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Communique issued at the end of a meeting of the SMBLF held In Abuja

By Shehu Ahmed Buwayi, Bakin Kasuwa, Azare, Bauchi State

The trajectory of the Nigerian elites could be depicted easily whenever there are clash of interests in the scheme of things especially when their vested interests suffered setbacks in private or in public.

The above sectional meeting represents the convergence of disgruntled elites largely from the interest that championed the course of a particular candidate and faith, now disenchanted with the outcome of the event, started with their usual mannerism of the national questions boiled around restructuring and true federalism.

It is not a contradiction if I summarized their outing and the communique as the ritual period of political Job seeking looking for relevance to their lost glory.

At the surface level, they may appear to look somewhat nationalistic, but true to word, there are not in all intends and purposes. There are a colony of a confused un-electable ‘elders’ singing again their usual songs: of restructuring and true federalism slogans.

However, their political lexicon only surface when the elections did not favour them, a drum of war will be brewing reflecting those deep rooted sentiments and cynicism promoted at the expense of national unity and cohesion.

The readers could recall the prepositions of answers to the demands of the assembly of the confused ethno-religious bigots found in the paper titled: ‘Ignorance, Political Irrelevance and the Persistent Quest for Re-Structuring Nigerian Polity, 1999 – 2021’ presented by Professor Alkasum Abba of History Department, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Read their communique, if you are conversant with the Communique of their past meetings, You will discover that only remarkable difference made to date might be the attendance which shown their ‘Stark Ignorance of Nigeria’s political history and evolution of realities.

  1. The meeting chaired by Chief Dr. E. K. Clark, OFR, CON, arrived at the following resolutions ‘Federal Government should, as a matter of urgency, and priority, work towards the Restructuring of the country and enthrone True Federalism as it were, and originally entrenched in the 1960 and 1963 constitution.. They rhetorics were centred on but not limited to the questions of marginalization in the…appointments into the Federal Executive Council.…release Nnamdi Kanu…the Federal Capital Territory remains the National Patrimony…Revisiting of the 2014 National Conference Report, concluded by 494 of the Country’s leaders, as well as the All Progressives Congress (APC) Report on True Federalism…resolved to set up a Strategic Committee on Restructuring and expressed readiness to interface with the Federal Government, the National Assembly, and all other stakeholders, on the enunciated issues among others.…’ Their usual demand remained a recurring decimal and a commonly known phenomenon used in the political circle since 1999 to date.
  2. Permit me to examine their grievances sequentially:-

a) Re-Structuring and the enthronment of true Federalism as obtained in 1960 and 1963. This demand was on since 1999 which resulted to the establishment of National Political Reform Conference in 2005 by Obasanjo regime and the 2014 National Conference organized by President Jonathan despite the inaction on the 2005 jamboree. What an ignorant wishful thinking by the very people that terminated the system, on the pretext of flimsy excuses in 15th January, 1966 as well as their partisan postures in the military regimes culminated into the drafting and approval of both the 1979 and 1999 Constitutions. We were Just witnessing the action of ‘…non – state actors and men of yester-years that have been provided with unlimited platforms by a section of the privately owned electronic and print medias to continue to propagate falsehood against the Unity, stability and corporate existence of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.’ Prof. Alkasum Abba.

The erudite Professor expressed his worries with ‘the level of Ignorance being circulated on our recent political history as proposed by some groups and people involved, Who were simply creating Mirage out of a galaxy of fantasies.’ They failed to know Nigeria is in a Democratic era not military that breed and nurtured them to prominence; ‘ReStructuring is a Constitutional issue, which by Law can be handled by the National Assembly.’

b) Appointments into Federal Executive Council (FEC) by Mr. President was questioned by the very people that worked against his success in the Just concluded Presidential Elections! The Constitution they are yworried about specified minimum of One Minister par State and each State has full Representations at the Federal Executive Council FEC, Mr. President had already satisfied the constitutional requirements, any other additional appointment to any state is at the prerogative of mercy and the gesture of Mr President, to appoint someone that will assist him deliver not one that could possibly sabotage him. The South East has fair share of its Rightful positions under this current dispensation on the basis of, Karl Marx assertion” from each according to his work, and from each according to his ability.

On the release of Nnamadi KANU, It is a foolhardy for any serious government to succumb to the ethnic intimidations by one group against another, to release him unconditionally as being called, in spite of barrage of evidence of crimes committed against the good people of Nigeria and disservice to the wellbeing and corporate existence of one entity, Nigeria, nobody can quantify number of Nigerians killed, maimed, massacred , and still being threatened by his outlawed group IPOB/ESN, therefore, this is purely security matter that required Professional handling and tact.

Afterall, where where are the Elders when IPOB under the cares of Kanu, multiple crimes were committed and heinous treasonable acts???

c) At this stage, clamoring for Government to look into the 2014 National Conference Report concluded by 494 leaders! Comes with full irony, Humm, this sectional Elders reminds Government to use the document produced by 494 Elders, forgetting the fact that legislature is an Institution of the state with a clear cut role to handle any constitutional matters for which all the component units in the country are fully represented.

It is indeed a constitutional matter requiring the constitutional intervention not the so-called desperate Elders eager to meddling in the affairs that doesn’t concern them, let them call their representatives to institute action on the matter for better or for worse.

They agent of doom calling at this delicate stage for restructuring should be wary of the implications given the rate of uncertainties and tension, any action of restructuring could trigger some of the most unwanted outcomes, it is therefore, expedite to refer the matter to it’s domain of the Constitutional exercise not political jamboree of those seeking relevance.
d) Resolved to SET – UP a Strategic Committee on Restructuring and interface with the Federal Government and the National Assembly, might negates the principles of separation of powers, hence, the sectional and tribal Unions should be put to a bay, please. Although, the power is sweet and the Elders desperation should not be blindfolded to the extent of drifting to unconstitutionality they tried it through sponsorship of structureless Candidate and failed to Third place.

  1. Nigeria should relied on the experts views not parochially constituted Organizations looking for relevance in the Polity. Prof. Alkasum is of the opinion that ‘…FIRST Republic problem…limitation of the Constitution and the parochial nature of the Politics…deliberately cultivated Regional identities against Nigerian Identity…since the enactment of Richards Constitution of 1947 and subsequent Constitutions of 1950 – 1963’ The learned Academician was amazed that ‘…in the year 2021 this country is still filled up with parochial intellectuals, Journalists, Community leaders and even politicians, all conducting themselves in the way that Sir Richards set out for them To behave in 1946 Constitution…reason why they don’t like 1979 Constitution as amended.
  2. The behaviour and actions of the political players of the Fourth Republic reflects on regional basis rather than national, like the First Republic. Many where of the opinion that the shortcomings of the operators of the current Republic was not far from the Foundation laid by the out going military regime. Cham Faliya Sharon defined 4th Republic as ‘…product of cowardice transition made up of unprepared, greed, inexperienced, unpatriotic, pretenders and vindictive…most hungry and rapacious hyenas masquerading as politicians.’ Though, there are some Good and Principled politicians in 4th Republic but there exists scores that spoiled the games. Its not hidden that the current political leaders ‘conduct themselves on Regional Political Platforms like the Politicians of the FIRST Republic.’ However, ‘the Second Republic witnessed the establishment of ”Progressive Governors Forum, which cut across the Regions as opposition to the ruling NPN Government…didn’t in the Second Republic establish regional political blocs like their current colleagues are busy doing.” Prof. Alkasum Abba. Similarly, another notice of weakness of the 4th Republic is the area where ”…the elected leaders…fixed the Salaries and allowances… far beyond the Standard of living of people for themselves…”
  3. If you look at the roll – call of the Who and Who in the Organizations, they are all from One religion wanting to speak for the whole country. With due respect, It is my candid opinion that this Platform is the political arm of CAN. They openly opposed anything Islam! Remember, What this Organizations did to Buhari Administration is a word of caution for President Tinubu, I could not ruled out their stage managed agenda, given their unwavering support to their anointed failed candidate Mr. Peter Obi, afterall, they constituted a group of myopic population, therefore, politically insignificant as indicated by the results of the 2023 Presidential Elections.

Conclusively, the quotations from the work of Prof. Alkasum on the usual practice was that Nigeria is being disturbed by the frustrated handful of elites that lost prominence and vents their anger on the country. Hence, ”Any One Who wants to speak for the people should secure their mandate through an Elections but not by self Declaration.” Period

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