territory. We ought to learn from these last 21 years that we cannot have or keep a Union by forgery and by force. Nigeria’s situation shows Africans that to put an end to all our wars and conflicts, and get to Silence the Guns in Africa, we should disabuse our minds of the AU’s principle of “inviolability of inherited boundaries”, and refute it where doing so will bring peace. If redrawing national borders is needed, this should not be seen as performing a separation, but as a necessary requirement for successful cooperation and integration. For in life, some interactions are best as working relationships, and not as marriage relationships.
Through the End SARS (police brutality) protests our young people, our own children are telling us loud and clear that they have had enough of it! We cannot ignore their cries. Their courage to stand up against deadly injustice in a brutal country like Nigeria should shame the cowards in the land. At this time, silence is not golden, silence is complicity. So, regarding the 1999 Nigeria Constitution deceit: lawyers, pastors and priests – unmute yourselves!
*Non-Unionist: Since the Union of Nigeria is upheld by an illegitimate 1999 Constitution that is a forgery, so invalid, one cannot “secede” thus it is incorrect to call someone who does not support this virtual/artificial Union a Secessionist.
This post was written by Ndidi Uwechue.
The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.