Biafra Defacto Customary Government, BDFCG, says the 1999 Nigeria constitution has continued to serve as an instrument of oppression by allowing those in power to perpetuate their interests at the expense of the people.
It regretted that the oppressive constitution has been a driving force behind the excessive centralization of power, reminiscent of the colonial era.
In press statement available to our Correspondent, the Pro-Biafran group, while describing the 1999 constitution as instrument of neo-colonialism in disguise, said it has continued to enable the Nigeria central government wield disproportionate and unchecked power; to the detriment of the Nigerian people.
Giving an instance, the group recalled that “as far back as 1944, the colonial government promulgated the Minerals Ordinance, a decree that vested all subsurface rights and minerals in Nigeria in the central (colonial administrator), and later the federal government, regretting that the unjust arrangement persists to this day.
It however called on citizens to be at the forefront to play their civic roles, saying that the time has come for all well-meaning Nigerians to unite in their demand for a constitution that serves the people, and not the interests of a select few.
Details of the statement:
1999 CONSTITUTION FITS NIGERIA POLITICAL ENTITY –
Biafra De Facto Customary Government believes in People’s Sovereignty
The fitness of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution is strongly evidenced by the various irresponsibilities emanating from government organs and agencies. This is currently exemplified by the recent deliberation of the National Assembly to procure 360 brand-new Toyota Prado SUVs, each valued at N160 million, for members of the House of Representatives, amidst the ‘multi-dimensional’ impoverishment of more than two-thirds of the population.
The World Health Checklist for the comity of nations ranks Nigeria as a failed political entity. Unfortunately, stakeholders and abstract citizens continue to display a carefree attitude toward such a consolidated alert. Of course, the frameworks and outcomes for any nation under such conditions are symbolized in the Constitution, with its disastrous chain of results.
BDFCG believes it is high time for us not to shy away from our responsibility. Enough of shame and pride games. Citizens must be able to truly participate and be represented in all matters that have to do with their sovereign rights.
It is a stark reality that the 1999 Constitution, often touted as the supreme law of the land, has served as an instrument of oppression, allowing those in power to perpetuate their interests at the expense of the people. This oppressive constitution has been a driving force behind the excessive centralization of power, reminiscent of the colonial era. In short, it’s neo-colonialism in disguise. The central government, from the time of colonial administration to the neo-colonial era, has wielded disproportionate and unchecked power, to the detriment of the Nigerian people. As far back as 1944, the colonial government promulgated the Minerals Ordinance, a decree that vested all subsurface rights and minerals in Nigeria in the central (colonial administrator) and later the federal government. Shockingly, this unjust arrangement persists to this day.
However, enough with the embattled colonial excuses. Despite decades of struggle and governance changes, there has been no orchestrated demand for a comprehensive revision of the ownership of subsurface rights, allowing the central government to maintain its vice-like grip on these essential resources.
The current generation of politicians, unfortunately, has moved even further away from this historical pattern and has instead exacerbated it. The recent irresponsible deliberation by a pivotal organ of the Constitution demonstrates a blatant example of the insensitivity that pervades the corridors of power.
Though often sprouting statements about civic duty and collective awareness, like that of former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili’s warning that “you all (constitutional lawmakers) are the biggest threat to our democracy”, we must emphasize that a day cometh, and very soon too, when it will be your fed-up Nigerian citizens, not the military, who will rise up and collectively chase all of you grossly irresponsible and insensitive people out of office.
As for BDFCG, the action for remedy is multifaceted. Citizens must be at the forefront to play their civic roles, just like other state organs and agencies – lawmakers, the military, etc.
The time has come for all well-meaning Nigerians to unite in their demand for a constitution that serves the people and not the interests of a select few. Constitutional sovereignty resides in the people, not in juntas, bandits, or the ruling class.