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Posts tagged ‘Ralph Uwazuruike’

MASSOB THE SYMBOL OF FAKE BIAFRA FREEDOM FIGTERS, launches a new plate number for motorcyclists in Enugu SELLING IT FOR N1,500. DO NOT BUY THIS PLATE IF YOU ARE A TRUE BIAFRAN.


 

massob pLATE

The Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, over the weekend, launched new Biafra motorcycle plate number in Enugu.

MASSOB leader, Chief Raph Uwazurike, who performed the official launching in Nsukka called on Ndigbo to see the new Biafra plate number as their identity and as one of the criteria for the realization of freedom.

Uwazuruike, represented by Chief Larry Odimma, Aba Regional Administrator of MASSOB, enjoined members not to be afraid of purchasing the plate number.

“I am here on the mandate of our leader, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike to launch this plate number, which is aimed at identifying Biafrans and forestalling criminal activities among people who hide under our name to perpetrate evil”, he said.

According to Odimma, the plate number would be sold to people with unquestionable character.

He said, “the national leadership of MASSOB applauds the freedom being enjoyed here in Enugu State unlike what we witness in places like Aba, Ontisha and Umuahia, where our members are constantly harassed by security agents”.

He sued for continuity of peace and harmony in the conduct of MASSOB activities in the state

“We urge you to continue in our vision of non- violence and non-arms carrying as we march towards the take off of Biafra government”, he added.

In his remark, the Regional Administrator of MASSOB in Nsukka, Mr. Kenneth Okwudili said the region expects everyone who shares in the dream of MASSOB to comply and get the plate number

“We expect every true and honest Igbo man with motorcycle to come forward and buy the plate number; this is our identity as Biafrans and we have to embrace it”, he stated.

He further noted that since the creation of Nsukka into a region in 2010, they had managed and sustained the struggle of MASSOB, adding that the launching of the plate number was part of their contribution to the sustenance and struggle for the actualization of the sovereign state of Biafra.
“MASSOB members will continue to partner and support the ideas of the Joshua of our time, Chief Dr. Ralph Uwazuruike in his course of maintaining non violence in actualizing Biafra”, he assured.

DailyPost learnt that the MASSOB plate number costs N1, 500.

Source: Radio Biafra.

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Is this a turning point? MASSOB suspends seven administrators over Onitsha clash.


 

MASSOB

Following previous Monday’s clash between members of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, (MASSOB) and traders at the Old Motor Spare Parts, Mgbuka, in the commercial city of Onitsha, seven regional administrators of the movement have been suspended by its leadership over their alleged involvement in the fracas.
The leader of MASSOB, Ralph Uwazuruike, disclosed this on Thursday after an emergency meeting where he also inaugurated a peace and reconciliatory committee to meet with the market leaders over the crisis.
Uwazuruike further regretted the recent clash between his men and traders, adding that the seven suspended regional administrators were given marching orders over their suspected complicity in the market crisis.
He also apologised to the traders over the unfortunate attack on them by some overzealous MASSOB members, adding that the peace committee led by the National Director of Information, Uchenna Madu, and a Catholic Priest will soon meet with market leaders to find a way of settling the matter.
“After our meeting, we resolved that a panel of inquiry be set up to look into the activities of MASSOB in the commercial city of Onitsha and the constant clashes with traders and security agents, and anybody that is found wanting will be dealt with and expelled from the organisation. The aim is to bring sanity in the struggle; we remained the only genuine pressure group that is championing the true cause of Ndigbo and, therefore, cannot be the same to oppress them. I have ordered for immediate suspension of seven regional administrators in Onitsha because of their roles in the constant clash,” he said.
It was gathered that the affected regional administrators are Stephen Ahaneku in charge of Onitsha South, Emmanuel Omenka, Ogbaru, Vincent Ilo, Onitsha North, Donatus Nweke, Anambra West, Osondu Okwaraeke, Anambra East, and Innocent Kalu of Oyi regions.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Release bodies of our members, says MASSOB.


 

uwazurike-photo-612x300

The Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) yesterday demanded the bodies of three of its members allegedly killed by soldiers during the raid on its security office on the Onitsha-Owerri Road, Onitsha, Anambra State.

MASSOB leader, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, who addressed reporters, said the release became imperative, following worries by the deceased’s families and MASSOB that the bodies be released for a befitting funeral, to prevent their spirits from roaming.

MASSOB also demanded the release of those arrested before, during and after the raid, who included, Friday Igiri, Kenneth Nwabueze and Ezeigwe.

 

The group’s leader spoke through his personal assistant, Emmanuel Omenka.

His words: “We demand the release of the bodies for funeral. We are surprised that soldiers always involve themselves in MASSOB’s affairs. For four days, they raided our security office at Mgbuka junction and arrested three of our members. They should tell us our offence.”

He added: “They should stop disturbing our members.”

Source: Radio Biafra.

Rethinking the Amalgamation of 1914 By Malcolm Fabiyi.


 

Malcolm Fabiyi
Columnist:

Malcolm Fabiyi

The occasion of the 100th anniversary of Frederick Lugard’s amalgamation of the Northern and Southern protectorates of Nigeria has reopened discussions about whether that action was a monumental error – one which has led to the entrapment within the same country of ethnicities that would otherwise never have been in union with one another.

There is no question that the amalgamation of 1914 was intended to benefit the British. Its goal was solely to reduce colonial administration costs by consolidating the two civil service operations of the Northern and Southern protectorates into one. Frederick Lugard, the architect of the amalgamation was an unapologetic advocate of colonial grandeur and a fervent believer in British Imperialism. Lugard served as a colonial administrator in Nigeria, Hong Kong, and Uganda – spreading his imperialist ideas and dutifully serving his Queen wherever he went. Like most of the Colonial actors of that period, Lugard was insultingly paternalistic. In his book the “The Dual Mandate in British Tropical Africa,” Lugard likened the “virtues and defects of this race-type (Africans)” to those of “attractive Children.” If there were any benefits that would accrue to the new Nigerians, those gains would be merely incidental. To attempt to interpret Lugard’s action in any other way will not be supported by the facts.

However, the fact that the amalgamation was not instituted with the interest of Nigerians at heart does not imply that there was nothing about amalgamation that could benefit the inhabitants of the newly formed nation that became known as Nigeria.  Was there anything about the amalgamation of 1914 that enhanced any movements towards unity that Nigerians were themselves already working towards? Were there any attempts by the peoples of the lands now known as Nigeria, to forge unions – through peaceful engagement or conquest – with each other prior to Lugard’s actions?

Nigeria made sense to the British for the three primary reasons that motivate all expansionist conquests. Firstly, the Nigerian nation offered lands that were rich in minerals, superbly arable and fit for agriculture and animal husbandry; rivers and oceans that teemed with aquatic bounties. Secondly, the Nigerian nation offered inland waterways and unfettered access to seas that allowed for the movement of persons and goods. Thirdly, Nigeria offered an abundance of hardworking and enterprising people who would transform the factors of production with which Nigeria was abundantly blessed, into products and services that could be taxed.

The North had ample land and mineral resources. Spanning three vegetation types – the Sahel, Sudan and guinea savannah – the North’s lands could sustain a diverse variety of crops. Grains, cereals, cotton and legumes could be farmed in the Sahel and Sudan Savannah regions; Yams and fruit crops were especially suited to the guinea savannah. The extensive grasslands of the North, and its dry, low humidity climate were excellent for cattle rearing.  The South had land that was particularly suited to the farming of yams, cassava and oil palms. Its forests offered an abundance of timber and jute, and its lands were especially conducive to growing cash crops like Cocoa. The South also had an abundance of coal – a fuel necessary for providing the energy to be used for transportation and for production.

While the North offered lands, minerals and people, it had no access to the oceans. While the South had an abundant of enterprising citizens, it did not have the diversity of lands and climes that the North offered.

By amalgamating the Northern and Southern protectorates, Lugard could consolidate the disparate benefits that the two protectorates offered. By consolidating the colonial civil service into one and reducing administrative costs, Lugard was able to obtain what modern productivity experts would call synergies – benefits that provide higher gains than would have been obtained by a simple addition of the benefits offered by the sum of the parts.

What Lugard and the British saw in Nigeria over a century ago has not changed. If anything, in the intervening century, Nigeria has become a much more viable proposition. It turns out that the North does not only have Tin and Columbite, but its lands also contain enormous reserves of Iron ore, Tantalite (the source of tantalum – a major component of capacitors used in cell phones, laptops, DVD players, TV sets, Medical equipment, etc.), Talc, Gypsum, Gold, Kaolin, Lead, Zinc, and Gemstones. The South, it has since been discovered, has an abundance of Oil and Gas, Bitumen and Gold, in addition to Coal. Apart from Oil and Gas, most of these mineral resources remain largely untapped and underutilized.

While it is proper to credit Lugard with the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern protectorates, it is wrong to ascribe to Lugard the original idea of Nigerian unification. Long before Frederick Lugard stepped foot in Nigeria, Nigerians had looked across the Twin Rivers – the Niger and Benue – and imagined the unification of the tribes on either sides of the divide. Lugard was a century away from setting foot in Nigeria when Dan Fodio launched a Jihad in 1804 which was aimed amongst other things at extending Hausa Fulani hegemony across all of Nigeria. About 400 years before the Dan Fodio Jihad of the 1800s, the Yoruba had occupied Nupe in the heart of the Middle Belt in a wave of expansion of the Oyo Empire. Yoruba mythology suggests that the deified Yoruba King Sango, son of Oranmiyan, was born to a Nupe Princess.

While the Igbo were historically a largely republican people, who spurned empire building, their cultural and economic influence extended well beyond their South Eastern enclave to reach the Southern extremities of Nigeria.   Like other Nigerian tribes, the Igbo also have a story of origin that includes stories of migration from the Upper Egypt region of Northern Africa. Ethnic admixture, cultural exchange, trans-border migrations of people and products, has long been a part of the DNA of the people that inhabit the land called Nigeria. All of these facts make a strong case that the original idea for the possibility of interchange, admixture, and unity of the peoples of the Nigerian nation was initiated historically, by Nigerians themselves – sometimes through trade, but also by conquest.

Lugard’s amalgamation therefore was no more than a convenient fast-tracking of a project that Nigerians had themselves set in motion over 500 years earlier.  By the time of the amalgamation, Nigeria was probably well on its way to unification through conquest by the Hausa Fulani. Dan Fodio’s Jihad had already claimed all of the core North, and large swathes of the Nigerian middle Belt – including Nupe land, Auchi in the Benin Empire; Ilorin, the Kogi highlands and Old Oyo in the Oyo Empire. The truncation of that possible historical pathway by the British implies that we will never know what Nigeria could have been, had Dan Fodio’s army swept onwards to the Sea. We will also never know how far the Igbo, the Yoruba, the Ijaw, the Nupe, and other groups would have gotten in their quest to extend their reaches beyond their frontiers.

To speak of the amalgamation as the “accident of 1914” is to hold the view that there were no plausible geopolitical considerations that could have led to the emergence of the Nigerian nation in its present form. History is clear in its verdict that Nigeria’s constituent nationalities have long had expansionist aims that would have ultimately led to the unification of Nigeria.

Nigeria was, and remains a viable proposition. Nigeria’s lands remain arable and superbly fit for agriculture. Its inland and coastal waters offer rich potential for aquaculture. Since Lugard’s time, its population has grown almost tenfold from an estimated 17 million people in 1914 to about 160 million – increasingly literate, and extremely creative, energetic and entrepreneurial people. In the 100 years since Lugard’s amalgamation, the riches in Nigeria’s earth and the numbers and dynamism of its people, have exploded.  Its potential is more immense, than Lugard could have ever imagined.

Nigeria’s tragedy is that its people, particularly its leaders, have not been able to turn the potentials offered by the amalgamation of 1914 into enduring benefits. The amalgamation brought Nigeria’s constituent nationalities into a melting pot that was intended to distil its disparate peoples into one united country. Nigerians have so far been unable to birth a more united nation out of the crucible of amalgamation. That failure has nothing to do with Lugard, or with the amalgamation. It is primarily a failure of Nigeria’s leaders – especially the triumvirate that led Nigeria to independence. For all their brilliance and erudition, none of those three – Awolowo, Ahmadu Bello and Azikiwe – can be called a father of the nation. They did more for their tribes than they ever did for Nigeria. They were all sadly incapable of forming a nation. At the end of their two decade control of Nigeria’s politics from 1946 to 1966, these men had managed to create a country whose inhabitants identified themselves first as members of their regions and ethnicities, before they were citizens of Nigeria. It must be conceded that the three leaders of the Nigerian nation created fully functional and effective regional governments. The period of their leadership of their various regions has been unrivalled since, in terms of the real growth engendered in schools, public health facilities, public infrastructure, and economic development.

As Nigeria enters into its second centennial, the question that still lingers in every mind is whether the Nigerian nation will make it. Will this marriage survive? There are two answers to that question. If Nigeria continues along its current path, where charlatans and ethnic jingoists jostle for power and place their interests above that of the nation; Nigeria will die, if not a sudden death, then a slow, painful death that will include bloodshed and internecine strife.  However, if leaders who are genuine in their intentions and nationalistic in their outlook emerge, and find a way to win the confidence of the Nigerian people, a strong and virile Nigeria will yet emerge.

The challenge of nation building and the capacity to achieve true unity is best exemplified by the South African nation and its timeless hero, Nelson Mandela. The majority black and colored people of South Africa were victims of the racist policy of Apartheid for most of the 20th century. It is easy to forget that Nelson Mandela was sent to jail, for his fight against Apartheid, and for his struggles on behalf of the black and colored people of South Africa. After his release in 1990, Mandela began his service for South Africa. He championed forgiveness as a national principle, and pushed for the new South Africa to be racially inclusive – a true rainbow nation. Mandela became a champion for the rights of the minority whites. It was not a popular position to take, and there were many black South Africans who vilified him, and accused him of selling out. The task of leadership is however not one that always takes the path of public adulation and praise. The Mandela that was jailed in 1963 was a leader of black South Africa. The Mandela that died in December 2013 was the father of a rainbow nation. Nigeria needs leaders in the mold of Mandela – selfless men and women of clear vision and strong will.

Divided as we might imagine ourselves to be, our differences pale in comparison with nations like South Africa and the United States. We must learn from the examples that those nations offer, how lessons from a painful past, can be used to build a more perfect union.  We might be Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Ijaw and Ibibio – but we are all black and brown sons and daughters of Africa.  We have none of the racial complexities of nations like South Africa and the United States. We might complain about the dominance by certain groups of our national life, however, no Nigerian ethnicity has been systematically denied its humanity and consigned to second class citizenship through laws and policies instituted by the State.

In the new world order in which we live, where global conflicts are no longer ideological but based on religious cleavages and value systems, Nigeria more than any other nation on earth, offers the world a natural social experiment for how nations must address the new challenge of our times – the so called “Clash of Civilizations.” With its near 50:50 split along religious lines, its diversity of ethnicities and fledgling democracy, Nigeria is an object lesson in nation building.

The amalgamation of 1914 was no mistake. Here in Nigeria, we have a unique opportunity to demonstrate the workability of the African dream of unification. What other nation in all of Africa combines within its polity, all of the contradictory factors that plagues modern day Africa. Feudalism exists side by side with an emergent democratic culture. Superstition and religious fatalism inhabits the same space with an emergent technological modernization. The Nigerian state stacks Traditionalism versus modernism; Community versus individualism. The Nigerian experiment is also the global black experiment. Black people everywhere need a success story from the continent. South Africa, despite its impressive technological and economic returns cannot claim the pride of place that Nigeria occupies in the black sub-conscious. The world is rooting for Nigeria to succeed. As the world’s largest back nation, Nigeria’s fate – its progress or the lack thereof, will determine not just how the nation is viewed, but how black people everywhere are regarded.

As we enter into our 2nd century as a nation, there are a number of small gains that we can celebrate. Faulted as our democracy is, we have managed not one, but two successful democratic transitions. We have shed blood for this union in a brutal Civil War. We have demonstrated in Western Nigeria that Islam and Christianity can survive and thrive in the same space – a lesson that the world, and the rest of the country, would do well to learn. We have laid to rest the myth that Nigerian leadership is not accessible to minority ethnicities. We simply need to demonstrate that Nigeria’s leaders can work for the good of all Nigerians, and to define for ourselves the terms under which we, Nigeria’s peoples, will engage with one another.

For one hundred years, we have managed to move this socio-political experiment forward, even though it has tottered on the brink of collapse at times. Faulted as the Nigerian experiment is, it has blessed the world with poets, authors, jurists, doctors, scientists, diplomats, athletes, footballers; it has brought an end to fratricidal wars in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Darfur, Cote D’Ivoire and Congo, and spear headed regional and continental growth. Nigeria can yet be salvaged. What needs to be done is to address the structural faults that the union presently has, and then to forge ahead with the urgent task of catching up with the rest of a world that has continued to move ahead, in leaps and bounds.

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

Ohanaeze Ndiigbo, Truly Corrupt, They Fight Over Gifts/Money at Aso Rock While Hausa B’Haram Kill Igbos In the North.


Ohanaeze Aso Rock

Sharing formula divides members
An alleged cash gift during a recent visit by leaders of the pan-Igbo socio-political organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, to Aso Rock for a parley with President Goodluck Jonathan has reportedly sparked off a controversy.
Members of the high-powered delegation of the group who met with the President behind closed doors for about five hours are now said to be engaged in cold war following disagreement on how to share the N40 million gift from the seat of power.
Top Federal Government officials who were with the President during the meeting with Ohanaeze officials include Vice President Namadi Sambo, Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Anyim Pius Anyim, and Chief of Staff to the President, Mike Ogiadhome.
On the other hand, notable names on the Ohanaeze delegation included the President-General, Gary Igariwey, Secretary-General, Joe Nwaorgu, two former Presidents-General, Dozie Ikedife and Joe Irukwu, Allison Madueke, Uche Azikiwe, T.U. Nwala, Anya O. Anya, Goodly Uwazuruike, Ralph Uwazuruike and A.B.C Nwosu.
Others were Ben Obi, Hope Uzodimma and Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Maria Okwor, Eze Cletus Ilomuanya, O.A.U. Onyema, Eze Eberechi Dick, and Kate Ezeofor.
Some top Igbo businessmen were also on the Ohanaeze delegation.
Another South East based group, Concerned Igbo Patriots (CIP), alleged on Tuesday that the current leadership of the Ohanaeze may have started trading with Ndigbo interest again like their predecessors with the secret visit to Aso Rock.
Indeed, the group claimed in a text message to Daily Independent that a scuffle broke out during the sharing of the booty from Aso Rock.
It alleged that the delegation received N30 million from the Presidency and another N10 million from Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah, in appreciation for the solidarity Ohanaeze showed her during her ordeal over the N255 million bulletproof jeep saga.
The CIP argued that the delegation to Aso Rock was a faction of Ohanaeze under Gary Igariwe, just as it kicked against Eze Cletus Ilomuanya leading Igbo traditional rulers to such a meeting.
“They will sell Ndigbo as Uwechue did. Prof. Ben Nwabueze is the Igbo spokesman to the National Conference,” the message stated.
However, when contacted, Secretary General of the Ohanaeze, Nwaorgu, dismissed the alleged cash gifts to the delegation as “a fabrication by faceless scary minds, which does not worth my comment”.
Nwaorgu said Ohanaeze went to Aso Rock on Monday last week to commiserate with the President on three deaths – his brother, mother-in-law and a leader of Ijaw National Conference.
“We used the opportunity to discuss issues affecting Ndigbo in Nigeria. We talked about soil erosion in the South-East, Second Niger Bridge, and agriculture, federal roads, industrial clusters and electricity.
“And we are happy with the answers the President gave us. We also told him that we are in support of the national conference,” he said.
Nwaogu insisted that the issue of supporting the President in the 2015 general elections never came up at the meeting.
On the possible delegation to the proposed national dialogue, he disclosed Ohanaeze has reserved a role for Nwabueze, its former Secretary-General, although it would not be made public now, adding that they recognised his potentials as a renowned constitutional lawyer.
By Emmanuel Nzomiwu Correspondent, Enugu

Source: Radio Biafra.

Four Frauds That Are Fatal For The 1999 Constitution Or Why The 1999 Constitution Must Be Jettisoned By Chinweizu.


By Chinweizu

These fatal frauds are 4: the “We the people” fraud; the “Federation” fraud; the “Fighting corruption” masquerade/fraud; and the “Socially responsible State” masquerade/fraud. Let’s examine them.

1.    The “We the people” fraud

On the 23rd of May, 2007, the Movement for a New Nigeria (MNN) launched a legal attack on the 1999 Constitution by filing Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/367/07 in the Federal High Court, Abuja and, in 2009, Suit No. FHC/L/CS/558/09 before the Federal High Court, Lagos Division, seeking the termination of the operation of the 1999 Constitution on the ground that it is a forgery and a fraud in that it was made via Decree by one ‘Gen. Abudusalami Abubakar’ who lied in the preamble that ‘We the people of Nigeria….’ made and enacted it.

The Plaintiffs in the Suits included Chief Anthony Enahoro, Dim Chukwemeka Ojukwu, Chief C. C. Onoh, Prof. Wole Soyinka, Prince Bankole-Oki (SAN), Bishop Bolanle Gbonigi, Alhaji Yerima Shettima, Alhaji Asari Dokubo, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike and Fred Ageyegbe, Esq. The case, I understand, is still languishing in court, a victim of endless adjournments.

2.    The “Federation” fraud
Its federalism is a fraud because:

(a)    It falsely parades Nigeria as a federation whereas Nigeria ceased to be a federation in 1966, with the abrogation by the military of the 1963 federal constitution.

(b)    With the demobilization of the earlier federating units, its present states, the alleged federating units, have no constitutions of their own, making them false federating units;

(c)    It lacks fiscal federalism: its behemoth Central Govt. (falsely called “Federal Govt.”) takes for itself a lion’s share of the country’s resources and gives crumbs to the 36 states and the 774 Local Governments; they are thus not economically self-reliant entities but subsist on allocations from the Central Government; they are, consequently, mere economic dependents and  administrative agents of the Central Government—which is contrary to federalism;

3.    The “Fighting corruption” masquerade/ fraud

The 1999 Constitution is the Godfather of corruption, through the immunity clause 308. (1), which protects, and thereby implicitly invites, looting by the highest officials who have brazenly set the terrible example that the rest of society have emulated. However, it ostentatiously declares in Section 15. (5) that “The State shall abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power”, thus giving the false impression that it is for fighting corruption. But it then surreptitiously annuls Section 15.(5) by its ouster clause (See fraud #4, discussed next)  It is a fraud for the Godfather of corruption to give the impression that it is against corruption, and the fraud is compounded when it empowers the State to fight corruption but then surreptitiously discourages it from doing so. That’s double duplicity!

4.    The “Socially responsible State” masquerade/ fraud

The 1999 Constitution surreptitiously relieves the Nigerian State of the customary and fundamental responsibility of a state for the welfare and security of the people it rules: This is done by technically annulling the obligations clearly and ostentatiously stated in its own “Chapter II: Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy”. Chapter II is surreptitiously ousted in Chapter I, by section 6. (6)(c) thus:

(6) The judicial powers vested in accordance with the foregoing provisions of this section –

(c) shall not except as otherwise provided by this Constitution, extend to any issue or question as to whether any act of omission by any authority or person or as to whether any law or any judicial decision is in conformity with the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy set out in Chapter II of this Constitution;

This is the ouster clause, since nobody can go to court to enforce any Ch. II provision. That is to say, if the government omits to act on Ch. II, it cannot be sued by anybody or be compelled by any court to do its constitutional duty. This clause, by making Ch. II non-justiciable, effectively makes it unenforceable, thus ousting it.

This covert ouster allows the Nigerian state to masquerade as a socially responsible state whereas it is no such thing. This masquerading gives it false legitimacy, and is a fraud.

Among the fine-sounding Ch. II provisions hereby ousted are the following admirable principles and laudable objectives (in bold):

13. It shall be the duty and responsibility of all organs of government, and of all authorities and persons, exercising legislative, executive or judicial powers, to conform to, observe and apply the provisions of this Chapter of this Constitution.

14. (2)(b):  It is hereby, accordingly, declared that the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government:

14. (5): The State shall abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power.

16. (2)(d): The State shall direct its policy towards ensuring  that suitable and adequate shelter, suitable and adequate food, reasonable national minimum living wage, old age care and pensions, and unemployment, sick benefits and welfare of the disabled are provided for all citizens.

Ch. II was introduced in the 1979 prototype of the 1999 Constitution. But despite these clearly stated obligations, none of Nigeria’s governments have felt constitutionally compelled to fight corruption or abuse of power, none have felt constitutionally compelled to provide security or welfare to the people; and it has been constitutionally impossible to take them to court for these failings. Finding themselves protected from legal action, they have boldly and brazenly done their utmost to deny Nigerians even minimum social welfare, to inflict chronic insecurity on them, and to block the possibility of even minimal prosperity to most of the Nigerian population. They have thereby delivered hell to Nigerians and done so with an impunity conferred by that covert and technical ousting of Ch II which is still unnoticed by most people.  Their infliction of rampaging corruption is known to the whole world. So let us briefly examine and quantify their not-so-well-known record of inflicting impoverishment and insecurity on the Nigerian population.
Wholesale impoverishment of Nigerians quantified:

Here are the figures. According to the Nigerian Government’s own “African Peer Review Mechanism Country Self-Assessment Report (CSAR) for 2007”, paragraph 88: in 1960 (the year Nigeria attained independence, which was also the year it began to export crude oil) the poverty level was 15% of the population. In 1980, (after 20 years as one of the world’s major oil exporters) the poverty level had risen to 28% of the population. In 1985 it had risen to 46%, and to 65% in 1996.  In other words, despite its huge inflow of oil revenue, Nigeria’s poverty level had steadily risen from 15% of its 45m population in 1960 to 65% of its 112m population in 1996. That is from the Obasanjo Government’s own self-assessment report for 2007: from what better horse’s mouth could this have come?

We should note that, since it is the refined combination of both its prototype, the 1979 Constitution, and the set of military decrees by which Nigeria was ruled between 1966 and 1999, this 1999 Constitution has, in one version or another, been Nigeria’s operative constitution from 1966 till today.  That means that it was the de facto constitution during 30 of the 36 years, 1960-1996, when the escalating poverty level documented in that CSAR took place. That fact probably makes the 1999 constitution the world’s most effective poverty multiplying mechanism of the 20th century. (The Guinness Book of Records should please take note!) That alone is more than sufficient justification for Nigerians to get rid of it before it gets rid of them. If they don’t discard it now, the poverty level could reach 99% by 2020!

The irresponsibility and impunity granted the Nigerian state by the technical ousting of Ch. II is manifested, not just in the impoverishment of most Nigerians (quantified above), but also in trigger-happy massacres by state agents. Here are some

Major massacres of Nigerians by the State since 1966:

1977: Soldiers burn down Fela’s Kalakuta following his boycott of Festac 77.

1978: The military Govt of Lagos State demolish Fela’s Kalakuta, while he was away at the Berlin Jazz Festival.

1980: Farmers in Talata-Mafara, Sokoto State, massacred following protests against Impresit Bakalori, an Italian Company.

1980s: Students at ABU, Zaria, and the OAU, Ile-Ife, killed by police on several occasions.

1999, Nov.: soldiers, deployed to the Niger Delta to protect the oil companies from citizens outraged by the devastation of their environment, sack Odi village, Bayelsa State, killing hundreds.

2001, Oct: Zaki-Biam, Benue State sacked by army, with more than 200 killed.

2009: The Nigerian Military’s JTF devastated villages in the Niger Delta, reportedly killing thousands in a bid to bring the Niger Delta militants to their knees. Nigerian lawmaker, Alhaji Bala N’Allah, was reported to have said at the time: “Nigeria can afford to waste 20 million people in the Niger Delta to save the remaining 100 million population.” This was a vehement statement of the genocidal intent of that JTF operation.

This list of major massacres does not include the countless victims of kill-and-go “accidental discharge” at checkpoints and demonstrations; or the numerous cases of judicial and extra-judicial executions conducted by state agents, most notoriously under Abacha.

All in all, the 1999 Constitution has been, and remains, a Guarantor of bad governance and the Mother of all evils in Nigeria.

These frauds are not victimless: In the last 50 years, they have had deadly consequences for the probably tens of millions of Nigerians who were impoverished or ruined in other ways and went off to prematurely die, unnoticed in the statistics. Some crowded the shantytowns, some lived under bridges, the lucky fled abroad to work at jobs; the most desperate and adventurous handed themselves to human traffickers to take them across the Sahara to seek survival in Libya and Europe, with many perishing along the way.

If you’ve ever wondered why corruption in Nigeria is so brazen and so unchecked by the authorities, or why “kill-and-go” police are never punished, or why kidnapping has become a plague in Nigeria ever since the official example was set in 2003, when an elected State Governor (Chris Ngige of Anambra state) was kidnapped by a privately hired police posse whose high-ranking organizer (A.I.G. Raphael Ige) went unpunished, but was merely retired with full benefits, you now know why: These crimes are licensed by the 1999 constitution which covertly removed the obligation of the state to prevent or punish them.

These frauds and their deadly consequences open up for discussion the question of the legality and democratic legitimacy of the 1999 Constitution and of the institutions based on it. We must make that issue a part of this National Dialogue. While the lawyers will have a field day arguing every conceivable side of this question, it is our duty, as the victims of these frauds, to give ourselves political protection by giving ourselves, without delay, a constitution that is not open to such frauds, doubts and endless debates. And for that we need to proceed with a political process for making a new constitution for ourselves, a Peoples’ Constitution. And the first step to that is to get on with the SNC.

Chinweizu

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© Chinweizu 2013
Sundoor999@gmail.com

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

Peace pact MASSOB disowns Chief Uwazuruike.


 

massob-01

Aggrieved members of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) insisted at the weekend on pursuing the actualisation of an independent Biafra state as against the unity pact agreement signed by their leader, Ralph Uwazuruike.

The members, who distanced themselves from the plan to jettison the agitation for a united Nigeria, vowed to continue with the struggle, until “Biafrans are liberated from perceived oppression by the Nigerian government”.

The MASSOB leader had during a meeting in Owerri, the Imo State capital, with other separatists, including Dr Frederick Fasehun, Asari Dokubo, Hamza al-Mustapha, Mohammed Abacha and Yerima Shetimma, issued a communique in support of the unity and coexistence of Nigeria.

 

The group, under the umbrella of the National Unity Alliance (NUA), headed by Fasehun, founder of the Odua People’s Congress (OPC), posited that it would no longer be manipulated by mischievous and power thirsty politicians to disintegrate Nigeria for selfish reasons.

But back home, the action of the MASSOB leader was seen as a betrayal of the cause for which many had been killed, maimed and displaced during the civil war fought more than 40 years ago.

It has also generated widespread criticisms among members of the group, who had sustained the Biafran struggle in the last 13 years.

One said: “We felt betrayed. We have wasted substantial years of our lives fighting for the independence of Biafra. Most of us have died in the process, while many others are languishing in prisons across the country.

“Apart from this steep price, we have equally paid through our nose to fund the movement. But we are not going to allow all these sacrifices to go in vain.

“For us the struggle for Biafra has just begun. Our collective destiny is greater than any person or group of persons.”

Source: Radio Biafra.

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