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Showing posts with label Legislature. Show all posts

#HappyNewYear; Thank you Very much - A new Nigeria is possible - Dele Abiola

#HappyNewYear; Thank you Very much - A new Nigeria is possible - Dele Abiola

 My Gratitude, both to Almighty God and men for all what I  have received in the passed year.


I am grateful for everything I have received from God. His Grace, anointing and power to move on in all circumstances even in faces of daunting challenges.


Yeah, for the valleys, mountains and even shadow of deaths; for everything that seemed crooked but indeed was God's way of shielding and protecting me from harms.


For His silence at times which was His perfect answer to my prayers. I'm grateful for the times I couldn't even pray but His mercy covered me overwhelmly. 


Indeed, I'm surely grateful for everyone whose contribution whether negative or positive, was a buffer for me and my life journey and aspirations.


Sincerely, I am very grateful for every financial support  from you.


I'm More grateful for every useful advice that has put more strength into my mission and vision in the just passed year.


I am very grateful for standing by me, believing in my " I can do spirit and words" and for making ways for me.


Truly appreciate having you in my company for how much and how far you have been traveling with me and for me.


For the insults and provocations you have endured, for the love and endurance in hope you have shown and demonstrated, I say thank you.


For the materials and resources you have made available, for your time and money you have showered and dedicated for the journey so far, I deeply appreciate them all.


I'm sincerely  grateful for every rejection, betrayal and gang up that God used to make me a better individual.


I'm grateful for the blessings and gifts.


 Indeed, thanks for always been there for me and thank you for every possibilities as we journey in this new year!


Thank you Very much.

A new Nigeria is possible!!!


HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!


DELE ABIOLA 

LP HOUSE OF REP. CANDIDATE 

OGBOMOSO SOUTH, NORTH AND ORIIRE FEDERAL CONSTITUENCY 




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 SUPPORT DELE ABIOLA/OBI-DATTI GRASSROOT MOBILISATION

SEND YOUR DONATION AS MAY BE APPLICABLE TO :

#DESO: BC1YLfmkzzektXK3LmvaPCb3vppHdBfFYLXTBCK6S7uATxRC8d8Qwm4

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#USDC ( ETHER)- 0xF7775BB2dDCf6188aE35e9C000F7917d46EDce62

BANKS;

NAME - OLUDELE ABIOLA
BANK - GUARANTY TRUST BANK

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2. USDollar : 0049234083
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A1 PREMIER MODEL ACADEMY LTD, OSOGBO, OSUN STATE, NIGERIA




Excellent, our choice!!!



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 My Gratitude, both to Almighty God and men for all what I  have received in the passed year.


I am grateful for everything I have received from God. His Grace, anointing and power to move on in all circumstances even in faces of daunting challenges.


Yeah, for the valleys, mountains and even shadow of deaths; for everything that seemed crooked but indeed was God's way of shielding and protecting me from harms.


For His silence at times which was His perfect answer to my prayers. I'm grateful for the times I couldn't even pray but His mercy covered me overwhelmly. 


Indeed, I'm surely grateful for everyone whose contribution whether negative or positive, was a buffer for me and my life journey and aspirations.


Sincerely, I am very grateful for every financial support  from you.


I'm More grateful for every useful advice that has put more strength into my mission and vision in the just passed year.


I am very grateful for standing by me, believing in my " I can do spirit and words" and for making ways for me.


Truly appreciate having you in my company for how much and how far you have been traveling with me and for me.


For the insults and provocations you have endured, for the love and endurance in hope you have shown and demonstrated, I say thank you.


For the materials and resources you have made available, for your time and money you have showered and dedicated for the journey so far, I deeply appreciate them all.


I'm sincerely  grateful for every rejection, betrayal and gang up that God used to make me a better individual.


I'm grateful for the blessings and gifts.


 Indeed, thanks for always been there for me and thank you for every possibilities as we journey in this new year!


Thank you Very much.

A new Nigeria is possible!!!


HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!


DELE ABIOLA 

LP HOUSE OF REP. CANDIDATE 

OGBOMOSO SOUTH, NORTH AND ORIIRE FEDERAL CONSTITUENCY 




SPONSORED ADS πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡




 SUPPORT DELE ABIOLA/OBI-DATTI GRASSROOT MOBILISATION

SEND YOUR DONATION AS MAY BE APPLICABLE TO :

#DESO: BC1YLfmkzzektXK3LmvaPCb3vppHdBfFYLXTBCK6S7uATxRC8d8Qwm4

#BTC-bc1q9fkycv64qn6rc89pyhzqmhp0vfhqp4xrf4fd5e

#USDC ( ETHER)- 0xF7775BB2dDCf6188aE35e9C000F7917d46EDce62

BANKS;

NAME - OLUDELE ABIOLA
BANK - GUARANTY TRUST BANK

1. EURO : 0149669383
2. USDollar : 0049234083
3. NAIRA: 0049234076





SPONSORED ADS πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡
A1 PREMIER MODEL ACADEMY LTD, OSOGBO, OSUN STATE, NIGERIA




Excellent, our choice!!!



SPONSORED ADS πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡















Meet DELE ABIOLA, LP House of Rep candidate for Ogbomoso federal constituency II

Meet DELE ABIOLA, LP House of Rep candidate for Ogbomoso federal constituency II

 *For those of us who want to know Comrade Oludele Abiola*

Hon Abiola is the candidate of Labour Party in the forth coming elections, contesting for the Federal house of representative slot of Ogbomoso South, North and Oriire Federal constituency in Oyo state.













His agenda is to:

 

*>Restore Ogbomoso to the fore front of national politics via qualitative and vibrant representation of the constituency*


*>Quarterly reports and town hall meetings with the constituents*


*>Ensuring that the constituency projects are excecuted as at when due*


*Promote grassroots education and grassroots sports*


*Agricultural support programs that increase farmer's food production and attract more profit.*


*Mobilize youth to have their own voice in the digital economy via blockchain technology.*


*Sponsors of bills that will bring about security of lives and properties, promoting economy recovery and growth of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.*


*Working towards building Ideologically based political party is an integral part of my agenda as it has become paramount to build a formidable pro Nigerian party other than the current prevalent ruling and aclaimed corrupt country rulling and opposition parties.*


Ogbomoso is our home, its suppose to be comfortable for everyone of us, her development is Paramount to us. Let us together restore Ogbomoso's glory . God bless us

 *For those of us who want to know Comrade Oludele Abiola*

Hon Abiola is the candidate of Labour Party in the forth coming elections, contesting for the Federal house of representative slot of Ogbomoso South, North and Oriire Federal constituency in Oyo state.













His agenda is to:

 

*>Restore Ogbomoso to the fore front of national politics via qualitative and vibrant representation of the constituency*


*>Quarterly reports and town hall meetings with the constituents*


*>Ensuring that the constituency projects are excecuted as at when due*


*Promote grassroots education and grassroots sports*


*Agricultural support programs that increase farmer's food production and attract more profit.*


*Mobilize youth to have their own voice in the digital economy via blockchain technology.*


*Sponsors of bills that will bring about security of lives and properties, promoting economy recovery and growth of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.*


*Working towards building Ideologically based political party is an integral part of my agenda as it has become paramount to build a formidable pro Nigerian party other than the current prevalent ruling and aclaimed corrupt country rulling and opposition parties.*


Ogbomoso is our home, its suppose to be comfortable for everyone of us, her development is Paramount to us. Let us together restore Ogbomoso's glory . God bless us

US House passes bill allocating $1 BILLION to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome system after its battering during recent Gaza conflict

US House passes bill allocating $1 BILLION to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome system after its battering during recent Gaza conflict







The US House of Representatives has passed legislation allocating around $1 billion to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome air-defense system. The massive funding package received overwhelming bipartisan support.

The bill was passed by 420 votes to 9 on Thursday, a day after the legislation was introduced. The measure needed a minimum of 260 votes to become law.

The $1 billion in funding to replenish the reserves of the defense system was initially incorporated into a must-pass bill that the House considered earlier this week. That legislation – on government funding and the suspension of the debt limit – was threatened by a group of progressives who vowed to sink it over the Israeli funding.

The bill’s opponents reiterated their arguments during debates on Thursday, with Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) giving a fiery speech on the House floor.

“I will not support an effort to enable war crimes and human rights abuses and violence. We cannot be talking only about Israelis need for safety at a time when Palestinians are living under a violent apartheid system, and are dying from what Human Rights Watch has said are war crimes,” Tlaib told fellow lawmakers.

The speech immediately drew objections from Tlaib’s opponents, who accused the Democrat of “anti-Semitism” and alleged she was seeking to destroy Israel altogether.

“To advocate for the dismantling of the one Jewish state in the world, when there’s no place on the map for one Jewish state, that’s anti-Semitism and I reject that,” Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) said.

The funding’s approval was welcomed by Israel, with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett expressing his gratitude to US lawmakers.

“Thanks to all members of the US House of Representatives, Democratic and Republican alike, for their sweeping support for Israel and the commitment to its security. Those who try to challenge this support got a resounding response today,” Bennett said in a statement.

Israel’s Iron Dome, which is designed to intercept rockets and other projectiles, was depleted during the conflict with Palestinian militants in May. According to Israel’s tally, some 4,350 rockets were fired from Gaza during the escalation, with the vast majority being intercepted by the mobile all-weather air defense system.

Source: RT






The US House of Representatives has passed legislation allocating around $1 billion to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome air-defense system. The massive funding package received overwhelming bipartisan support.

The bill was passed by 420 votes to 9 on Thursday, a day after the legislation was introduced. The measure needed a minimum of 260 votes to become law.

The $1 billion in funding to replenish the reserves of the defense system was initially incorporated into a must-pass bill that the House considered earlier this week. That legislation – on government funding and the suspension of the debt limit – was threatened by a group of progressives who vowed to sink it over the Israeli funding.

The bill’s opponents reiterated their arguments during debates on Thursday, with Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) giving a fiery speech on the House floor.

“I will not support an effort to enable war crimes and human rights abuses and violence. We cannot be talking only about Israelis need for safety at a time when Palestinians are living under a violent apartheid system, and are dying from what Human Rights Watch has said are war crimes,” Tlaib told fellow lawmakers.

The speech immediately drew objections from Tlaib’s opponents, who accused the Democrat of “anti-Semitism” and alleged she was seeking to destroy Israel altogether.

“To advocate for the dismantling of the one Jewish state in the world, when there’s no place on the map for one Jewish state, that’s anti-Semitism and I reject that,” Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) said.

The funding’s approval was welcomed by Israel, with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett expressing his gratitude to US lawmakers.

“Thanks to all members of the US House of Representatives, Democratic and Republican alike, for their sweeping support for Israel and the commitment to its security. Those who try to challenge this support got a resounding response today,” Bennett said in a statement.

Israel’s Iron Dome, which is designed to intercept rockets and other projectiles, was depleted during the conflict with Palestinian militants in May. According to Israel’s tally, some 4,350 rockets were fired from Gaza during the escalation, with the vast majority being intercepted by the mobile all-weather air defense system.

Source: RT

Say no to the evil Bill: Our party, architect of Hate Speech — APC chieftain

Say no to the evil Bill: Our party, architect of Hate Speech — APC chieftain


Former Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress in Niger State, Comrade Jonathan Vatsa, has lambasted the 9th Assembly of the Nigerian Senate for the proposed bill seeking death penalty for anyone convicted for hate speech.

While addressing selected journalists in Minna, the former Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism in the state described the move as not only laughable but a direct invitation for anarchy.

The APC chieftain advised the 9th Assembly to also propose a bill that will apply for lands in the 36 states, including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja as did for Ruga to be used as cemetery for hate speech offenders that will be killed.

According to Vatsa: “I call on Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi to also propose a bill that will ensure we have separate cemetery for offenders so that we can have it as tourist’s sites with inscriptions ‘Hate Speech’ cemetery because the offenders may also include those of us who have benefitted from hate speech.

“What a shame.”

Vatsa wondered why the APC-controlled Senate should ever contemplate such a “draconian and unpopular law,” saying: “We rode to power in 2015 through hate speech.

“We (APC) brought hate speech to Nigeria politics and I am one of them.

“As a Publicity Secretary of the APC, I know how we used hate speech to mobilize Nigerians against the then ruling party.

“And it paid off because Nigerians eventually hated the Peoples Democratic Party.

“Before 2015, Nigerians did not know anything like hate speech.

“In fact, since the return of democracy in 1999, we are just hearing about hate speech.

“APC as a political party brought hate to politics in form of propaganda.

“The truth must be told: we are the architect of hate speech and nobody complained about it.

“We enjoyed it and it worked for us.

“If we think we have failed Nigerians in our change promises, we should be bold enough to tell Nigerians that we are sorry, we couldn’t deliver, but to try to cage them by trying to introduce or recycle Decree 4 of 1984 in the name of hate speech is unacceptable.”

The APC chieftain while blaming the Senate Deputy Whip, who is from Niger North Senatorial District, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, warned that the proposed bill for death penalty for hate speech “might consume all of us”.

Vatsa said rather than proposing death penalty for hate speech offenders, it should be death penalty for corrupt leaders in this country because “corruption and injustice gave birth to what is now being called hate speech.

“If there is justice, equity, fairness and respect for rule of law, there will be no hate speech.

“But when people are being marginalized and denied their right, surely there will be hate speech.

“You cannot stop people from expressing their freedom of speech.

“If the Senate is proposing death penalty for hate speech, then what will they do to Boko Haram, armed bandits, kidnappers, oil bunkers and treasury looters both politicians and civil servants?

“All these things are worse than hate speech.

“There are more pressing issues to Nigerians that the Senate should look into and address instead of wasting their energy on an unpopular bill like this one that will not see the light of the day.”

Vatsa however believes that there are more to the proposed hate speech bill, adding: “If the rumor of President Muhammadu Buhari nursing the ambition of third term is correct, then they need death penalty for hate speech to silence everybody who will want to oppose him.

“But the Senate should know that he who lives in a glass house should not throw stone because they cannot be there forever.

“When they leave the Senate, the law can catch up with them.

“Again, if the money meant for constituency projects are utilized for the purpose it was meant for and the people begin to see dividends of democracy, there will be no need for hate speech.

“If the millions of Nigerian youths can have something to do to earn a living, they will not have time for hate speech.

“If people are allowed to elect their leaders in a free and fair election there will be no hate speech.

“So, something gave birth to hate speech and that is what the Senate should address.”


Please, if you love this country and love your future, kindly make this post viral until it reaches all conners of this world. 

Say no to the evil Bill!


God bless Nigeria


Former Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress in Niger State, Comrade Jonathan Vatsa, has lambasted the 9th Assembly of the Nigerian Senate for the proposed bill seeking death penalty for anyone convicted for hate speech.

While addressing selected journalists in Minna, the former Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism in the state described the move as not only laughable but a direct invitation for anarchy.

The APC chieftain advised the 9th Assembly to also propose a bill that will apply for lands in the 36 states, including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja as did for Ruga to be used as cemetery for hate speech offenders that will be killed.

According to Vatsa: “I call on Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi to also propose a bill that will ensure we have separate cemetery for offenders so that we can have it as tourist’s sites with inscriptions ‘Hate Speech’ cemetery because the offenders may also include those of us who have benefitted from hate speech.

“What a shame.”

Vatsa wondered why the APC-controlled Senate should ever contemplate such a “draconian and unpopular law,” saying: “We rode to power in 2015 through hate speech.

“We (APC) brought hate speech to Nigeria politics and I am one of them.

“As a Publicity Secretary of the APC, I know how we used hate speech to mobilize Nigerians against the then ruling party.

“And it paid off because Nigerians eventually hated the Peoples Democratic Party.

“Before 2015, Nigerians did not know anything like hate speech.

“In fact, since the return of democracy in 1999, we are just hearing about hate speech.

“APC as a political party brought hate to politics in form of propaganda.

“The truth must be told: we are the architect of hate speech and nobody complained about it.

“We enjoyed it and it worked for us.

“If we think we have failed Nigerians in our change promises, we should be bold enough to tell Nigerians that we are sorry, we couldn’t deliver, but to try to cage them by trying to introduce or recycle Decree 4 of 1984 in the name of hate speech is unacceptable.”

The APC chieftain while blaming the Senate Deputy Whip, who is from Niger North Senatorial District, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, warned that the proposed bill for death penalty for hate speech “might consume all of us”.

Vatsa said rather than proposing death penalty for hate speech offenders, it should be death penalty for corrupt leaders in this country because “corruption and injustice gave birth to what is now being called hate speech.

“If there is justice, equity, fairness and respect for rule of law, there will be no hate speech.

“But when people are being marginalized and denied their right, surely there will be hate speech.

“You cannot stop people from expressing their freedom of speech.

“If the Senate is proposing death penalty for hate speech, then what will they do to Boko Haram, armed bandits, kidnappers, oil bunkers and treasury looters both politicians and civil servants?

“All these things are worse than hate speech.

“There are more pressing issues to Nigerians that the Senate should look into and address instead of wasting their energy on an unpopular bill like this one that will not see the light of the day.”

Vatsa however believes that there are more to the proposed hate speech bill, adding: “If the rumor of President Muhammadu Buhari nursing the ambition of third term is correct, then they need death penalty for hate speech to silence everybody who will want to oppose him.

“But the Senate should know that he who lives in a glass house should not throw stone because they cannot be there forever.

“When they leave the Senate, the law can catch up with them.

“Again, if the money meant for constituency projects are utilized for the purpose it was meant for and the people begin to see dividends of democracy, there will be no need for hate speech.

“If the millions of Nigerian youths can have something to do to earn a living, they will not have time for hate speech.

“If people are allowed to elect their leaders in a free and fair election there will be no hate speech.

“So, something gave birth to hate speech and that is what the Senate should address.”


Please, if you love this country and love your future, kindly make this post viral until it reaches all conners of this world. 

Say no to the evil Bill!


God bless Nigeria

SENATOR ABARIBE ON BIAFRA, KANU AND NIGERIA

SENATOR ABARIBE ON BIAFRA, KANU AND NIGERIA

ABARIBE

Enyinnaya Abaribe, the brilliant and brave senator who signed the bail for Nnamdi Kanu's release delivered perhaps the most perceptive and wisest speech on Igbos and Nigeria last week in Mississippi, US. Every Igbo who cares about the present and the future of our people should read it. It's a bit long but the effort is worth it. Please see below:


"What I will say here today may come as a surprise to many of you. For those that I will rub the wrong way, I apologize in advance.


However, "NDIGBO si na owu onye nke mmadu na ghu ya ahu na agbata ukwu". If I fail to say the truth about the existential challenges that we face today in our country Nigeria, and how we believe we should face them, then I would not be true to myself and to you who sent me to represent you in the red chamber.


From the Past to Today.


1970


We can situate our position today following the end of the civil war in 1970. Igbo's in 1970 were impoverished having lost an estimated 3 Million Igbo souls in the war, with a ruined and destroyed landscape and infrastructure. Every Igbo man/woman with savings in the banks before the outbreak of hostilities were pauperized as the military government decreed that one would only get 20 pounds notwithstanding the amount you had. The indigenization decree was passed in 1972 and no Igbo could participate since all had been reduced to penury.


2017


Today the Igbo have the largest pool of educated Nigerians. In 2007, Imo State had more subscribers to the JAMB UTME exams than the 19 Northern States put together. In 2017, 56% of of NYSC members are from the South East. Our feat in education means that we now have the army to win the war of competition in a market driven economy. Since 1999, the south east states have been the best in all exams.


The largest group of direct domestic investors in Nigeria are from the south east. Igbo investments in property in Abuja alone probably has more than any other ethnic group. We are the most travelled in Nigeria. In all parts of Nigeria after the indigenous population, Igbo's are the next largest group. We are the largest propertied class of all ethnic groups in Nigeria and despite all this confusion, we have grown the most economically since the inception of the current democracy in Nigeria. We have the richest and largest pool of Nigeria diaspora population.


Taking an example of Lagos state, Ndigbo form a large proportion of the economy of the state. We created the following from nothing;

Computer Village in Ikeja. Ladipo Spare Parts market. Alaba Electronic Market. Balogun Int'l Market.

Balogun (Trade Fair) International Market. Aspamda market in Festac.

Orile Market for house fittings & appliances etc.


All second hand clothing markets in Lagos. About 4 markets. The combined turnover daily of these markets run into billions daily. Lagos state benefits by collecting taxes and now its economy contributes 56% of all VAT collected in Nigeria. Above scenario is replicated in most big cities in Nigeria. Go to Kano, Port Harcourt, Benin City, Kaduna, Sokoto, not to talk of Abuja. Ndigbo are very large players in the economy of all parts of Nigeria. I will return to this.


The ALLURE of BIAFRA


So the question is, given all the advantages that we as Ndigbo have in Nigeria, why the clamour by our youths and others for a separate state of Biafra?


The present agitation in the South East for a sovereign state of Biafra seems very tempting under the prevailing circumstance given the manifest sectional approach to governance at the center. To some especially the youth and the disadvantaged it is the way to go and when viewed critically you cannot help but to agree with the agitators. Of a truth there is an obvious feeling of alienation within the Nigerian state today. But has this always been the case? Apart from the civil war and the pernicious policies of the military regimes, we have not fared badly during civil rule until presently.


Given that following the civil war, there seemed to have been a glass ceiling in certain professions in Nigeria where it looked as if Igbo should not aspire to. In the police, military etc. But we can posit this as the lingering effects of the war where the victor in a war finds it very difficult to fully integrate the other party they fought with into all areas. In the US for example, I understand that it took a very long time for someone from the southern part of the US several decades after the civil war which they lost to break the stranglehold of the north for the presidency of the US. (Correct me if I'm wrong).


But come to think of it, Dr Alex Ekwueme became the Vice President of Nigeria barely 9 years after the civil war. The glass ceiling was on its way to being broken! The military interregnum from 1993 led by the same Muhammadu Buhari put a hold on this. In the US, Germany, Japan and other climes deliberate policies were used by governments to build stronger ties among groups and opposing tendencies. This helped to forge a bond within their nations. Nigeria seemed to think that a policy of benign neglect will resolve our problems. Of course it didn't and that's why we are seeing a resurgence of separatist agitation going on all over the country.


Fast forward to the civil rule era starting from 1999. Nobody would accuse Presidents Obasanjo, late Yar'adua, or Jonathan of what seemed like sectionalism as state policy. A look at the pattern of appointments by President Obasanjo evinced the fact of an all inclusive government from all parts of the country. Same as President Yar'adua. President Jonathan took it a step further by appointing the first Igbo chief of army staff, first Igbo secretary to the federal government, coordinating minister for the economy etc. In fact, one of the criticisms we face today in Nigeria is to explain why should this agitation for separation be under President Buhari when it was not done under the previous administration? However, that criticism is not true. Recall that under President Obasanjo and Yar'adua there was Massob which was managed much better than today.


However, you will recall that when this government came into place, President Buhari went to the US where he made a most unfortunate statement that was widely condemned at that time. He reportedly said that he doesn't need to bother about the 5% that didn't vote for him but will rather concern himself with the 97% that voted for him. I had at the time the statement was made raised concern that such declaration from an elected President sounds discriminatory and may create the impression that our elected President Buhari is sending a message to those who didn't vote for him that he will be partial in his decision making. Unfortunately, it seems also that the people who are in and around the president didn't advise him properly. 


They left him to make appointments and take decisions that gave the impression that there are some parts of the country that are not supposed to be part of Nigeria. Little wonder that our youths feeling left out and not having anything to give them hope in Nigeria, started believing that a separate country would be better. But I say it is NOT. I will come to this later.


I recall that in November of 2016, after seeing how things were going, the South East caucus of the Senate sought for and got an appointment with the President Buhari. Our discussion centered on the south East perception of not being part of this administration thereby giving rise to our people feeling disconnected from the government. We pointed out that it should be a cause for concern if a major part of the country is not represented in the security architecture of the country in addition to other critical sectors from the inception of the administration. We were promised that our concerns would be looked into. Sadly, this was not done till today.


Our country Nigeria is supposed to be for inclusion; for making sure that everyone makes his or her input into its affairs. Allowing such fairness and equity to prevail in a plural society like ours will make us a bigger and better nation. Today that is not the case. Either as a deliberate act as it seems or a willful omission geared towards achieving a pre-determined goal, Ndigbo have been pushed to the fringes of the Nigerian Union in so many ways by the present government. The unfortunate scenario is enough for one to ask the hypothetical question....why am I here?


WHAT ALTERNATIVES


As much as the music of separatism stirs the soul, one must ask the question; Is relapsing into a sovereign state of Biafra the optimum option or is it a restructuring of the state such that all the federating units would have greater autonomy in the mould of a near quasi self determination the better option? When these two options are posed; a sovereign state of Biafra or restructured Nigeria, the position of most Nigerians as of today is for the latter.


Apart from the problem of even determining the boundaries of the state of Biafra and the multifarious and multifaceted problems a simplistic solution such as Biafra poses, perhaps it makes more sense for those who have tasted war to be a little more discerning when matters affecting their race comes up in Nigeria. Nigerians have been known to come together to use the Igbo head to break coconuts (apologies to late Abiola). Despite the problems that befell the Yoruba race following the annulment of the June 12 elections, they didn't seek to break out out of Nigeria despite some of them calling for an Oduduwa country. They simply used the sympathies of other Nigerians to create an economic haven for themselves which has led to massive relocation of industries by all Nigerians to Lagos and Ogun States. They also got the Presidency of Nigeria.


Our brothers from the Niger Delta have not sought to go away either. They also got the Presidency of Nigeria. However we seem to be in the unfortunate position of seeming to drag the Niger Delta into a Biafra unwanted by them. The agitation for Biafra and how it was being prosecuted by IPOB has rather elicited hate and disdain for our people from other ethnic groups notwithstanding that they may have been nursing such tendencies. The agitation as championed by IPOB somehow gave muscle to traditional traducers of Ndigbo to spew out hate and envious vituperations. This was exemplified by the October 1st quit notice given to Igbos to leave the North by the so-called Arewa youths which persons are yet to be arrested for hate speech and breaching the law. They claimed to be responding to our own hate speeches etc.


Indeed, other people seem to want to see us fall into the trap for them to use us to solve their own problems with Nigeria. That notwithstanding, we as political leaders from the South East were unequivocal in asserting that that the rights of Ndigbo to peaceful and democratic engagements must be respected. On this score we made it clear that no amount of threat will cow Ndigbo from consistently demanding for an equitable, fair and just society within the Nigerian State. We also cautioned our youths on their vituperative calls and employed the Igbo concept of "bu uzo chu fuo Ufu, tutu ta wa Okuko uta"! This of course was misunderstood by other Nigerians as support rather than constructive engagement.


WHY NOT BIAFRA?


We believe that the best way to go given our situation today is to look before we leap. We must not be pushed to abandon our huge contribution to the modern Nigerian state. As we pointed out in the beginning of this paper, Ndigbo have been the single ethnic group that have welded the country Nigeria together given our way of life as sojourners everywhere in Nigeria, West Africa, Africa and the world. I dare say that we make up to 50% or more of Nigerians in the US. The question is why would we look to confine ourselves to a small landlocked entity when we have the whole of Nigeria to cavort in?


I have deliberately left out of this discussion the practical impossibility of even getting our brothers from the Niger Delta to go with us in this quest. Not to talk of the Idoma or the Kogi that we insist are part of us.

One thing seems to elude our people when these questions are posed. We look at the determination of the present government to treat us dismissively and feel that it is well nigh an impossible task to get our wish for a just society but we fail to look at the historical evidence before us.


When the 97% vs 5% controversy erupted, I told our people that my people the Ngwa says that "Ohu afor abughi ndu ebighi ebi". Governments come and go. PDP government lost election and quit the stage for this APC government. Who says they cannot also lose? Why are we then acting as if it's the end of the world? The maximum any government can stay is two term totaling 8years. "Obughi ndu ebighi ebi"!


Restructuring is an idea whose time has come and it will happen.

Biafra should be a last option, only after every other avenue to realize a restructured Nigeria where every component part is allowed a measure of autonomy and self determination fails. Let me state here that if the dominant views in Nigeria is for restructuring, then that should be the minimum that Ndigbo should demand, so that every component part of this country can substantially harness its resources and develop at its own pace.


Do not forget that the breached Aburi accord was about restructuring and today this call has garnered overwhelming momentum even from quarters that hitherto opposed it. Just recently former President Ibrahim Babangida, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and lately Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and a host of others have joined the fray. Restructuring has become a singsong which we must explore vigorously. Even the ruling APC has set up a committee led by Governor el-Rufai to bring about a considered view on it. Forget the fact that it was part of their manifesto. The fact is that the discussion is on, as it should be.


I recall that in August, the Igbo political elite, Ohaneze, Governors, National Assembly Caucus met in Enugu and affirmed that the terms of our marriage in Nigeria is stifling to everybody and therefore we must have another look at it. That position has not changed but has in fact been reinforced by the agreement by other parts of Nigeria that it is time to look at the matter as evidenced by the South West Political Summit where they endorsed restructuring back to the 1963 constitution.


To me the strident calls by IPOB for a referendum should be seen as a legitimate demand to compel the state to see the urgency of having a second look at our marriage, with the ultimate aim of enthroning equity and fairness, where our people will no longer be treated as second class citizens in Nigeria. Though the methods may be misconstrued, the true colour of the agitation would have come out had there been a concerted effort at dialogue. The agitations gives fillip to the Igbo idiom..."Ma Opara emeghi nkpotu, agaghi ilughi ya Nwanyi ".


Our people are saying this union is stifling us, and we are making a lot of noise so we can find a solution.

The solution I think can be found in a restructured Nigeria. The beauty of it is that while we can enjoy near wholesale autonomy, our people as itinerant business people could have an unrestrained space in a larger market provided by a united Nigeria.


We should not be swayed by what we think is the attraction of an exclusive opportunity to be provided by a sovereign Biafra. No. That would box us into a tiny corner which has its own challenges which would prove overwhelming as time goes on. This is a topic for another day.


DIASPORA IGBOS AND US.


One of the problems those of us who attempt to show a direction to our people at home is the near universal disdain that some of our brother Ndigbo in Diaspora have for our leaders and elected representatives at home. Nowhere is it more apposite than in this matter of Biafra agitation. While some of our brothers/sisters here in the comfort of their homes seems to urge our youths through their utterances and actions to use unconstitutional means and disparage other ethnic groups that which actions seems to alienate us from our neighbors and the Nigerian State, we the leaders at home have been been left with the task of intervening in such a manner to dissuade the government from deploying the coercive instruments of state against the agitators. The aim was to stop bloodshed and waste of human lives. We have lost enough from the civil war. Those egging our youths on from here do not seem to appreciate this fact.


Most distressing is the labeling of those who disagree with their positions as "cowards, saboteurs, Hausa slaves etc". This tends to discourage those who genuinely strive to lead our people through a very distressing period in our history as a nation.


Nnia Nwodo as President of Ohaneze has been vilified for taking a stand for restructuring in Nigeria for Ndigbo, a position agreed by all of us in the earlier summit I referenced. Governors come in for bashing everyday. As for us legislators, we have been called all sorts of names such as 'legislooters' etc.


Yet, when it came to taking a stand at ground zero, to bail Kanu; to reject the Federal Government ascribing Terrorism to IPOB, we are the people doing so and we never hesitated to say that agitation in every clime is constitutional. We take the bullets from other ethnic groups and the government for standing firm and demanding that Nigerians should be left to talk to each other about the best way forward without preconditions. We would use this opportunity plead with our internet warriors who stay here in their comfort zone here that our Igbo say, "ma Opara nzuzu adighi nwuo, Opara ma izu aga beghi ibichi ezi".


SOME FINAL THOUGHTS


Why are we not Investing at Home.


Lack of Infrastructure. 


Should we continue to blame the Federal Government for the dilapidated infrastructures in Ala Igbo? What of our home governments in Igbo States? Sam Mbakwe of blessed memory did not wait for the Federal Government before undertaking massive rebuilding of old IMO State. We think that we have not given our best to our people with the little we got. 


Insecurity. 


Nowhere have we hurt ourselves and investment in Ala Igbo than in the insecurity pervading all parts of our homeland. Of course the latest imbroglio in Abia especially in Aba and Umuahia has worsened matters. We run the risk of undoing all the efforts made in promoting 'made in Aba' that we had embarked on as a catalyst for growth in Ala Igbo. Industries have relocated from Ala Igbo to other parts of Nigeria especially Lagos and Ogun States because of the very serious insecurity such as kidnappining and armed robbery faced by those who invest at home. We cannot be looking for investors and yet make our place not conducive to investment. 


Unemployment 


Unemployment is the single biggest problem we have in Ala Igbo today. Before this time due to our domestic investments and industry, this was not a very big problem but due to the dis-investment going on today in Ala Igbo today we are faced with a existential problem in our hand. Diaspora Igbo's have to assist us to also invest at home despite the problems and reduce the unemployment in Ala Igbo. Once we get Ala Igbo right the frustrations that fuel the agitation in ala Igbo will be dampened. What we have playing out in the world today is a knowledge economy. Oil is going out of fashion. As I pointed out earlier, we are poised through our educational exploits in Nigeria to dominate the economy of tomorrow. Why would we turn a blind eye to this emerging scenario? 


In ending let me quote what the great son of Igbo land, the great Zik of Africa said about himself: 


"Despite the mythic heights to which he was raised, Azikiwe was nothing if not pragmatic, a realist, always conscious of his limits and ever eager to extract all that was possible from that limited horizon". May we be guided by such humble thoughts as we seek a better Nigeria for us all. What we should look for is a BIAFRA of the MIND like some have suggested in order to play our role in the emerging Nigeria that will come...


ABARIBE

Enyinnaya Abaribe, the brilliant and brave senator who signed the bail for Nnamdi Kanu's release delivered perhaps the most perceptive and wisest speech on Igbos and Nigeria last week in Mississippi, US. Every Igbo who cares about the present and the future of our people should read it. It's a bit long but the effort is worth it. Please see below:


"What I will say here today may come as a surprise to many of you. For those that I will rub the wrong way, I apologize in advance.


However, "NDIGBO si na owu onye nke mmadu na ghu ya ahu na agbata ukwu". If I fail to say the truth about the existential challenges that we face today in our country Nigeria, and how we believe we should face them, then I would not be true to myself and to you who sent me to represent you in the red chamber.


From the Past to Today.


1970


We can situate our position today following the end of the civil war in 1970. Igbo's in 1970 were impoverished having lost an estimated 3 Million Igbo souls in the war, with a ruined and destroyed landscape and infrastructure. Every Igbo man/woman with savings in the banks before the outbreak of hostilities were pauperized as the military government decreed that one would only get 20 pounds notwithstanding the amount you had. The indigenization decree was passed in 1972 and no Igbo could participate since all had been reduced to penury.


2017


Today the Igbo have the largest pool of educated Nigerians. In 2007, Imo State had more subscribers to the JAMB UTME exams than the 19 Northern States put together. In 2017, 56% of of NYSC members are from the South East. Our feat in education means that we now have the army to win the war of competition in a market driven economy. Since 1999, the south east states have been the best in all exams.


The largest group of direct domestic investors in Nigeria are from the south east. Igbo investments in property in Abuja alone probably has more than any other ethnic group. We are the most travelled in Nigeria. In all parts of Nigeria after the indigenous population, Igbo's are the next largest group. We are the largest propertied class of all ethnic groups in Nigeria and despite all this confusion, we have grown the most economically since the inception of the current democracy in Nigeria. We have the richest and largest pool of Nigeria diaspora population.


Taking an example of Lagos state, Ndigbo form a large proportion of the economy of the state. We created the following from nothing;

Computer Village in Ikeja. Ladipo Spare Parts market. Alaba Electronic Market. Balogun Int'l Market.

Balogun (Trade Fair) International Market. Aspamda market in Festac.

Orile Market for house fittings & appliances etc.


All second hand clothing markets in Lagos. About 4 markets. The combined turnover daily of these markets run into billions daily. Lagos state benefits by collecting taxes and now its economy contributes 56% of all VAT collected in Nigeria. Above scenario is replicated in most big cities in Nigeria. Go to Kano, Port Harcourt, Benin City, Kaduna, Sokoto, not to talk of Abuja. Ndigbo are very large players in the economy of all parts of Nigeria. I will return to this.


The ALLURE of BIAFRA


So the question is, given all the advantages that we as Ndigbo have in Nigeria, why the clamour by our youths and others for a separate state of Biafra?


The present agitation in the South East for a sovereign state of Biafra seems very tempting under the prevailing circumstance given the manifest sectional approach to governance at the center. To some especially the youth and the disadvantaged it is the way to go and when viewed critically you cannot help but to agree with the agitators. Of a truth there is an obvious feeling of alienation within the Nigerian state today. But has this always been the case? Apart from the civil war and the pernicious policies of the military regimes, we have not fared badly during civil rule until presently.


Given that following the civil war, there seemed to have been a glass ceiling in certain professions in Nigeria where it looked as if Igbo should not aspire to. In the police, military etc. But we can posit this as the lingering effects of the war where the victor in a war finds it very difficult to fully integrate the other party they fought with into all areas. In the US for example, I understand that it took a very long time for someone from the southern part of the US several decades after the civil war which they lost to break the stranglehold of the north for the presidency of the US. (Correct me if I'm wrong).


But come to think of it, Dr Alex Ekwueme became the Vice President of Nigeria barely 9 years after the civil war. The glass ceiling was on its way to being broken! The military interregnum from 1993 led by the same Muhammadu Buhari put a hold on this. In the US, Germany, Japan and other climes deliberate policies were used by governments to build stronger ties among groups and opposing tendencies. This helped to forge a bond within their nations. Nigeria seemed to think that a policy of benign neglect will resolve our problems. Of course it didn't and that's why we are seeing a resurgence of separatist agitation going on all over the country.


Fast forward to the civil rule era starting from 1999. Nobody would accuse Presidents Obasanjo, late Yar'adua, or Jonathan of what seemed like sectionalism as state policy. A look at the pattern of appointments by President Obasanjo evinced the fact of an all inclusive government from all parts of the country. Same as President Yar'adua. President Jonathan took it a step further by appointing the first Igbo chief of army staff, first Igbo secretary to the federal government, coordinating minister for the economy etc. In fact, one of the criticisms we face today in Nigeria is to explain why should this agitation for separation be under President Buhari when it was not done under the previous administration? However, that criticism is not true. Recall that under President Obasanjo and Yar'adua there was Massob which was managed much better than today.


However, you will recall that when this government came into place, President Buhari went to the US where he made a most unfortunate statement that was widely condemned at that time. He reportedly said that he doesn't need to bother about the 5% that didn't vote for him but will rather concern himself with the 97% that voted for him. I had at the time the statement was made raised concern that such declaration from an elected President sounds discriminatory and may create the impression that our elected President Buhari is sending a message to those who didn't vote for him that he will be partial in his decision making. Unfortunately, it seems also that the people who are in and around the president didn't advise him properly. 


They left him to make appointments and take decisions that gave the impression that there are some parts of the country that are not supposed to be part of Nigeria. Little wonder that our youths feeling left out and not having anything to give them hope in Nigeria, started believing that a separate country would be better. But I say it is NOT. I will come to this later.


I recall that in November of 2016, after seeing how things were going, the South East caucus of the Senate sought for and got an appointment with the President Buhari. Our discussion centered on the south East perception of not being part of this administration thereby giving rise to our people feeling disconnected from the government. We pointed out that it should be a cause for concern if a major part of the country is not represented in the security architecture of the country in addition to other critical sectors from the inception of the administration. We were promised that our concerns would be looked into. Sadly, this was not done till today.


Our country Nigeria is supposed to be for inclusion; for making sure that everyone makes his or her input into its affairs. Allowing such fairness and equity to prevail in a plural society like ours will make us a bigger and better nation. Today that is not the case. Either as a deliberate act as it seems or a willful omission geared towards achieving a pre-determined goal, Ndigbo have been pushed to the fringes of the Nigerian Union in so many ways by the present government. The unfortunate scenario is enough for one to ask the hypothetical question....why am I here?


WHAT ALTERNATIVES


As much as the music of separatism stirs the soul, one must ask the question; Is relapsing into a sovereign state of Biafra the optimum option or is it a restructuring of the state such that all the federating units would have greater autonomy in the mould of a near quasi self determination the better option? When these two options are posed; a sovereign state of Biafra or restructured Nigeria, the position of most Nigerians as of today is for the latter.


Apart from the problem of even determining the boundaries of the state of Biafra and the multifarious and multifaceted problems a simplistic solution such as Biafra poses, perhaps it makes more sense for those who have tasted war to be a little more discerning when matters affecting their race comes up in Nigeria. Nigerians have been known to come together to use the Igbo head to break coconuts (apologies to late Abiola). Despite the problems that befell the Yoruba race following the annulment of the June 12 elections, they didn't seek to break out out of Nigeria despite some of them calling for an Oduduwa country. They simply used the sympathies of other Nigerians to create an economic haven for themselves which has led to massive relocation of industries by all Nigerians to Lagos and Ogun States. They also got the Presidency of Nigeria.


Our brothers from the Niger Delta have not sought to go away either. They also got the Presidency of Nigeria. However we seem to be in the unfortunate position of seeming to drag the Niger Delta into a Biafra unwanted by them. The agitation for Biafra and how it was being prosecuted by IPOB has rather elicited hate and disdain for our people from other ethnic groups notwithstanding that they may have been nursing such tendencies. The agitation as championed by IPOB somehow gave muscle to traditional traducers of Ndigbo to spew out hate and envious vituperations. This was exemplified by the October 1st quit notice given to Igbos to leave the North by the so-called Arewa youths which persons are yet to be arrested for hate speech and breaching the law. They claimed to be responding to our own hate speeches etc.


Indeed, other people seem to want to see us fall into the trap for them to use us to solve their own problems with Nigeria. That notwithstanding, we as political leaders from the South East were unequivocal in asserting that that the rights of Ndigbo to peaceful and democratic engagements must be respected. On this score we made it clear that no amount of threat will cow Ndigbo from consistently demanding for an equitable, fair and just society within the Nigerian State. We also cautioned our youths on their vituperative calls and employed the Igbo concept of "bu uzo chu fuo Ufu, tutu ta wa Okuko uta"! This of course was misunderstood by other Nigerians as support rather than constructive engagement.


WHY NOT BIAFRA?


We believe that the best way to go given our situation today is to look before we leap. We must not be pushed to abandon our huge contribution to the modern Nigerian state. As we pointed out in the beginning of this paper, Ndigbo have been the single ethnic group that have welded the country Nigeria together given our way of life as sojourners everywhere in Nigeria, West Africa, Africa and the world. I dare say that we make up to 50% or more of Nigerians in the US. The question is why would we look to confine ourselves to a small landlocked entity when we have the whole of Nigeria to cavort in?


I have deliberately left out of this discussion the practical impossibility of even getting our brothers from the Niger Delta to go with us in this quest. Not to talk of the Idoma or the Kogi that we insist are part of us.

One thing seems to elude our people when these questions are posed. We look at the determination of the present government to treat us dismissively and feel that it is well nigh an impossible task to get our wish for a just society but we fail to look at the historical evidence before us.


When the 97% vs 5% controversy erupted, I told our people that my people the Ngwa says that "Ohu afor abughi ndu ebighi ebi". Governments come and go. PDP government lost election and quit the stage for this APC government. Who says they cannot also lose? Why are we then acting as if it's the end of the world? The maximum any government can stay is two term totaling 8years. "Obughi ndu ebighi ebi"!


Restructuring is an idea whose time has come and it will happen.

Biafra should be a last option, only after every other avenue to realize a restructured Nigeria where every component part is allowed a measure of autonomy and self determination fails. Let me state here that if the dominant views in Nigeria is for restructuring, then that should be the minimum that Ndigbo should demand, so that every component part of this country can substantially harness its resources and develop at its own pace.


Do not forget that the breached Aburi accord was about restructuring and today this call has garnered overwhelming momentum even from quarters that hitherto opposed it. Just recently former President Ibrahim Babangida, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and lately Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and a host of others have joined the fray. Restructuring has become a singsong which we must explore vigorously. Even the ruling APC has set up a committee led by Governor el-Rufai to bring about a considered view on it. Forget the fact that it was part of their manifesto. The fact is that the discussion is on, as it should be.


I recall that in August, the Igbo political elite, Ohaneze, Governors, National Assembly Caucus met in Enugu and affirmed that the terms of our marriage in Nigeria is stifling to everybody and therefore we must have another look at it. That position has not changed but has in fact been reinforced by the agreement by other parts of Nigeria that it is time to look at the matter as evidenced by the South West Political Summit where they endorsed restructuring back to the 1963 constitution.


To me the strident calls by IPOB for a referendum should be seen as a legitimate demand to compel the state to see the urgency of having a second look at our marriage, with the ultimate aim of enthroning equity and fairness, where our people will no longer be treated as second class citizens in Nigeria. Though the methods may be misconstrued, the true colour of the agitation would have come out had there been a concerted effort at dialogue. The agitations gives fillip to the Igbo idiom..."Ma Opara emeghi nkpotu, agaghi ilughi ya Nwanyi ".


Our people are saying this union is stifling us, and we are making a lot of noise so we can find a solution.

The solution I think can be found in a restructured Nigeria. The beauty of it is that while we can enjoy near wholesale autonomy, our people as itinerant business people could have an unrestrained space in a larger market provided by a united Nigeria.


We should not be swayed by what we think is the attraction of an exclusive opportunity to be provided by a sovereign Biafra. No. That would box us into a tiny corner which has its own challenges which would prove overwhelming as time goes on. This is a topic for another day.


DIASPORA IGBOS AND US.


One of the problems those of us who attempt to show a direction to our people at home is the near universal disdain that some of our brother Ndigbo in Diaspora have for our leaders and elected representatives at home. Nowhere is it more apposite than in this matter of Biafra agitation. While some of our brothers/sisters here in the comfort of their homes seems to urge our youths through their utterances and actions to use unconstitutional means and disparage other ethnic groups that which actions seems to alienate us from our neighbors and the Nigerian State, we the leaders at home have been been left with the task of intervening in such a manner to dissuade the government from deploying the coercive instruments of state against the agitators. The aim was to stop bloodshed and waste of human lives. We have lost enough from the civil war. Those egging our youths on from here do not seem to appreciate this fact.


Most distressing is the labeling of those who disagree with their positions as "cowards, saboteurs, Hausa slaves etc". This tends to discourage those who genuinely strive to lead our people through a very distressing period in our history as a nation.


Nnia Nwodo as President of Ohaneze has been vilified for taking a stand for restructuring in Nigeria for Ndigbo, a position agreed by all of us in the earlier summit I referenced. Governors come in for bashing everyday. As for us legislators, we have been called all sorts of names such as 'legislooters' etc.


Yet, when it came to taking a stand at ground zero, to bail Kanu; to reject the Federal Government ascribing Terrorism to IPOB, we are the people doing so and we never hesitated to say that agitation in every clime is constitutional. We take the bullets from other ethnic groups and the government for standing firm and demanding that Nigerians should be left to talk to each other about the best way forward without preconditions. We would use this opportunity plead with our internet warriors who stay here in their comfort zone here that our Igbo say, "ma Opara nzuzu adighi nwuo, Opara ma izu aga beghi ibichi ezi".


SOME FINAL THOUGHTS


Why are we not Investing at Home.


Lack of Infrastructure. 


Should we continue to blame the Federal Government for the dilapidated infrastructures in Ala Igbo? What of our home governments in Igbo States? Sam Mbakwe of blessed memory did not wait for the Federal Government before undertaking massive rebuilding of old IMO State. We think that we have not given our best to our people with the little we got. 


Insecurity. 


Nowhere have we hurt ourselves and investment in Ala Igbo than in the insecurity pervading all parts of our homeland. Of course the latest imbroglio in Abia especially in Aba and Umuahia has worsened matters. We run the risk of undoing all the efforts made in promoting 'made in Aba' that we had embarked on as a catalyst for growth in Ala Igbo. Industries have relocated from Ala Igbo to other parts of Nigeria especially Lagos and Ogun States because of the very serious insecurity such as kidnappining and armed robbery faced by those who invest at home. We cannot be looking for investors and yet make our place not conducive to investment. 


Unemployment 


Unemployment is the single biggest problem we have in Ala Igbo today. Before this time due to our domestic investments and industry, this was not a very big problem but due to the dis-investment going on today in Ala Igbo today we are faced with a existential problem in our hand. Diaspora Igbo's have to assist us to also invest at home despite the problems and reduce the unemployment in Ala Igbo. Once we get Ala Igbo right the frustrations that fuel the agitation in ala Igbo will be dampened. What we have playing out in the world today is a knowledge economy. Oil is going out of fashion. As I pointed out earlier, we are poised through our educational exploits in Nigeria to dominate the economy of tomorrow. Why would we turn a blind eye to this emerging scenario? 


In ending let me quote what the great son of Igbo land, the great Zik of Africa said about himself: 


"Despite the mythic heights to which he was raised, Azikiwe was nothing if not pragmatic, a realist, always conscious of his limits and ever eager to extract all that was possible from that limited horizon". May we be guided by such humble thoughts as we seek a better Nigeria for us all. What we should look for is a BIAFRA of the MIND like some have suggested in order to play our role in the emerging Nigeria that will come...


ACIS-M SUPPORTS the Declaration of denunciation of the International Relations Commission of the National Assembly of People's Power of the Republic of Cuba before a new maneuver by the European Parliament

ACIS-M SUPPORTS the Declaration of denunciation of the International Relations Commission of the National Assembly of People's Power of the Republic of Cuba before a new maneuver by the European Parliament


We have learned to our disgust that a small group of MEP’s servile to Washington have placed an item on the agenda of the next plenary session of the European Parliament (8 June) regarding the “Political Situation and Human Rights in Cuba”.


They are seeking the adoption of a resolution against our country based on distortion of the reality we are living; they are determined to sever the bonds that unite us with the European Union and to block implementation of the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement currently being negotiated on the basis of mutual respect and equality between our states.

Such actions come as no surprise to us; they reflect the double standards, the discriminatory approach that is their hallmark.

They feign concern for human rights in Cuba, a free, independent, sovereign, democratic nation that embraces social justice and human solidarity, whose people decide their destinies and where - based on an inviolable principle enunciated by JosΓ© MartÍ and enshrined in our constitution - the first law of the Republic is the Cubans’ cult of the full dignity of Man.

It is strange that, being so exercised by the human rights situation in Cuba, they have not convened the European Parliament to consider the main violation of human rights suffered by our people, namely the genocidal blockade imposed on our country for the last 62 years and intensified to incredible levels in the midst of a pandemic and a global economic crisis; a blockade which also affects European citizens - notably their entrepreneurs.

They are also acting in total indifference to flagrant violations of such rights in America and other countries, some European, which during the last 12 months have seen a rising trend in police brutality, the application of policies that discriminate against migrants, speeches inciting hatred and promoting supremacist ideas, curtailment of freedom of the press and freedom of expression, accompanied by manifestations of racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance.

Be aware that those behind this maneuver do not represent the totality of the MEPs. These politicized exercises serve external interests seeking to compromise the EU’s autonomy in matters of foreign policy.

*We respectfully call on the MEPs not to acquiesce in this duplicitous stratagem, to put a stop to the maneuver. Havana, June 4, 2021, 63rd year of the Revolution, International Relations Commission. National Assembly of the People’s Power.*

*THE CUBAN REVOLUTION WILL OUTLIVE ALL SUCH INSIDIOUS POLICIES & FALSEHOODS!*


We have learned to our disgust that a small group of MEP’s servile to Washington have placed an item on the agenda of the next plenary session of the European Parliament (8 June) regarding the “Political Situation and Human Rights in Cuba”.


They are seeking the adoption of a resolution against our country based on distortion of the reality we are living; they are determined to sever the bonds that unite us with the European Union and to block implementation of the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement currently being negotiated on the basis of mutual respect and equality between our states.

Such actions come as no surprise to us; they reflect the double standards, the discriminatory approach that is their hallmark.

They feign concern for human rights in Cuba, a free, independent, sovereign, democratic nation that embraces social justice and human solidarity, whose people decide their destinies and where - based on an inviolable principle enunciated by JosΓ© MartÍ and enshrined in our constitution - the first law of the Republic is the Cubans’ cult of the full dignity of Man.

It is strange that, being so exercised by the human rights situation in Cuba, they have not convened the European Parliament to consider the main violation of human rights suffered by our people, namely the genocidal blockade imposed on our country for the last 62 years and intensified to incredible levels in the midst of a pandemic and a global economic crisis; a blockade which also affects European citizens - notably their entrepreneurs.

They are also acting in total indifference to flagrant violations of such rights in America and other countries, some European, which during the last 12 months have seen a rising trend in police brutality, the application of policies that discriminate against migrants, speeches inciting hatred and promoting supremacist ideas, curtailment of freedom of the press and freedom of expression, accompanied by manifestations of racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance.

Be aware that those behind this maneuver do not represent the totality of the MEPs. These politicized exercises serve external interests seeking to compromise the EU’s autonomy in matters of foreign policy.

*We respectfully call on the MEPs not to acquiesce in this duplicitous stratagem, to put a stop to the maneuver. Havana, June 4, 2021, 63rd year of the Revolution, International Relations Commission. National Assembly of the People’s Power.*

*THE CUBAN REVOLUTION WILL OUTLIVE ALL SUCH INSIDIOUS POLICIES & FALSEHOODS!*

RE- CONSTITUTION-MAKING IS DIFFERENT FROM LAW-MAKING; THE POWERS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF NIGERIA IS LIMITED TO LAW-MAKING AND DOES NOT EXTEND TO CONSTITUTION-MAKING WHICH IS AN EXCLUSIVE PREROGATIVE OF THE PEOPLE

RE- CONSTITUTION-MAKING IS DIFFERENT FROM LAW-MAKING; THE POWERS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF NIGERIA IS LIMITED TO LAW-MAKING AND DOES NOT EXTEND TO CONSTITUTION-MAKING WHICH IS AN EXCLUSIVE PREROGATIVE OF THE PEOPLE

A Raging Confusion & Delusion By Abiodun Aremu



This Clarification is directed at those who erroneously think that the National Assembly of Nigeria is the venue for Resolving all Constitutional Grievances and who therefore point all those raising Constitutional Grievances or Dispute towards the National Assembly.


Constitution-Making is Different from Law-Making. 


The Powers of the National Assembly is Limited to Law-Making and does not extend to Constitution-Making.


Constitution-Making is a much higher undertaking and is the Exclusive Prerogative of the People. 


Constitution-Making Requires Constituent Powers which reside exclusively with the People as an incident of their Sovereignty. 


That Constituent Power is exercised by the People through a Body Specially Elected & Mandated by the People, not the Parliament that was Elected to make Laws according to Constitution. 


Even with the Constituent-Power Mandate of the People, the Draft Constitution Produced by the Specially Empaneled Body is subjected to Referendum as the Ratification so that it carries the Seal and Sanction of the People. 


The National Assembly does not have Constituent Powers and the limited power of Constitution Amendments granted the Parliament by the People through the Constitution is also subjected to the Ratification of the People by way of Referendum.


The Situation of Nigeria is that We have not made any Constitution at all and so the National Assembly that clings to the Forgery of 1999 that is imputed by Decree to *”WE THE PEOPLE”* is compounding the Treason Initiated by Abdusalam Abubakar in 1999 via Decree No.24 by which he enacted the so-called “1999 Constitution”. 


Those who draw power from, and swear to Defend and Uphold the Imposed, Fraudulent 1999 Constitution by which our Sovereignty is Hijacked and Confiscated by an illicit Federal Government are actually committing *TREASON* against the rest of us. 


With the year 2000 Joint *SECESSION* of the 12 Contiguous States of the Far North from the Secular Union of Nigeria, the December 16, 2020 Constitutional Force Majeure Proclamation was the Activation of a Joint Machinery of the rest of Nigeria, (being the Indigenous Peoples of Nigeria in the South and Middle-Belt) to Decommission and Terminate the Operation of the Fraudulent 1999 Constitution, Dismantle the Unitary Union of Death foisted by that Constitution and Midwife the Emergence of Successor-Constitutional Protocols anchored wholly on the Self-Determination Rights of the Trapped Constituent Components of the Defunct Federation of Nigeria which collapsed since 1966. 


Tony Nnadi. 

NINAS Secretariat 

April 25, 2021.


A Raging Confusion & Delusion


 *The above post is part of the raging Confusion & Delusion in the country, that are clothed in intellectual sophistry! Political power is won through struggle & a people must be a people in essence to assert legitimacy! Laws and constitution-making are mere organs of class rule (power). The central question is who controls the economy & who controls the politics? And the control of the economy & politics is never possible, without winning class power, without overthrowing the class of looters holding power! It's not a moral issue or of appeal of the individuals assuming the status of a people! Which people?*

 *When in ACIS-M, we speak of the people, whether in Nigeria or the Pan-African world, we mean: “the working population [workers, farmers, professionals, traders, artisans, etc) in the formal & informal sectors who are subjected to indecent work conditions and living, we mean the millions of youth without education, jobs, and social security, we mean women, aged, physically challenged and all those who are victims of one form of exploitation and oppression and who are prepared to commit themselves to the struggle for total liberation on the core-principles of clarity-conviction-commitment-collective discipline!*

*Or as COMMANDANTE FIDEL said: when we speak of the PEOPLE we are not talking about those who live in comfort or those who profit from the looting of our society, who glorify the class of looters, who welcome and obey any repressive regime and impunity in government, and those who prostrate before the rulers of the moment because of selfish gains.*

*Or as FELA ANIKULAPO said when he sang of the PEOPLE we are not talking about those who will say “we no wan die, we no wan wound, we no wan quench, we no wan go; I get one child, Mama dey for house, Papa dey for house, I wan build house, I don build house; We no wan quench, I wan enjoy, We no wan go, So policeman go slap your face, you no go talk; Army man go whip your yansh, you go dey look like donkey! Dem leave Sorrow, Tears and Blood*

*AND as Commandante FIDEL concluded: When we speak of STRUGGLE and we mention the PEOPLE we mean the working people and the oppressed masses, those to whom everyone makes promises and who are deceived by all.* *We mean the PEOPLE, who want a better, more dignified and humane society; who are moved by profound commitment to justice, because they have suffered injustice, humiliation and mockery from every regime – military & civilian*

*We mean the PEOPLE who long for true and upright changes in all aspects of their life; PEOPLE who, to attain their FREEDOM, they believe in themselves and are ready to give even the very last breadth they have to bring about the desired humane society”*

A Raging Confusion & Delusion By Abiodun Aremu



This Clarification is directed at those who erroneously think that the National Assembly of Nigeria is the venue for Resolving all Constitutional Grievances and who therefore point all those raising Constitutional Grievances or Dispute towards the National Assembly.


Constitution-Making is Different from Law-Making. 


The Powers of the National Assembly is Limited to Law-Making and does not extend to Constitution-Making.


Constitution-Making is a much higher undertaking and is the Exclusive Prerogative of the People. 


Constitution-Making Requires Constituent Powers which reside exclusively with the People as an incident of their Sovereignty. 


That Constituent Power is exercised by the People through a Body Specially Elected & Mandated by the People, not the Parliament that was Elected to make Laws according to Constitution. 


Even with the Constituent-Power Mandate of the People, the Draft Constitution Produced by the Specially Empaneled Body is subjected to Referendum as the Ratification so that it carries the Seal and Sanction of the People. 


The National Assembly does not have Constituent Powers and the limited power of Constitution Amendments granted the Parliament by the People through the Constitution is also subjected to the Ratification of the People by way of Referendum.


The Situation of Nigeria is that We have not made any Constitution at all and so the National Assembly that clings to the Forgery of 1999 that is imputed by Decree to *”WE THE PEOPLE”* is compounding the Treason Initiated by Abdusalam Abubakar in 1999 via Decree No.24 by which he enacted the so-called “1999 Constitution”. 


Those who draw power from, and swear to Defend and Uphold the Imposed, Fraudulent 1999 Constitution by which our Sovereignty is Hijacked and Confiscated by an illicit Federal Government are actually committing *TREASON* against the rest of us. 


With the year 2000 Joint *SECESSION* of the 12 Contiguous States of the Far North from the Secular Union of Nigeria, the December 16, 2020 Constitutional Force Majeure Proclamation was the Activation of a Joint Machinery of the rest of Nigeria, (being the Indigenous Peoples of Nigeria in the South and Middle-Belt) to Decommission and Terminate the Operation of the Fraudulent 1999 Constitution, Dismantle the Unitary Union of Death foisted by that Constitution and Midwife the Emergence of Successor-Constitutional Protocols anchored wholly on the Self-Determination Rights of the Trapped Constituent Components of the Defunct Federation of Nigeria which collapsed since 1966. 


Tony Nnadi. 

NINAS Secretariat 

April 25, 2021.


A Raging Confusion & Delusion


 *The above post is part of the raging Confusion & Delusion in the country, that are clothed in intellectual sophistry! Political power is won through struggle & a people must be a people in essence to assert legitimacy! Laws and constitution-making are mere organs of class rule (power). The central question is who controls the economy & who controls the politics? And the control of the economy & politics is never possible, without winning class power, without overthrowing the class of looters holding power! It's not a moral issue or of appeal of the individuals assuming the status of a people! Which people?*

 *When in ACIS-M, we speak of the people, whether in Nigeria or the Pan-African world, we mean: “the working population [workers, farmers, professionals, traders, artisans, etc) in the formal & informal sectors who are subjected to indecent work conditions and living, we mean the millions of youth without education, jobs, and social security, we mean women, aged, physically challenged and all those who are victims of one form of exploitation and oppression and who are prepared to commit themselves to the struggle for total liberation on the core-principles of clarity-conviction-commitment-collective discipline!*

*Or as COMMANDANTE FIDEL said: when we speak of the PEOPLE we are not talking about those who live in comfort or those who profit from the looting of our society, who glorify the class of looters, who welcome and obey any repressive regime and impunity in government, and those who prostrate before the rulers of the moment because of selfish gains.*

*Or as FELA ANIKULAPO said when he sang of the PEOPLE we are not talking about those who will say “we no wan die, we no wan wound, we no wan quench, we no wan go; I get one child, Mama dey for house, Papa dey for house, I wan build house, I don build house; We no wan quench, I wan enjoy, We no wan go, So policeman go slap your face, you no go talk; Army man go whip your yansh, you go dey look like donkey! Dem leave Sorrow, Tears and Blood*

*AND as Commandante FIDEL concluded: When we speak of STRUGGLE and we mention the PEOPLE we mean the working people and the oppressed masses, those to whom everyone makes promises and who are deceived by all.* *We mean the PEOPLE, who want a better, more dignified and humane society; who are moved by profound commitment to justice, because they have suffered injustice, humiliation and mockery from every regime – military & civilian*

*We mean the PEOPLE who long for true and upright changes in all aspects of their life; PEOPLE who, to attain their FREEDOM, they believe in themselves and are ready to give even the very last breadth they have to bring about the desired humane society”*

There are Two Sets Of Laws In Nigeria - Senator Abaribe

There are Two Sets Of Laws In Nigeria - Senator Abaribe

 Currently, We Have Two Sets Of Laws In Nigeria - Senator Abaribe


We have the law for the North and the law for the South.


In the North, terrorists are called bandits, government negotiate with them and pay them huge amount of money for their terrorism.


In the South, unarmed freedom fighters are called terrorists, government arrest them and even kill them at will.


In the North, police don’t arrest criminals or extort motorists.


In the South, police arrest innocent citizens and extort motorists.


In the North, Islamic police (Hisbah) arrest Nigerian police for drinking alcohol.


In the South, police arrest vigilantes that drink alcohol and label them criminals.


In the North, Northern youths can kill innocent Southerners and no one will arrest them.


In the South, Southern youths get arrested for attacking armed Fulani herdsmen.


How will people believe in One Nigeria with these treatments?


- Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe

 Currently, We Have Two Sets Of Laws In Nigeria - Senator Abaribe


We have the law for the North and the law for the South.


In the North, terrorists are called bandits, government negotiate with them and pay them huge amount of money for their terrorism.


In the South, unarmed freedom fighters are called terrorists, government arrest them and even kill them at will.


In the North, police don’t arrest criminals or extort motorists.


In the South, police arrest innocent citizens and extort motorists.


In the North, Islamic police (Hisbah) arrest Nigerian police for drinking alcohol.


In the South, police arrest vigilantes that drink alcohol and label them criminals.


In the North, Northern youths can kill innocent Southerners and no one will arrest them.


In the South, Southern youths get arrested for attacking armed Fulani herdsmen.


How will people believe in One Nigeria with these treatments?


- Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe

Guns and teargas in U.S. Capitol as Trump supporters attempt to overturn his loss

Guns and teargas in U.S. Capitol as Trump supporters attempt to overturn his loss

 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Police in the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday responded with drawn guns and tear gas on Wednesday as swarms of protesters stormed in and sought to force Congress to undo President Donald Trump's election loss shortly after some of Trump's fellow Republicans launched a last-ditch effort to throw out the results.


Police evacuated the House of Representatives and the Senate after pro-Trump protesters marched through the halls of Congress, forcing both chambers to suspend deliberations as they were meeting to certify President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the Nov. 3 election.


One protester occupied the Senate dais and yelled, "Trump won that election."

Video showed police deploying tear gas inside the building.


The chaotic scenes unfolded after Trump, due to leave office on Jan. 20, addressed thousands of protesters, repeating false claims that the election was stolen from him due to widespread election fraud and irregularities. Lawmakers had been debating a last-ditch effort by pro-Trump lawmakers to challenge the results, an effort that was unlikely to succeed.


Vice President Mike Pence, who had presided over the joint session of Congress, had already been escorted from the Senate.


Capitol Police told lawmakers in the House chamber to take gas masks from beneath their seats and prepare to put them on. Officers at the front door of the House chamber had their guns drawn as someone attempted to enter the chamber.


Officers ordered people in the chamber to drop to the floor for their safety.


Election officials of both parties and independent observers have said there was no significant fraud in the Nov. 3 contest, which Biden won by more than 7 million votes in the national popular vote.


Weeks have passed since the states completed certifying that Biden, a Democrat, won the election by 306 Electoral College votes to Trump's 232. Trump's extraordinary challenges to Biden's victory have been rejected by courts across the country.


Trump had pressed Pence to throw out election results in states the president narrowly lost, though Pence has no authority to do so.


The certification in Congress, normally a formality, was expected to stretch for several hours as some Republican lawmakers mounted an effort to reject some state tallies, starting with Arizona.


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell denounced the effort, saying, "If this election were overturned by mere allegations from the losing side, our democracy would enter a death spiral." McConnell helped give Trump some of the biggest accomplishments of his presidency, including deep tax cuts and confirmation of conservative judicial nominees.


The voters, courts and states "have all spoken," McConnell said on the Senate floor. "If we overrule them, it would damage our republic forever," he added.


Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer called the challenges "an attempted coup" and said, "The Congress does not determine the outcome of an election. The people do."

Outside the Capitol, members of militia groups and far-right groups, some in body armor, mingled with the crowds. Protesters chanting pro-Trump slogans overturned barricades and clashed with police.


On Twitter, Trump called on protesters to stay peaceful.


Washington Mayor Muriel Bowers ordered a citywide curfew starting at 6 p.m. (2300 GMT).


Pence rebuffed Trump's demand that the vice president unilaterally reject state electoral votes on the same day Trump's fellow Republicans were poised to lose their majority in the Senate.


"We will never give up," Trump earlier told thousands of cheering supporters on a grassy expanse near the White House called the Ellipse. "We will never concede. It doesn't happen. You don't concede when there's theft involved."


Trump in his speech applied fresh pressure on Pence to try to reverse the election results. In a statement, Pence said he shares the concerns about the "integrity" of the election but that is not correct that he should be able to accept or reject electoral votes unilaterally.


The U.S. Constitution does not give Pence the power to unilaterally overturn the results of the election, but he is under pressure to do so from Trump.


Source: Reuters


 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Police in the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday responded with drawn guns and tear gas on Wednesday as swarms of protesters stormed in and sought to force Congress to undo President Donald Trump's election loss shortly after some of Trump's fellow Republicans launched a last-ditch effort to throw out the results.


Police evacuated the House of Representatives and the Senate after pro-Trump protesters marched through the halls of Congress, forcing both chambers to suspend deliberations as they were meeting to certify President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the Nov. 3 election.


One protester occupied the Senate dais and yelled, "Trump won that election."

Video showed police deploying tear gas inside the building.


The chaotic scenes unfolded after Trump, due to leave office on Jan. 20, addressed thousands of protesters, repeating false claims that the election was stolen from him due to widespread election fraud and irregularities. Lawmakers had been debating a last-ditch effort by pro-Trump lawmakers to challenge the results, an effort that was unlikely to succeed.


Vice President Mike Pence, who had presided over the joint session of Congress, had already been escorted from the Senate.


Capitol Police told lawmakers in the House chamber to take gas masks from beneath their seats and prepare to put them on. Officers at the front door of the House chamber had their guns drawn as someone attempted to enter the chamber.


Officers ordered people in the chamber to drop to the floor for their safety.


Election officials of both parties and independent observers have said there was no significant fraud in the Nov. 3 contest, which Biden won by more than 7 million votes in the national popular vote.


Weeks have passed since the states completed certifying that Biden, a Democrat, won the election by 306 Electoral College votes to Trump's 232. Trump's extraordinary challenges to Biden's victory have been rejected by courts across the country.


Trump had pressed Pence to throw out election results in states the president narrowly lost, though Pence has no authority to do so.


The certification in Congress, normally a formality, was expected to stretch for several hours as some Republican lawmakers mounted an effort to reject some state tallies, starting with Arizona.


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell denounced the effort, saying, "If this election were overturned by mere allegations from the losing side, our democracy would enter a death spiral." McConnell helped give Trump some of the biggest accomplishments of his presidency, including deep tax cuts and confirmation of conservative judicial nominees.


The voters, courts and states "have all spoken," McConnell said on the Senate floor. "If we overrule them, it would damage our republic forever," he added.


Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer called the challenges "an attempted coup" and said, "The Congress does not determine the outcome of an election. The people do."

Outside the Capitol, members of militia groups and far-right groups, some in body armor, mingled with the crowds. Protesters chanting pro-Trump slogans overturned barricades and clashed with police.


On Twitter, Trump called on protesters to stay peaceful.


Washington Mayor Muriel Bowers ordered a citywide curfew starting at 6 p.m. (2300 GMT).


Pence rebuffed Trump's demand that the vice president unilaterally reject state electoral votes on the same day Trump's fellow Republicans were poised to lose their majority in the Senate.


"We will never give up," Trump earlier told thousands of cheering supporters on a grassy expanse near the White House called the Ellipse. "We will never concede. It doesn't happen. You don't concede when there's theft involved."


Trump in his speech applied fresh pressure on Pence to try to reverse the election results. In a statement, Pence said he shares the concerns about the "integrity" of the election but that is not correct that he should be able to accept or reject electoral votes unilaterally.


The U.S. Constitution does not give Pence the power to unilaterally overturn the results of the election, but he is under pressure to do so from Trump.


Source: Reuters


Nigeria: Makinde not ready to conduct elections into Local government, Forwards request to Assembly for Caretakers' tenure elongation

Nigeria: Makinde not ready to conduct elections into Local government, Forwards request to Assembly for Caretakers' tenure elongation


It is becoming more clearer than ever that the Oyo State Governor, Engr Seyi Makinde is not ready to conduct elections into the local governmenta in the state in any moment now even despite the constitution of an electoral umpire for the purpose.


Makinde has requested for an extension of the tenure of the sixty-eight Local Government and Local Council Development Areas Caretaker Chairmen and their members, according to a request a letter forwarded to the Oyo State House of Assembly by the Governor.


The tenure of the Caretaker Chairmen whose appointments will expire on the 19th of December, 2020 are been requested for an elongation by the governor.


Makinde's letter wants the House of Assembly to approve the extension of tenure of the Caretaker Chairmen for another three months.


The letter read in part:


 " It is my wish that the House of Assembly gives this request accelerated hearing to avoid creating a vacuum in the governance of the Local Government Councils.


The Speaker Oyo State House of Assembly, Hon Adebo Ogundoyin who read the plenary said the House will work inline with the report generated by its Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters.


Hon Ogundoyin assured that the request will be attended to by the House on Friday during its plenary.


The local government administration in Nigeria since the advent of this current democratic dispensation in 1999 has been practically ineffective as State Governors rendered useless and a channel to reward their good/loyal boys and not the people at the grassroots.


It is becoming more clearer than ever that the Oyo State Governor, Engr Seyi Makinde is not ready to conduct elections into the local governmenta in the state in any moment now even despite the constitution of an electoral umpire for the purpose.


Makinde has requested for an extension of the tenure of the sixty-eight Local Government and Local Council Development Areas Caretaker Chairmen and their members, according to a request a letter forwarded to the Oyo State House of Assembly by the Governor.


The tenure of the Caretaker Chairmen whose appointments will expire on the 19th of December, 2020 are been requested for an elongation by the governor.


Makinde's letter wants the House of Assembly to approve the extension of tenure of the Caretaker Chairmen for another three months.


The letter read in part:


 " It is my wish that the House of Assembly gives this request accelerated hearing to avoid creating a vacuum in the governance of the Local Government Councils.


The Speaker Oyo State House of Assembly, Hon Adebo Ogundoyin who read the plenary said the House will work inline with the report generated by its Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters.


Hon Ogundoyin assured that the request will be attended to by the House on Friday during its plenary.


The local government administration in Nigeria since the advent of this current democratic dispensation in 1999 has been practically ineffective as State Governors rendered useless and a channel to reward their good/loyal boys and not the people at the grassroots.

Our Position: Constitutional Review and the Restructuring of the Nigerian Federation - FD

Our Position: Constitutional Review and the Restructuring of the Nigerian Federation - FD

 Friends of Democracy

No. 11 Cotonou Crescent . Wuse Zone 6 . Abuja

[email protected]


 

Memorandum by Friends of Democracy to the National Assembly Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution

 

September 2020

 

1.0 Introduction

 

Since the 1994/95 Constitutional Conference, there have been loud and persistent agitations for the restructuring of the Nigerian Federation. The most strident voices have come from Southern Nigeria whereas the Northern voice has been largely muted. This has created the impression that the South is for and the North is against “Restructuring”. In the North, there has been a long process of consultations and reflections on the subject matter. This memo sets out to propose a path to and an outcome of restructuring that serves the best interests of Nigeria as a whole, instead of just the interest of the North or the South.

 

1.1 In 1991, a group of politicians, intellectuals and technocrats from Northern Nigeria held several meetings in Kaduna and Kano to design and propose a new federal structure for Nigeria. Among members of this group were the Late Alhaji Sule Gaya, a former First Republic Minister, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, the Late Chief Sunday Awoniyi, the Late Dr. Suleiman Kumo, Dr. Ibrahim Datti Ahmed, Dr. Mahmoud Tukur, Mallam Sule Yahaya Hamma, the Late Alhaji Abdullahi Maikano Gwarzo and others. They came up with various constitutional, political and fiscal alternatives and options with which to negotiate with the rest of Nigeria to restructure the federation. They invited the Late Chief Anthony Enahoro to Kano, held discussions with him and agreed to pursue a Restructuring Agenda together only for the Chief to rush to Lagos, hold a unilateral press conference and launch his own agenda for restructuring under the auspices of Movement for National Reformation.

 

1.2 In 2003, after twelve years of advocacy without making headway, Chief Enahoro decided to return to the same group to continue the discussions he abandoned in Kano. The 2003 discussions held at a meeting room in Sheraton Hotel, Abuja, with personalities such as the Late Chief Sunday Awoniyi, Late Mallam Adamu Ciroma, Late Alhaji Umaru Shinkafi, Late Dr. Suleiman Kumo, Late Alhaji Mahmud Waziri, Prof. Ango Abdullahi and others in attendance. The Chief narrated the contours of his journey in pursuit of restructuring since 1991 and outlined the results of his consultations within the three zones in the South. He wanted the three zones in the North to each outline their own positions so he could have an overall picture of the positions of the six zones in Nigeria.

 

1.3 Having listened to the Chief's submission, the group referred him to the Arewa Consultative Forum, the umbrella socio-cultural organization for the North, which was founded in the intervening period in 2001. Chief Enahoro met with the leadership of ACF a couple of months later but could not sustain the consultations because he wanted separate positions from the three zones in the North on Restructuring, a position the ACF found rather condescending. Since then, a new crop of Northern intellectuals, technocrats and politicians, have continued the search for a common ground with the rest of Nigeria on restructuring in different ways but the Northern effort has been underreported in the mainstream media, for understandable reasons.

 

1.4 The popular opinion about the current debate is that the South as a block appears to be for restructuring. This is however more apparent than real. When the questions of how to restructure and the substance of such restructuring are posed, there are significant differences in the positions advanced in the three zones of the South and these are yet to be reconciled. Discussions on the issue in the North may also reveal significant differences between component parts of the region. It is therefore important to reflect on restructuring in a way that will promote the welfare of the people of Nigeria as a whole, while taking the divergent interests of its constituent parts into account. We begin from the premise that every part of Nigeria has a peculiar challenge that needs to be addressed but together all parts have more to gain from a united Nigeria. Restructuring must, therefore, not be conceived a priori to be for or against any part of Nigeria. Any contrary approach is sure to end in unqualified failure.

 

2.0 Background

 

2.1 There is a need to introduce some history into the discussion on restructuring. Protagonists tend to articulate their positions in a way that suggests Nigeria has not been restructuring. The fact of the matter however is that Nigeria has been restructuring since 1914, when the British amalgamated the three territories in the Nigeria area, the colony of Lagos and the two Protectorates to the North and South of the Niger. This symbolic act representing the “creation of Nigeria” has been widely castigated as an artificial act and a mistake. Such views erroneously believe that there are states that have been “naturally constituted”. We do know, however, that throughout history, state formations have occurred in a fluid and artificial manner. State cohesion has been patiently and painstakingly built much later. What the British created as Nigeria was made up of many autonomous and independent communities as well as diverse languages and cultures that were coerced into a new political formation. The problem of Nigeria is not so much the amalgamation of 1914, but the failure to forge a cohesive nation from the hitherto autonomous and independent entities after independence due, largely, to a primitive and backward fixation with and relentless pursuit of a utopian, uni-cultural concept of “nation”.

 

2.2 Lord Lugard first structured Nigeria into a political system based on 'indirect rule' with a policy of non-centralised administration or ‘separate government for different peoples'. This policy led to the evolution of certain structures and institutions, which to a certain extent, still characterise the contemporary Nigerian State. The basic principle of "Indirect Rule" was 'divide and rule'. In the Emirates of Northern Nigeria and in the Yoruba kingdoms of the South West, indigenous political structures were retained and often reinforced by the colonial administration as the primary level of government, while in the South East as well as among some of the acephalous 'Middle Belt' societies, a new order of colonial chiefs known as 'warrant chiefs' was imposed. These imposed colonial structures are what some groups mistake for traditional structures, which they are agitating to retain as their’s.

 

2.3 In the North, traditional elites were fully involved in local colonial administration, thanks to the system of 'Native Administration' (NA) and were therefore allies in the administration of the British colonial system. Secondly, they had an understanding with the colonial administration to keep Christian missionaries and by implication, western education, out of the Emirates. The result was that the pace of development of Western education in the Muslim part of the North was very slow and the few that were chosen to participate in the Western education system were all employed in the NA.

 

2.4 In the other parts of the country, Christian missionaries were given full freedom for proselytisation and, virtually, exclusive control of Western education. It resulted in a fairly rapid evolution of a Western educated elite, to the detriment of traditional ruling elites. The new elite, however, had very limited opportunities of integrating into the upper echelons of the civil service even when they had high levels of education. Given their educational background and the frustrations of exclusion, they drifted into political agitation and adversary journalism.

 

2.5 In 1938 the South was restructured into two regions, the West and the East, while the North was left intact - hence the origins of the tripartite political system. This system was formalised with the Richards Constitution of 1946. The Nigerian debate over restructuring started with the Richards Constitution. The Southern nationalists – Herbert Macaulay, Nnamdi Azikiwe and Michael Imoudu rejected the Constitution because it was designed to perpetuate the colonial structure of sharing power between the Crown and Native Authorities and mobilised for a new structure in which citizens would be the repositories of power. They travelled round the country, mobilized, raised funds and went to London in 1946 to demand for a new structure.

 

2.6 When five years later, they succeeded in placing self-government on the agenda with Governor Macpherson's Constitution, the Nigerian political elite had agreed to a Federation based on the three tier regional structure Lord Lugard had invented. In the process, the profound demand for democratic government in which power resided with citizens was abandoned. The guiding principle of this “new” tripartite Federation was that each Region had a 'majority ethnic group', which was to play the role of the leading actor - in the North the Hausa, in the West the Yoruba, and in the East the Igbo. In fact the whole process of constitution making between 1946 and 1959 was an elaborate bargaining pantomime to find equilibrium between the three regions. No wonder the process resulted in the emergence of three major political parties each allied to a majority group.

 

2.7 The pre-independence restructuring was problematic because Nigeria was never composed of three cultural groups but of hundreds of cultural and ethnic groups competing with the three majority groups. Although Nigeria was profoundly multipolar, the Hausa-Yoruba–Igbo political elites opted to maintain the colonial tripartite structure. It is important to remember that none of the three regions of the First Republic represented a historic political bloc, as there were minority groups in each. Against the recommendation of the Willinks Commission of 1958, the colonial administration refused to create more regions. This refusal heightened the fears of domination of the 'minorities' by the 'majorities'.

 

3.0 Post-Colonial Restructuring

 

3.1 It was the military that subsequently succeeded in completely restructuring the Nigerian State. They dismantled the tripartite regional structure, which had become quadripartite with the creation of the Mid West Region in 1963. In 1967, just before the advent of the civil war, the Gowon Military Administration created 12 states from the four existing regions. The move appeared to have been an improvement because it was addressing the correction of the structural imbalances and ethno-regional inequities of the inherited federal structure. In 1976, the Murtala-Obasanjo Administration increased the number of states from 12 to 19; General Babangida raised the number of states to 21 in 1987 and to 30 in 1991 while the regime of General Abacha increased the number of states in the country to 36.

 

3.2 This restructuring through the multiplication of States has produced a Jacobin effect that strengthened Federal power relative to the powers of the federating units. We should not forget that there was elite consensus that the First Republic collapsed because the regions were too strong and were pulling away from the Centre. Weakening their power base was therefore the logical objective of restructuring. The real issue however was not weakening of the States per se, but the erosion of a counterweight to what became known as the “Federal Might”. Rather than correct the regional balance in the country, the concentration of enormous powers at the centre weakened all political groups that are not in control of the centre. Increasingly, restructuring led to the emergence of a quasi-unitary State which mimics the military command structure.

 

3.3 This tendency was reinforced with further restructuring through the decentralisation policy of the Babangida regime carried out between 1987 and 1991 with the declared aim of increasing the autonomy, democratising, improving the finance and strengthening the political and administrative capacities of local governments. The number of local governments was increased from 301 to 449 in 1989 and to 589 in 1991 and again to 774 in 1996. Virtually all Nigerians are dissatisfied with the present condition of weak federating units and an excessively strong centre.

 

4.0 Options for Restructuring

 

4.1 There are a number of options for restructuring of the Nigerian federation. These include:

 

1) Return to the tripartite regionalism of the First Republic. This is a non-starter as the regions were too large and above all, too uneven. The North alone was much larger than the combined regions in the South.

2) Dismantle the 36 State structure and reconstitute the federation along the six zonal structure. Nigeria is a very large country and the six federating units might be too large to cater for a much needed sense of local identity. Some of the zones also clearly lack internal cohesion.

3) Maintain the current 36-State structure but take some power and resources from the Federal level and transfer it to the State level. The problem with this option is that the cost of governance has risen exponentially under the 36-State structure and the result has been the lack of resources for development. It is this uneven allocation of available resources to maintain the political structure and its supporting bureaucracy rather than promote development that is largely responsible for the current economic crisis in the country.

4) Return to the 1967 12-State Structure which sought to correct the uneven distribution of power between the federal and regional governments.

 

4.2 In our view, a return to the 12-State Structure is the most viable option for Nigeria at the moment and in the foreseeable future.

 

5.0 Return to the 12-State Structure

 

5.1 The distortion of the 12-State structure by multiplying the States to 19, 21, 30 and 36 was done to appease new minority groups that emerged after state creation, to spread federal largesse more evenly and sometimes for selfish reasons. Today, Nigeria cannot sustain the 36-State structure due to its over-dependence on oil revenues that would continue to dwindle in the coming years.

 

5.2 The key principle for restructuring Nigeria must, then, be as follows:

 

A) States must be economically viable and must rely on fiscal resources they generate themselves instead of handouts from the Centre;

B) States must operate in a democratic manner and be run by Chief Executives that are accountable to the people and legislators that are independent;

C) States should have the constitutional and legislative powers to determine their internal structures such as the number of local governments they desire.

D) States must be allowed to determine their own framework and mechanism for the choice of leaders at all levels, which recognizes and combines both merit and the need for fair representation of the broad identities that make up the states - such as geography, ethnicity, religion etc;

E) Balance the distribution of power and fiscal resources between the states and the federation to address the desire for local resource control and the viability of the federation as a whole;

 

6.0 Constitutional Proposals

 

i. A return to the 12-State federal structure of 1967. The 12-States would be the federating units;

ii. The 12 States shall be re-designated as “Regions” and shall have full control of their resources while paying appropriate taxes to the Federal Government;

iii. The Regions shall have the powers to create and maintain local governments as they desire;

iv. Overhaul the Legislative Lists and reassign agriculture, education and health to the Residual List in which States alone would have competence but the Federal Government would share a regulatory role with the States;

v. Mining should be reassigned to the concurrent list with on-land mining under the federating units and off-land mining under the control of the government of the federation.

vi. Policing should also be reassigned to the concurrent list with only inter-State crime, cybercrime and international crime under the jurisdiction of the federal police.

vii. The power of taxation should remain concurrent.

viii. The Federal Character principle should be retained and strictly and universally observed.

ix. The current Senate should be merged with the House of Representatives under a unicameral legislature

 

7.0 Conclusion

 

This memorandum is a product of years of patient and painstaking consultations with a wide variety of stakeholders across the length and breadth of Nigeria. While it does not claim to cover all the divergent interests of all the political, cultural and geographic groups in Nigeria, we believe these proposals, if accepted, will substantially improve and stabilize Nigeria’s Federation, cater for the welfare of a large majority of Nigerians and allocate the nation’s resources in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

 

Signed

 

Alh. Bashir Othman Tofa

Amb. Fatimah Balla

Alh. Sule Yahaya Hamma

Dr. Abubakar Siddique Mohammed

Mr. Sam Nda-Isiaih

Bashir Yusuf Ibrahim

Mal Bilya Bala

Dr. Usman Bugaje

Mr. Hubert Shaiyen

Dr. Kabir Az-Zubair

Prof. Jibrin Ibrahim

 Friends of Democracy

No. 11 Cotonou Crescent . Wuse Zone 6 . Abuja

[email protected]


 

Memorandum by Friends of Democracy to the National Assembly Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution

 

September 2020

 

1.0 Introduction

 

Since the 1994/95 Constitutional Conference, there have been loud and persistent agitations for the restructuring of the Nigerian Federation. The most strident voices have come from Southern Nigeria whereas the Northern voice has been largely muted. This has created the impression that the South is for and the North is against “Restructuring”. In the North, there has been a long process of consultations and reflections on the subject matter. This memo sets out to propose a path to and an outcome of restructuring that serves the best interests of Nigeria as a whole, instead of just the interest of the North or the South.

 

1.1 In 1991, a group of politicians, intellectuals and technocrats from Northern Nigeria held several meetings in Kaduna and Kano to design and propose a new federal structure for Nigeria. Among members of this group were the Late Alhaji Sule Gaya, a former First Republic Minister, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, the Late Chief Sunday Awoniyi, the Late Dr. Suleiman Kumo, Dr. Ibrahim Datti Ahmed, Dr. Mahmoud Tukur, Mallam Sule Yahaya Hamma, the Late Alhaji Abdullahi Maikano Gwarzo and others. They came up with various constitutional, political and fiscal alternatives and options with which to negotiate with the rest of Nigeria to restructure the federation. They invited the Late Chief Anthony Enahoro to Kano, held discussions with him and agreed to pursue a Restructuring Agenda together only for the Chief to rush to Lagos, hold a unilateral press conference and launch his own agenda for restructuring under the auspices of Movement for National Reformation.

 

1.2 In 2003, after twelve years of advocacy without making headway, Chief Enahoro decided to return to the same group to continue the discussions he abandoned in Kano. The 2003 discussions held at a meeting room in Sheraton Hotel, Abuja, with personalities such as the Late Chief Sunday Awoniyi, Late Mallam Adamu Ciroma, Late Alhaji Umaru Shinkafi, Late Dr. Suleiman Kumo, Late Alhaji Mahmud Waziri, Prof. Ango Abdullahi and others in attendance. The Chief narrated the contours of his journey in pursuit of restructuring since 1991 and outlined the results of his consultations within the three zones in the South. He wanted the three zones in the North to each outline their own positions so he could have an overall picture of the positions of the six zones in Nigeria.

 

1.3 Having listened to the Chief's submission, the group referred him to the Arewa Consultative Forum, the umbrella socio-cultural organization for the North, which was founded in the intervening period in 2001. Chief Enahoro met with the leadership of ACF a couple of months later but could not sustain the consultations because he wanted separate positions from the three zones in the North on Restructuring, a position the ACF found rather condescending. Since then, a new crop of Northern intellectuals, technocrats and politicians, have continued the search for a common ground with the rest of Nigeria on restructuring in different ways but the Northern effort has been underreported in the mainstream media, for understandable reasons.

 

1.4 The popular opinion about the current debate is that the South as a block appears to be for restructuring. This is however more apparent than real. When the questions of how to restructure and the substance of such restructuring are posed, there are significant differences in the positions advanced in the three zones of the South and these are yet to be reconciled. Discussions on the issue in the North may also reveal significant differences between component parts of the region. It is therefore important to reflect on restructuring in a way that will promote the welfare of the people of Nigeria as a whole, while taking the divergent interests of its constituent parts into account. We begin from the premise that every part of Nigeria has a peculiar challenge that needs to be addressed but together all parts have more to gain from a united Nigeria. Restructuring must, therefore, not be conceived a priori to be for or against any part of Nigeria. Any contrary approach is sure to end in unqualified failure.

 

2.0 Background

 

2.1 There is a need to introduce some history into the discussion on restructuring. Protagonists tend to articulate their positions in a way that suggests Nigeria has not been restructuring. The fact of the matter however is that Nigeria has been restructuring since 1914, when the British amalgamated the three territories in the Nigeria area, the colony of Lagos and the two Protectorates to the North and South of the Niger. This symbolic act representing the “creation of Nigeria” has been widely castigated as an artificial act and a mistake. Such views erroneously believe that there are states that have been “naturally constituted”. We do know, however, that throughout history, state formations have occurred in a fluid and artificial manner. State cohesion has been patiently and painstakingly built much later. What the British created as Nigeria was made up of many autonomous and independent communities as well as diverse languages and cultures that were coerced into a new political formation. The problem of Nigeria is not so much the amalgamation of 1914, but the failure to forge a cohesive nation from the hitherto autonomous and independent entities after independence due, largely, to a primitive and backward fixation with and relentless pursuit of a utopian, uni-cultural concept of “nation”.

 

2.2 Lord Lugard first structured Nigeria into a political system based on 'indirect rule' with a policy of non-centralised administration or ‘separate government for different peoples'. This policy led to the evolution of certain structures and institutions, which to a certain extent, still characterise the contemporary Nigerian State. The basic principle of "Indirect Rule" was 'divide and rule'. In the Emirates of Northern Nigeria and in the Yoruba kingdoms of the South West, indigenous political structures were retained and often reinforced by the colonial administration as the primary level of government, while in the South East as well as among some of the acephalous 'Middle Belt' societies, a new order of colonial chiefs known as 'warrant chiefs' was imposed. These imposed colonial structures are what some groups mistake for traditional structures, which they are agitating to retain as their’s.

 

2.3 In the North, traditional elites were fully involved in local colonial administration, thanks to the system of 'Native Administration' (NA) and were therefore allies in the administration of the British colonial system. Secondly, they had an understanding with the colonial administration to keep Christian missionaries and by implication, western education, out of the Emirates. The result was that the pace of development of Western education in the Muslim part of the North was very slow and the few that were chosen to participate in the Western education system were all employed in the NA.

 

2.4 In the other parts of the country, Christian missionaries were given full freedom for proselytisation and, virtually, exclusive control of Western education. It resulted in a fairly rapid evolution of a Western educated elite, to the detriment of traditional ruling elites. The new elite, however, had very limited opportunities of integrating into the upper echelons of the civil service even when they had high levels of education. Given their educational background and the frustrations of exclusion, they drifted into political agitation and adversary journalism.

 

2.5 In 1938 the South was restructured into two regions, the West and the East, while the North was left intact - hence the origins of the tripartite political system. This system was formalised with the Richards Constitution of 1946. The Nigerian debate over restructuring started with the Richards Constitution. The Southern nationalists – Herbert Macaulay, Nnamdi Azikiwe and Michael Imoudu rejected the Constitution because it was designed to perpetuate the colonial structure of sharing power between the Crown and Native Authorities and mobilised for a new structure in which citizens would be the repositories of power. They travelled round the country, mobilized, raised funds and went to London in 1946 to demand for a new structure.

 

2.6 When five years later, they succeeded in placing self-government on the agenda with Governor Macpherson's Constitution, the Nigerian political elite had agreed to a Federation based on the three tier regional structure Lord Lugard had invented. In the process, the profound demand for democratic government in which power resided with citizens was abandoned. The guiding principle of this “new” tripartite Federation was that each Region had a 'majority ethnic group', which was to play the role of the leading actor - in the North the Hausa, in the West the Yoruba, and in the East the Igbo. In fact the whole process of constitution making between 1946 and 1959 was an elaborate bargaining pantomime to find equilibrium between the three regions. No wonder the process resulted in the emergence of three major political parties each allied to a majority group.

 

2.7 The pre-independence restructuring was problematic because Nigeria was never composed of three cultural groups but of hundreds of cultural and ethnic groups competing with the three majority groups. Although Nigeria was profoundly multipolar, the Hausa-Yoruba–Igbo political elites opted to maintain the colonial tripartite structure. It is important to remember that none of the three regions of the First Republic represented a historic political bloc, as there were minority groups in each. Against the recommendation of the Willinks Commission of 1958, the colonial administration refused to create more regions. This refusal heightened the fears of domination of the 'minorities' by the 'majorities'.

 

3.0 Post-Colonial Restructuring

 

3.1 It was the military that subsequently succeeded in completely restructuring the Nigerian State. They dismantled the tripartite regional structure, which had become quadripartite with the creation of the Mid West Region in 1963. In 1967, just before the advent of the civil war, the Gowon Military Administration created 12 states from the four existing regions. The move appeared to have been an improvement because it was addressing the correction of the structural imbalances and ethno-regional inequities of the inherited federal structure. In 1976, the Murtala-Obasanjo Administration increased the number of states from 12 to 19; General Babangida raised the number of states to 21 in 1987 and to 30 in 1991 while the regime of General Abacha increased the number of states in the country to 36.

 

3.2 This restructuring through the multiplication of States has produced a Jacobin effect that strengthened Federal power relative to the powers of the federating units. We should not forget that there was elite consensus that the First Republic collapsed because the regions were too strong and were pulling away from the Centre. Weakening their power base was therefore the logical objective of restructuring. The real issue however was not weakening of the States per se, but the erosion of a counterweight to what became known as the “Federal Might”. Rather than correct the regional balance in the country, the concentration of enormous powers at the centre weakened all political groups that are not in control of the centre. Increasingly, restructuring led to the emergence of a quasi-unitary State which mimics the military command structure.

 

3.3 This tendency was reinforced with further restructuring through the decentralisation policy of the Babangida regime carried out between 1987 and 1991 with the declared aim of increasing the autonomy, democratising, improving the finance and strengthening the political and administrative capacities of local governments. The number of local governments was increased from 301 to 449 in 1989 and to 589 in 1991 and again to 774 in 1996. Virtually all Nigerians are dissatisfied with the present condition of weak federating units and an excessively strong centre.

 

4.0 Options for Restructuring

 

4.1 There are a number of options for restructuring of the Nigerian federation. These include:

 

1) Return to the tripartite regionalism of the First Republic. This is a non-starter as the regions were too large and above all, too uneven. The North alone was much larger than the combined regions in the South.

2) Dismantle the 36 State structure and reconstitute the federation along the six zonal structure. Nigeria is a very large country and the six federating units might be too large to cater for a much needed sense of local identity. Some of the zones also clearly lack internal cohesion.

3) Maintain the current 36-State structure but take some power and resources from the Federal level and transfer it to the State level. The problem with this option is that the cost of governance has risen exponentially under the 36-State structure and the result has been the lack of resources for development. It is this uneven allocation of available resources to maintain the political structure and its supporting bureaucracy rather than promote development that is largely responsible for the current economic crisis in the country.

4) Return to the 1967 12-State Structure which sought to correct the uneven distribution of power between the federal and regional governments.

 

4.2 In our view, a return to the 12-State Structure is the most viable option for Nigeria at the moment and in the foreseeable future.

 

5.0 Return to the 12-State Structure

 

5.1 The distortion of the 12-State structure by multiplying the States to 19, 21, 30 and 36 was done to appease new minority groups that emerged after state creation, to spread federal largesse more evenly and sometimes for selfish reasons. Today, Nigeria cannot sustain the 36-State structure due to its over-dependence on oil revenues that would continue to dwindle in the coming years.

 

5.2 The key principle for restructuring Nigeria must, then, be as follows:

 

A) States must be economically viable and must rely on fiscal resources they generate themselves instead of handouts from the Centre;

B) States must operate in a democratic manner and be run by Chief Executives that are accountable to the people and legislators that are independent;

C) States should have the constitutional and legislative powers to determine their internal structures such as the number of local governments they desire.

D) States must be allowed to determine their own framework and mechanism for the choice of leaders at all levels, which recognizes and combines both merit and the need for fair representation of the broad identities that make up the states - such as geography, ethnicity, religion etc;

E) Balance the distribution of power and fiscal resources between the states and the federation to address the desire for local resource control and the viability of the federation as a whole;

 

6.0 Constitutional Proposals

 

i. A return to the 12-State federal structure of 1967. The 12-States would be the federating units;

ii. The 12 States shall be re-designated as “Regions” and shall have full control of their resources while paying appropriate taxes to the Federal Government;

iii. The Regions shall have the powers to create and maintain local governments as they desire;

iv. Overhaul the Legislative Lists and reassign agriculture, education and health to the Residual List in which States alone would have competence but the Federal Government would share a regulatory role with the States;

v. Mining should be reassigned to the concurrent list with on-land mining under the federating units and off-land mining under the control of the government of the federation.

vi. Policing should also be reassigned to the concurrent list with only inter-State crime, cybercrime and international crime under the jurisdiction of the federal police.

vii. The power of taxation should remain concurrent.

viii. The Federal Character principle should be retained and strictly and universally observed.

ix. The current Senate should be merged with the House of Representatives under a unicameral legislature

 

7.0 Conclusion

 

This memorandum is a product of years of patient and painstaking consultations with a wide variety of stakeholders across the length and breadth of Nigeria. While it does not claim to cover all the divergent interests of all the political, cultural and geographic groups in Nigeria, we believe these proposals, if accepted, will substantially improve and stabilize Nigeria’s Federation, cater for the welfare of a large majority of Nigerians and allocate the nation’s resources in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

 

Signed

 

Alh. Bashir Othman Tofa

Amb. Fatimah Balla

Alh. Sule Yahaya Hamma

Dr. Abubakar Siddique Mohammed

Mr. Sam Nda-Isiaih

Bashir Yusuf Ibrahim

Mal Bilya Bala

Dr. Usman Bugaje

Mr. Hubert Shaiyen

Dr. Kabir Az-Zubair

Prof. Jibrin Ibrahim

Borno killings: Nigerian lawmakers to summon Buhari

Borno killings: Nigerian lawmakers to summon Buhari

The Nigerian lawmakers of the second chamber, House of Representatives has on Tuesday resolved to invite the Nigerian President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to address members in plenary over the security crises across the country.


According to the report, the House of Representatives earlier, at the plenary turned rowdy on Tuesday as members were sharply divided over a motion seeking to invite Buhari to appear before the lawmakers to explain the rising spate of insecurity in the country.


The House was considering a motion moved by members from Borno State on the recent massacre of 43 rice farmers in the state by Boko Haram insurgents. The later report of the massacre put the numbers of those killed at more than 100.


Part of the prayers was to invite Buhari to appear on the floor of the House and address the lawmakers in plenary.


Efforts by the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila; Majority Leader, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa; and Chairman, House Committee on Air Force, Shehu Koko, among others, to have the prayer dropped proved abortive.


Gbajabiamila’s plea that a state of emergency be adopted instead was also rebuffed.


The speaker was forced to ask that the lawmakers have an executive (closed-door) session.

Emerging from the closed-door session, Gbajabiamila asked one of the sponsors of the motion, Ahmad Jaha, to make an amendment to the motion.


Jaha prayed the House to invite the president as proposed in the original motion.


The Speaker put the amended motion to a voice vote and it was unanimously adopted by the lawmakers.


Already, many Nigerian are tired of the Buhari led administration of corrupt, cluelessness and tyranny that put not the interest of the citizens at the center of government policies and programs.


The APC led federal government has failed in all its electoral promises made to Nigerians in 2015 as insecurity and economy woes are more compounded under the lawlessness Buhari leadership.


Despite the invitation or summon of the president, Nigerians are well aware that the house are toothless bull doga that can not bite.

The Nigerian lawmakers of the second chamber, House of Representatives has on Tuesday resolved to invite the Nigerian President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to address members in plenary over the security crises across the country.


According to the report, the House of Representatives earlier, at the plenary turned rowdy on Tuesday as members were sharply divided over a motion seeking to invite Buhari to appear before the lawmakers to explain the rising spate of insecurity in the country.


The House was considering a motion moved by members from Borno State on the recent massacre of 43 rice farmers in the state by Boko Haram insurgents. The later report of the massacre put the numbers of those killed at more than 100.


Part of the prayers was to invite Buhari to appear on the floor of the House and address the lawmakers in plenary.


Efforts by the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila; Majority Leader, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa; and Chairman, House Committee on Air Force, Shehu Koko, among others, to have the prayer dropped proved abortive.


Gbajabiamila’s plea that a state of emergency be adopted instead was also rebuffed.


The speaker was forced to ask that the lawmakers have an executive (closed-door) session.

Emerging from the closed-door session, Gbajabiamila asked one of the sponsors of the motion, Ahmad Jaha, to make an amendment to the motion.


Jaha prayed the House to invite the president as proposed in the original motion.


The Speaker put the amended motion to a voice vote and it was unanimously adopted by the lawmakers.


Already, many Nigerian are tired of the Buhari led administration of corrupt, cluelessness and tyranny that put not the interest of the citizens at the center of government policies and programs.


The APC led federal government has failed in all its electoral promises made to Nigerians in 2015 as insecurity and economy woes are more compounded under the lawlessness Buhari leadership.


Despite the invitation or summon of the president, Nigerians are well aware that the house are toothless bull doga that can not bite.

KILLING OF FARMERS IN BORNO: A SIGN OF AN EXPLODING GUNPOWDER

KILLING OF FARMERS IN BORNO: A SIGN OF AN EXPLODING GUNPOWDER

A profile picture


On 15th of August last year, I wrote a piece titled "Boko Haram: A Decade of Terror Explained" to capture the atrocities this deadly sect has committed ever since their birth ranging from the August 2, 2009 murder which cost the country 700 lives in Borno and the response of successive governments to the activities of this dreadful sect which has been listed as one of the most dangerous terrorist group in the cosmos.


A fact that should not be denied by every responsive and responsible government is that we have been thrown into full-blown crisis-ridden chaotic situation marred with hostage taking and unnecessary killings throughout the length and breadth of the country most especially in the northern part of the country by Boko Haram. Unfortunately, we have a government that has chosen to dwell in dangerous delusion that everything is ok with us as a people which is having a dangerous effect on governance.


Farmers killed in Borno
 state by Boko Haram

A typical example of the negative impact the non-challant attitude of the government is having on us as a people is the unprovoked murder that took place in Borno last night where over 40 rice farmers were murdered in cold blood on their farmland by members of the dreaded Boko Haram sect. 


It is most insulting that the usual response of the government to killings by Boko Haram is simply by commiserating with the families of the deceased while providing amnesty for their killers and also giving them financial aid in the form of swapping those taken as hostages by Boko Haram with cash. Aside this, there has been no serious strategic and tactical plan that are rigorously time-bound in overcoming terrorism which has become a bane on our development by a government that rode into power on the promise of eradicating Boko Haram.


It is no news that the security of the citizens is what defines a State and that government exists for the State and not the State for the government and this is well-captured in the provision of Section 14 sub-section 2 (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) which states that "the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government”.


There is no gainsaying the fact that based on the letters of the quoted Section of the Constitution which is the guiding  principle, government is Constitutionally mandated to guarantee the security of the citizenry. This implies that if government fails to perform this constitutional obligation with utmost dedication and commitment, it will inevitably become a fifth wheel and it won't be out of place to demand replacement. 


Today, the situation we have found ourselves as a people is one in which none of us is safe and that anything can happen to anybody at any material time as this government has failed to fulfil the most basic essence of its existence. 


The state of insecurity in the country questions the essence of social contract between the citizenry and government which is predicated on the centrality of security to human flourishing and felicity. In social contract, citizenries willingly abdicates their rights of self-protection to government, thereby, authorizing it to enjoy monopoly of force. Social contract also envisages that government will evolve veritable mechanisms to prevent, abate, and resolve violent external or internal conflicts perpetuated by state or non-state actors.


To utter dismay, this government just like its predecessors has failed to fulfil the social contract it willingly signed with the people. As a people, we have been battling with multifarious threats to peace. Unfortunately, many are victims of criminal violence. Incessant violent crimes have dimmed the prospects of attaining national cohesion, socio-economic prosperity, and democratic consolidation in the country. Terrorism and the sprouting up of ethnic militias and kidnappers across the six geopolitical zones have also quashed all hopes that every Nigerian can experience freedom from fear of violent attacks with nothing critical being done by the government to salvage the situation.


Violent attacks which is a product of insecurity as was witnessed in Borno yesterday has multilayered and multi-generational implications that do not lend themselves to easy computation and the government itself has done nothing to put an end to this not to talk of compensating and reuniting affected families. Not until government succeeds in its primary purpose as clearly stated in Chapter 2 of the Constitution, it cannot succeed in its secondary purposes. In other words, the efforts of the government to diversify the economy by reviving the agro-allied sector cannot amount to anything without widespread peace, stability, and security which the country obviously lacks with many families sundered by criminal violence perpetuated by Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen, kidnappers and ethnic militias. Undoubtedly, the killings, the kidnappings, the destruction of farmlands and the clashes will definitely sabotage the quest and effort of the government to attain food security. 


At this stage, it is important that the government takes urgent measures to guarantee maximum security and safety for all Nigerians because, for Nigeria to become an anthill of economic activities, she would need to strengthen her security architecture and make sure organized crimes are reduced to their bearest minimum.


Conclusively, our lawmakers must as a matter of necessity and urgency wakeup to check the excesses of the Buhari led-government which has proven to be class-sensitive and ethno-religious bias. Our lawmakers must not allow political correctness or naive rationalisation to delude them into playing the ostrich.


The country is sitting on a keg of gunpowder!



Kazeem Olalekan Israel is a political activist. He writes from the ancient metropolitan city of hospitality, Ibadan. He writes via [email protected]

A profile picture


On 15th of August last year, I wrote a piece titled "Boko Haram: A Decade of Terror Explained" to capture the atrocities this deadly sect has committed ever since their birth ranging from the August 2, 2009 murder which cost the country 700 lives in Borno and the response of successive governments to the activities of this dreadful sect which has been listed as one of the most dangerous terrorist group in the cosmos.


A fact that should not be denied by every responsive and responsible government is that we have been thrown into full-blown crisis-ridden chaotic situation marred with hostage taking and unnecessary killings throughout the length and breadth of the country most especially in the northern part of the country by Boko Haram. Unfortunately, we have a government that has chosen to dwell in dangerous delusion that everything is ok with us as a people which is having a dangerous effect on governance.


Farmers killed in Borno
 state by Boko Haram

A typical example of the negative impact the non-challant attitude of the government is having on us as a people is the unprovoked murder that took place in Borno last night where over 40 rice farmers were murdered in cold blood on their farmland by members of the dreaded Boko Haram sect. 


It is most insulting that the usual response of the government to killings by Boko Haram is simply by commiserating with the families of the deceased while providing amnesty for their killers and also giving them financial aid in the form of swapping those taken as hostages by Boko Haram with cash. Aside this, there has been no serious strategic and tactical plan that are rigorously time-bound in overcoming terrorism which has become a bane on our development by a government that rode into power on the promise of eradicating Boko Haram.


It is no news that the security of the citizens is what defines a State and that government exists for the State and not the State for the government and this is well-captured in the provision of Section 14 sub-section 2 (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) which states that "the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government”.


There is no gainsaying the fact that based on the letters of the quoted Section of the Constitution which is the guiding  principle, government is Constitutionally mandated to guarantee the security of the citizenry. This implies that if government fails to perform this constitutional obligation with utmost dedication and commitment, it will inevitably become a fifth wheel and it won't be out of place to demand replacement. 


Today, the situation we have found ourselves as a people is one in which none of us is safe and that anything can happen to anybody at any material time as this government has failed to fulfil the most basic essence of its existence. 


The state of insecurity in the country questions the essence of social contract between the citizenry and government which is predicated on the centrality of security to human flourishing and felicity. In social contract, citizenries willingly abdicates their rights of self-protection to government, thereby, authorizing it to enjoy monopoly of force. Social contract also envisages that government will evolve veritable mechanisms to prevent, abate, and resolve violent external or internal conflicts perpetuated by state or non-state actors.


To utter dismay, this government just like its predecessors has failed to fulfil the social contract it willingly signed with the people. As a people, we have been battling with multifarious threats to peace. Unfortunately, many are victims of criminal violence. Incessant violent crimes have dimmed the prospects of attaining national cohesion, socio-economic prosperity, and democratic consolidation in the country. Terrorism and the sprouting up of ethnic militias and kidnappers across the six geopolitical zones have also quashed all hopes that every Nigerian can experience freedom from fear of violent attacks with nothing critical being done by the government to salvage the situation.


Violent attacks which is a product of insecurity as was witnessed in Borno yesterday has multilayered and multi-generational implications that do not lend themselves to easy computation and the government itself has done nothing to put an end to this not to talk of compensating and reuniting affected families. Not until government succeeds in its primary purpose as clearly stated in Chapter 2 of the Constitution, it cannot succeed in its secondary purposes. In other words, the efforts of the government to diversify the economy by reviving the agro-allied sector cannot amount to anything without widespread peace, stability, and security which the country obviously lacks with many families sundered by criminal violence perpetuated by Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen, kidnappers and ethnic militias. Undoubtedly, the killings, the kidnappings, the destruction of farmlands and the clashes will definitely sabotage the quest and effort of the government to attain food security. 


At this stage, it is important that the government takes urgent measures to guarantee maximum security and safety for all Nigerians because, for Nigeria to become an anthill of economic activities, she would need to strengthen her security architecture and make sure organized crimes are reduced to their bearest minimum.


Conclusively, our lawmakers must as a matter of necessity and urgency wakeup to check the excesses of the Buhari led-government which has proven to be class-sensitive and ethno-religious bias. Our lawmakers must not allow political correctness or naive rationalisation to delude them into playing the ostrich.


The country is sitting on a keg of gunpowder!



Kazeem Olalekan Israel is a political activist. He writes from the ancient metropolitan city of hospitality, Ibadan. He writes via [email protected]

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