Why Amendments Can’t Confer Legitimacy On 1999 Constitution — NINAS Secretariat

The Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-determination says it smacks of arrogant ignorance for the National Assembly of Nigeria to continue its defiance of the sovereignty of the peoples of Nigeria by the charade of Amendments to the 1999 Constitution.

In a statement signed and delivered by its co-convener, Tony Nnadi, to the Atlantic Post in Lagos on Friday, the NINAS Secretariat insists that this is even more offensive that it is coming at a time the Peoples of the country’s Constituent Component Blocs in the South and Middle-Belt have Repudiated and Rejected same, and have raised a Union Dispute on the ground of the fraudulence and illegitimacy.

“When on February 23, 2022 the news space was splashed with reports on proposed Amendments to the 1999 Constitution by the Nigerian National Assembly, NINAS was eager to see the attitude of the Nigerian Public to the Amendment charade and
so it was gratifying to note that an overwhelming majority of the Peoples of Nigeria treated the news of the Proposed Constitution Amendments with the cold ignominy it deserved.

“This attitude of the Public reinforced the earlier resolve of NINAS not to dignify the Constitution Amendment Gambit of the National Assembly of Nigeria with any form of Official Response, as the Amendment Exercise was at best the last kicks of a dying horse.

“It is therefore for the purpose of records that this statement is being made and to also clarify the issues for those who may not have followed the discussion as to why the National Assembly cannot resolve for us, the Sovereignty Questions arising from the current Fraudulent Constitutional Basis of Nigeria.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the Legislative Mandate and Powers of the National Assembly is limited to Lawmaking and does not extend to Constitution-Making which is the Exclusive Preserve of the Constituent Component Nations and Peoples of Nigeria, as an incident of their Sovereignty.

“Put differently, Constitution-Making requires Constituent powers which the National Assembly does not have but which resides exclusively with the Peoples on account of their Sovereignty.

“It would be recalled that just a few days ago inside February 2022, NINAS did raise a Public Campaign about Three Key Constitutional Grievances that are clearly beyond the Mandate and Powers of the National Assembly to address. They are:

(i) The Two False Claims the Preamble to the 1999 Constitution that:

(a) “We the Peoples of Nigeria Firmly and Solemnly Resolved to Live in Unity as One Indivisible and Indissoluble Nation” (this means we willingly submitted lands and peoples into the Union of Nigeria).
And that;

(b) “We Hereby Make, Enact and Give to Ourselves this Constitution” (this means we crafted the articles of our association by way of the Constitution 1999).

(These Twin False Claims are the most Grievous of all Constitutional Grievances driving the Union Dispute).

(ii) The 36 States and 774 LG Structure that make us permanent Political Minorities in Nigeria despite our Self-Evident Majority Status, with implications for Representation and Revenue Sharing.

(iii) The 68-Item Federal Exclusive Legislative List by which the Illicit Federal Government of Nigeria which Hijacked and Confiscated Practically All Key Economic Assets belonging ordinarily to the Federating Units, (eg Oil & Gas, Solid Minerals, Vast Maritime Resources etc) along with the Powers to work those assets (eg Refineries, Power Generation and Transmission, Ports etc) as well as a long list of Governmental Powers (eg Police, Arms and Ammunitions, Company Registration, Election to Federal and State Offices etc).

“The Main Contention of the Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities in the Union Dispute it raised by way of the December 16, 2020 Constitutional Force Majeure Proclamation, is that We have neither discussed or agreed upon any Union nor have we made any Constitution to regulate the affairs of that.

“ACCORDINGLY, any Union Reconstruction Initiative for Nigeria (whether described as ‘Restructuring’ or Constitution Amendment), which does not begin with these Three Key Constitutional Grievances is a blatant usurpation of the Sovereignty of the Constituent Peoples of Nigeria and therefore Dead on Arrival, and the Legislators who partake of such Constitution Amendments Exercise are committing Treason against the People they claim to Represent.

“That is where the 2022 so-called Constitution Amendment of the National Assembly fall.

“It is also for the records that NINAS will mention in this Public Communication that at a time the Propositions of the Constitutional Force Majeure seeks the halting of the Voyage to further National Elections under the Repudiated 1999 Constitution and for the Initiation of a TRANSITIONING Process to undertake the inevitable Constitutional Reconstruction of the Defunct Federation of Nigeria within the parameters of the Self-Determination Imperative for Nigeria’s Constituent Components, it is in defiance of the Will of the People for the same National Assembly to busy itself with the so-called Electoral Act Amendment Bill.

“Let it be clearly understood that no matter the version of the Electoral Amendment Bill the President Signs, the Big Question remains: “BY WHAT CONSTITUTION WILL THE WINNERS OF 2023 NATIONAL ELECTIONS GOVERN? If the answer is: the 1999 Constitution, then NINAS Message to all of those railroading themselves to another round of National Elections in 2023 under the 1999 Constitution, particularly Political Parties and the Political Merchants of the South and Middle-Belt is that we should brace up for a Head-On Collision on the road to 2023, BETWEEN those who reject the Fraudulent 1999 Constitution (and any National Elections Mandated by that Constitution) AND those who subscribe to and cling tenaciously to that Fraudulent 1999 Constitution of Nigeria and therefore rallying themselves to another Round of National Elections in 2023 under that Obnoxious Constitution,” NINAS added.

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