Nigeria – Are You A Unionist Or A Secessionist?

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Nigeria – Are You A Unionist Or A Secessionist?
Ndidi Uwechue
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25th August 2020

 

Given the bloody events in Nigeria, I strongly urge us to dialogue not only at national, but also at international levels regarding what I have termed the “territorial credence*” of Nigeria. That is, how real is this country called Nigeria? Such a dialogue is needed, and quite urgently too as it regards the legal existence and then the viability of “Nigeria”.

 

Nigeria’s Union is founded on its Constitution. Before Independence in 1960 the ethnic nationalities that comprise Nigeria established, then agreed upon certain conditions that must be met and kept, if there was to be any Union. It is the 1999 Constitution that Nigeria operates today, and the important dialogue should be about the validity of this Constitution. Here is some basic information about this 1999 Constitution:

  • The ethnic nationalities had no authentic representatives involved in its preparation.
  • “We the people” is a false claim in its preamble.
  • It was not legitimized by Referendum.

To summarise, the 1999 Constitution was imposed, plus it is a forgery, therefore null and void. As such, logically, it cannot be amended.

 

Now, Nigeria is known internationally as a “fantastically corrupt” place. There is no need to address those who take exception to this statement for the state of the nation provides proof enough. What I will say is that there is now an Alternative Culture based on the twin tenets of “doing the right thing” and “doing the right thing the right way”. I therefore plead with us all, for this is a matter that concerns both the leaders and the ordinary people, to follow the tenets of the Alternative Culture when it comes to the credibility of the entity known as “Nigeria”.

 

As in any issue, there will be a diversity of opinion. There are Unionists who are certain that it is best that Nigeria remains “One Nigeria” either exactly as it is, or restructured into a proper Federation. Then there are the Secessionists who are certain that it is best that new sovereign nations come out of “One Nigeria”. This is a matter that raises emotions and ego, so it needs only ONE approach, that is: keeping it truthful, and following the path of truth. Not emotions. Not ego. And definitely not lies.

 

Once the path of truth is followed, the steps to take become very clear and unambiguous. Since the imposed 1999 Constitution is a forgery, null and void, so cannot be amended there is only one thing that can be done to it. It must be discarded. Then, new autochthonous (homemade by we the people) Constitutions be obtained.

 

Unionists will now be singled out because they have been in power and continue to be, so their opinion dominates the media: TV, radio, internet and print. Many Unionists therefore think that their opinion carries the intellectual and even moral argument. However, let us be mindful that the 1999 Constitution being a forgery, so where it states that Nigeria is “indivisible and indissoluble” is merely the opinion of those who wrote (or forged) the document, so it is not binding. Therefore Secessionists should not be accused of being “unconstitutional” or even of “treason” and such like. This is a very important point because over the decades and still today, Secessionists are harassed, threatened and killed by the Unionist side simply because they will not stoop under what is a null and void 1999 Constitution.

Furthermore, making a declaration such as “Nigeria’s unity is settled” is meaningless unless evidence is provided for saying so. Similarly, claiming that “Nigeria’s unity is non-negotiable” only begs the question: Why so?

 

It will soon be 60 years post-Independence and Nigeria is lumped with the world’s failed (fragile) states and even meets the description of a “rogue state”. This calls to mind the British founding father of Nigeria who did not seem to think that Nigerians had the wherewithal to rule ourselves well. Among his many words, Lord Lugard described Nigerians as, “He loves the DISPLAY OF POWER, but fails to realize its RESPONSIBILITY” (my emphasis).

 

People are being killed by the State, and I therefore respectfully (yet adamantly) urge those in leadership positions at national, state, plus local levels to bear in mind that as public servants they are managers of the country, employed by the people, who are the owners. The increasing clamour by citizens to have the anomaly of the 1999 Constitution rectified by discarding it should therefore not continue to fall on deaf ears. Doing so just increases the determination to end the Union. Secessionists would have international support because the 1999 Constitution imposed on the country and which also imposes the Union, was not negotiated or ratified by the ethnic nationalities. Thus, the use of intimidation, threat of violence and force of arms by Unionists in power, and quietly assented to by Unionists among the public, is not the way to hold the country together.

 

Are you frightened of the disintegration of Nigeria? That fear is your own to deal with. The issue is not about your fear (however real it may be to you), but it is about truth regarding the Union, which for now is being upheld by a null and void Constitution. The issue is also about “doing the right thing” and “doing the right thing the right way” to get authentic and legitimate Constitutions that will satisfy the ethnic nationalities. We cannot have or keep a Union by forgery and by force.

 

Whatever happens, nationally and internationally “Nigeria” needs territorial credence to uphold its existence. We have two groups: the Unionists and the Secessionists. Both are entitled to their different opinions. Each will have the opportunity to show how exactly their opinion is best, and that will be realized by Referendum.

 

*I have defined “Territorial credence” as the proper, legal accreditation that a particular country actually exists.

 

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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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