1999 Nigeria Constitution – Bin it to Rescue Nigeria

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1999 Nigeria Constitution – Bin it to Rescue Nigeria
Ndidi Uwechue
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16th June 2020


In the matter of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution the Nigerian way of doing things is unlikely to favour anybody. That is the way of BYPASSING problems, rather than facing them and dealing with them, once and for all.


The Constitution is the foundation of the country and so must be obtained in a proper way if citizens are to have confidence to honour it and abide by it. Disturbingly, the 1999 Constitution lacks validity. There are several things in it that are completely untrue and some that are contrary to what had been agreed pre-Independence for any Union of ethnic nationalities to ever be possible. Much has already been written about the inconsistencies in the 1999 Constitution but a key one is in the preamble that starts with, “We the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria…”. Yet, “We the people” never entered into this agreement. That in itself makes the 1999 Constitution a FORGERY and therefore its contents are invalid and not binding.


On top of that, there is much evidence that a source of the high-handed destructive systemic corruption in the country is this 1999 Constitution. So as to put Nigeria in good order, plus counter the “fantastically corrupt” label that the country has, an Alternative Culture with the twin tenets of “doing the right thing” and “doing the right thing the right way” has been embarked upon.


It is therefore not advisable, for integrity’s sake, to continue avoiding addressing the dishonesty in our country’s social contract. Nigeria has now been on a journey of some twenty years on bypass problems road with this forged Constitution, but the time is now here to get onto the right road by as a nation, doing the right thing. Otherwise the cost would be much too high.


Those in leadership at Federal, State and Local levels, plus ordinary citizens should thoroughly consider the consequences of remaining on “bypass problems road”. We have a fast growing population of young people who know that their lives in the Nigerian environment are substandard in every way compared to that of young people in functioning countries. They know the reasons for this difference are corruption plus lack of strong institutions. They are also now aware of their civil rights and human rights. They are “woke”!


One of the many negative consequences of Nigeria being a country that citizens cannot put faith in, is that Nigerians are increasingly becoming economic migrants all over the world because of a Constitution that is in effect corrupting and anti-development, plus Apartheid (in that it unfairly favours a minority section over the indigenous majority). The issue of migrants is currently a hot topic in Europe because it creates racial tensions in host countries due to the changes in demography that mass migration can bring. International eyes are now on Nigeria seeking the reasons that force its citizens to flee, often illegally and dangerously. This reflects negatively on Nigerian leadership that should have been seriously addressing the corruption that the country is famed for.


On our Continent we have the example of Apartheid South Africa for our instruction. Black South Africans saw that they had no hope of a fair and good future in their land unless they resisted the Apartheid system that was against them. Initially their demonstrations were met with State violence from security services by a government intent on maintaining the status quo. Eventually a point was reached when all sides and the watching international community realised that costly armed conflict would likely ensue if Apartheid was not taken down because Black Africans were determined to make the ultimate sacrifice for their freedom. So negotiations began that successfully dismantled the Apartheid system.


With a population of over 200 million Nigerians and rapidly growing, it is not possible for all of us to flee abroad for refuge. Thousands who have fled across the Sahara have ended up in dehumanizing conditions and those among them who could, have returned to Nigeria where they still face a debased existence. Others who have not the means to flee, or who have been deported back to Nigeria, are uniting in purpose with those here, increasingly determined that they will remove everything that prevents them having a good life in their ancestral lands. Discontent and anger are growing daily. Nobody who values Nigerian lives would want there to be any armed struggle before transformative change happens.


It is repeatedly asked: Mandela was a lawyer and he used his knowledge to put South Africa on a better path. So what are Nigerian lawyers doing about the inaccuracies in the 1999 Constitution? Rev. Desmond Tutu is an Anglican cleric who used his position and his knowledge of God to advocate truth and justice in the anti-Apartheid fight. So what are Nigerian Christian leaders and Christian organisations, plus other religious bodies doing about upholding truth in the matter of the 1999 Constitution?


The nation’s eyes are now beamed on the 1999 Constitution which is submitted as the supreme law of the country. The increasing clamour to bin this forged document should not be ignored by the leadership class and bypassed via “constitutional amendments” when what is needed is an autochthonous Constitution that is truly by “We the people”, legitimized by Referendum.


Young people desperately want, and deserve good lives within the territory called Nigeria. The best way to remove the obstructions in their way is through non-violent action. That is through dialogue and negotiations with those in leadership positions. Non-violent strategies where leaders are responsive and responsible, with the moral and intellectual competence to understand that government’s purpose is to serve the people and bring about what the people want. The increasingly concerned world is watching events in Nigeria so this is an opportunity for government to show that Black lives matter, by doing the right thing, and doing the right thing the right way concerning the 1999 Constitution.


[Hashtags: #BinItNG   #BinIt9ja]

This post was written by Ndidi Uwechue.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.

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