Independence from foreign colonizers did not bring the freedom that Nigerians had excitedly expected in October 1960. The indigenous peoples did not know that, but Bello a member of the immigrant and settler Fulani, who was Premier of the Northern Region knew it. That is why he stated just twelve days after Independence that “the new nation called Nigeria” would be an estate of the Fulani, and it would be a place where the Middle Belt ethnic nations would be “willing tools”, and the South would be “a conquered territory” where its peoples would never be allowed to rule over the Fulani, and never be allowed “to have control over their future”. This Caliphate Agenda pronounced by Bello would be achieved by means he described as, “We must RUTHLESSLY prevent a change of power”. Bello’s confidence came from falsification of the 1952 census to favour the North, to make it seem that Region had more than half of the total population, plus historians point to the special relationship of assistance that the Caliphate had with Britain, the former colonizer, now about to leave.
What actually happened is that Independence in the real sense did not take place. Britain left, and the Caliphate jumped in to become the new internal colonizer. In order to retain that position of domination, any census (if allowed to take place) had to forever show the North as more populous than the South. That the post-Independence 1962 census results were never declared, then another census in 1963 with figures claiming the North to be the most populous region in all of Africa is well-known. With the Caliphate Agenda, of conquering others, of not allowing others to control their future, and of ruthlessly retaining power, Nigeria was set up from the very start for injustice, therefore for total failure. Even the Nigeria created by the 1963 Constitution was unstable and unfair, for it still represented INCOMPLETE DECOLONIZATION. The huge Middle Belt part of the Northern Region had their Self-Determination crushed by the Hausa-Fulani. Similarly, in the Eastern Region, the less populous ethnic nations were dominated by the Igbo. Today, those who benefited in some way from that 1963 Constitution are talking about bringing it back. However, it would be unacceptable (and unjust) to do so as since that time, there have been new United Nations (UN) instruments such as the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) 2007 which gives comprehensive rights to indigenous peoples, such as the inalienable right to FULL Self-Determination in their ancestral land.
The 1999 Constitution now being operated is even worse than its 1963 counterpart. It is a make-believe and illegitimate Constitution, a forgery, that is Military Decree 24 renamed, and it ruthlessly brings about the Caliphate Agenda by hijacking the Self-Determination and Sovereignty of indigenous ethnic nationalities.
The current “agitations” for separation, some of them now turning violent are all actions against the Caliphate Agenda of conquest. Furthermore, several national and international bodies have identified that the “insecurity” plaguing Nigeria is caused by armed Fulani militias disguised as herdsmen, and Islamic terrorists (“bandits”) to carry out jihad for land grab. Although a compromised mainstream media does not report it, the masses who had hoped that government would have stopped the killings before this time, are now at the stage of saying: Fulani go home (back to your ancestral land). This is the type of situation that can break out into full-blown armed conflict. Africa does not need another war! Especially not in the most populous country in the Continent. Before that Caliphate Agenda of conquest becomes forcefully and violently resisted, the way of JUSTICE which means peace, should be followed.
Clearly, after over sixty-one years of a false Independence, it is now the season for Self-Determination and Complete Decolonization. The non-violent NINAS Movement has already done much, and has started the process to decommission that illegitimate 1999 Constitution so that indigenous ethnic nations will regain their full Self-Determination, through the proclamation of a Constitutional Force Majeure last year (16 December 2020). It is an ORDERLY PROCESS that involves a time-bound Transitional Government to bring about fresh constitutional protocols. Elected politicians would remain in office. So, during the transitioning process the current governance structures will remain in place on an adjusted basis, allowing for the current officeholders to lead the process of getting Nigeria out of its dangerous and deadly quagmire.
Similar to the pattern followed in the 1950s before Independence, the redemptive strategy is achieved through a two-stage process in which the constituent regional Blocs will at the first stage, write and ratify their various Constitutions by referendums and plebiscites. Then, in the second stage, terms of federating afresh as dictated by the outcomes of referendum and plebiscites would be negotiated.
It is now up to Nigerians to decide what they want for themselves and their children. It is that illegitimate 1999 Constitution which falsely claims they wrote and agreed it, that is enabling the Caliphate Agenda that keeps them conquered, unable to control their future, and that is now enabling their ancestral lands to be ruthlessly grabbed. So, do Nigerians want to continue with this illegitimate 1999 Constitution by going to General Elections in 2023 to renew the life of that fraudulent document? Or, do they want to halt preparation for those Elections 2023 and first fix their homeland by going into Transitional Government to retrieve their full Self-Determination and bring about Complete Decolonization?
(Information on the NINAS Movement from www.ninasvoice.org)
Ndidi Uwechue is a British citizen with Igbo heritage from the Lower Niger Bloc. She is a retired Metropolitan (London) Police Officer, she is a signatory to the Constitutional Force Majeure, and she writes from Abuja.