Nigeria: Constitutional Force Majeure Proclaimed Over A Sovereignty Dispute

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Nigeria: Constitutional Force Majeure Proclaimed Over A Sovereignty Dispute
Ndidi Uwechue
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19th December 2020

On 16th December 2020, history was being made in Nigeria. On that day, there was an official declaration of Constitutional Force Majeure and demand for an orderly process to deal with the unjust and undemocratic situation in Nigeria of using what is referred to as the 1999 Constitution but that is simply Military Decree 24 in some disguise, and not at all a Constitution in the true sense of that word. This was a Joint Proclamation of a Sovereignty Dispute by Accredited Delegates of Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities of the Southern and Middle Belt Territories of Nigeria.

This declaration of Constitutional Force Majeure is the pathway for Unionists seeking the Restructuring of Nigeria back to what we had at Independence, or even better than that; plus, it is also the same pathway for Non-Unionists seeking the Dissolution of Nigeria. This Constitutional Force Majeure is the means by which the peoples of Nigeria can, via democratic processes, place their territory on sound and just foundations upon which fresh, new beginnings can be built.

The Sovereignty Dispute that necessitated a Constitutional Force Majeure is based upon the fact that the illegitimate 1999 Constitution creates a Unitary system and not the Federal system that was agreed upon at Independence for there to be a Union of ethnic nationalities as Nigeria. Very briefly, the Sovereignty Dispute (also called a Union Dispute) comes about from what is in the Preamble of the document known as the 1999 Constitution. This Sovereignty Dispute is mainly over these two issues:

Preamble states: “We, the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, having firmly and solemnly resolved, to live…as one indivisible and indissoluble sovereign nation…And to provide for a Constitution for the purpose of promoting the good government…”

Dispute: When did ethnic nationalities submit ourselves, our ancestral lands and our resources (ie our sovereignty) to the type of Union described in this Constitution, as claimed?

 

Preamble states: “Do hereby make, enact, and give to ourselves the following Constitution…”

Dispute: When and where did ethnic nationalities make, enact and give to ourselves this 1999 Constitution?

 

It is important to know that the contents of Military Decree 24 of 1999 by which General Abdusalam Abubakar and his Provisional Ruling Council of the time Promulgated (announced) the 1999 Constitution, and which is printed in the 1999 Constitution itself, provides the complete proof that “We The People” did not make, enact and give to ourselves the 1999 Constitution as that Decree spells out step-by-step how the Provisional Ruling Council came about the 1999 Constitution. Thus it was not “We the people”!

 

The full text of the Constitutional Force Majeure Proclamation can be obtained here:

 

Triggering the Constitutional Force Majeure brings about certain responsibilities for Central Government, such as the following Five Demands that must be addressed within ninety days from 16th December 2020 (quoted from official documentation):

  1. A Formal Announcement by the Federal Government of Nigeria  acknowledging the Constitutional Grievances and Sovereignty Dispute now Declared by the Peoples of South and Middle-Belt of Nigeria.

 

  1. A Formal Commitment by Federal Government of Nigeria to the wholesale Decommissioning and Jettisoning of the 1999 Constitution as the Basis of the  Federation of Nigeria as was done by the Government of Apartheid-Era South Africa in 1990, to commence the process by which the Apartheid Constitution of the then South Africa was eased out.

 

  1. A Formal Announcement by the Federal Government of Nigeria suspending further General Elections under the Disputed 1999 Constitution since winners of such Elections will Swear to, and Govern by that Constitution.

 

  1. A Formal Initiation of a Time-Bound Transitioning Process to midwife the emergence of Fresh Constitutional Protocols by a Two-Stage Process in which the Constituent Regional Blocs will at the first stage, Distill and Ratify their various Constitutions by Referendums and Plebiscites and in the second stage, Negotiate the Terms of Federating afresh as may be dictated by the outcomes of Referendum and Plebiscites.

 

  1. A Formal Invitation to the Peoples of the South and Middle-Belt of Nigeria to work out and emplace a Transitional Authority, which shall specify the Modalities for the Transitioning Process including the Composition and Mandate of the Transitional Authority a well as the Time-frame for the Transitioning and other  Ancillary Matters.

For far too long, Nigerian people have been living under intolerable conditions, worsening daily, because of the Unitary system brought about by a so-called 1999 Constitution that being a forgery, is corrupt and corrupting, and is the Number 1 Enemy of Nigerians. Life in Nigeria, and the environment itself is so distasteful that the ruling elite (politicians and officials) do not want it for themselves and their families. So it is common to find that their spouses relocate abroad, their children get educated abroad then stay there to live, and their entire family seek medical care abroad, shunning Nigerian medical services. It is strange that these ruling elite who resolutely uphold the illegitimate and anti-development 1999 Constitution over their own people, that creates the Nigeria we see, are the very ones who look for any opportunity to escape that Nigeria. This therefore begs the question – who then is this Nigeria for? Is it a place for the poor and weak who, not having access to looting public funds cannot escape?

This Hell on earth reserved for Nigerian masses cannot continue. An Alternative Culture of “doing the right thing” and “doing the right thing the right way” can end the delinquency and dysfunction that has led Nigeria to the very verge of being labelled a Pariah State.

The process for good change for the peoples of Nigeria has become available: a Constitutional Force Majeure was declared! Nigerians of good will at home and in the Diaspora whether they are Unionists wanting Restructuring, or Non-Unionists wanting Dissolution, can play a role to democratically allow “We the people” to choose which option we want for ourselves. Already, many signatories have signed in support of this Constitutional Force Majeure. As is the case in such situations, there will be petitions to sign. That is where YOU, especially if you have children, need to act as if you love those children above all else, by, like the signatories to the Constitutional Force Majeure have done, signing these petitions. That way you play your own adult and responsible part so that your children can inherit a safe and quite pleasant future.

It is actually a great privilege to work for justice. Therefore the author of this article is not ashamed to support a process that will bring an end to injustice and grand corruption, so is a signatory to the Constitutional Force Majeure. Given the ongoing genocide, the terrorism, the abject poverty, the zero infrastructure etc that Nigeria in its current state represents, it is really those (aloof) onlookers who should be ashamed of themselves!

The Constitutional Force Majeure comes with a ninety-day period for Central Government to show a new type of support for, and commitment to the Nigerian people that they are there to serve. With this new situation, it gives much relief to know that this territory is going to be fixed at long last – so help us God!

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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