The National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) has acknowledged the declaration of June 12 as Democracy Day. At a press conference in Lagos, the umbrella pro-democracy organisation urged Presidnt Muhammadu Buhari to set up a national conference to discuss the future of Nigeria.
On the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the unprecedented June 12th 1993 victory of Bashorun MKO Abiola in the presidential election, the equally unbelievable cruel and contemptuous annulment of that Pan-Nigeria popular will, resulting into national and international condemnation of the military politicians clique led by Gen. Ibrahim Babangida thereby provoking well-meaning Nigerians with public conscience to forge a linkage of various pressure groups to establish a nationwide, broad based Pan Nigerian platform to campaign for a deannulment of the Nigerian popularly expressed will by the Babangida’s hegemons and wishes to note that:
Last year, the President Mohammed Buhari’s government unexpectedly surprised most Nigerians by declaring June 12 as Democracy Day and honoured Bashorun Abiola with the highest National Honour but at the same occasion regrettably gave an underserved honour to Babagana Kingibe (Abiola’s running mate) who sold out the people’s popular mandate and opportunistically collaborated with Gen. Sanni Abacha as his Foreign and Internal Affairs Minister respectively. He actively lied to and denied the facts about the various acts of repression, oppression, humiliation, harassment, intimidation, detention, torture and elimination of activists like Ken Saro Wiwa etc and those with opposing views in both civil and military circles before the international and local communities. The argument that Abiola and Kingibe was a joint ticket remains invalid since Kingibe Voluntary sold out the mandate.
The National Democratic Coalition, NADECO with cautionary reflection, in our press conference held on June 12, 2018 therefore welcomed the long awaited but pleasant Pronouncement of President Muhammadu Buhari where he declared June 12 as the most authentic DEMOCRACY DAY over the May 29, and even over the 1st of October Independence Day according to the statement contained in the President’s twitter handle.
NADECO in its official inaugural statement on May 15, 1994 made some categorical statements among others which included: That the military junta should de-annul the victory recorded by Bashorun Abiola by respecting the popular will of Nigerians expressed at the ballot box which resulted into Abiola’s victory at the presidential election of June 12th, 1993. His popular mandate transcended all odds of ethnicity, religion and political bigotry.
Now that President Buhari has surprised and or confused many Nigerians with the declaration of June 12 as Democracy day and now backed up by law through the senate passage of the Presidential pronouncement and giving the highest honour of the land GCFR to MKO Abiola, NADECO wishes to state unequivocally that for his pronouncement to have fundamental impact among a significant segment of democrats and advocates for justice, equity and the rule of law, PMB should act immediately on the following associated matters with June 12;
NADECO therefore wants to remind Nigerians about the state of the nation. That is, June 12 represents the first Pan-Nigeria mandate, and the expression of the popular will of the people to elect a Nigerian of their free choice to govern them as president as they use their most sacred rights to bury the often orchestrated national divide of North/South; Christians/Muslim;, Majority/Minority, Gender etc. for a united Federal Government of Nigeria of their dream. But the hegemonists, internal colonizers, power mongers who had held Nigeria down and stunted its growth and development annulled the peoples popular will in the most insensitive and contemptuous manner. They eventually collaborated to apply on the winner of the popular will, Bashorun MKO Abiola, the final solution, by arresting Abiola for claiming his lawful mandate, detaining him in the most inhuman solitary confinement and finally eliminating him. The annulers of Abiola’s victory did not stop at that alone. They intimidated, oppressed and hounded all known pro-democracy activists. For example, they assassinated democracy heroine, Alhaja Kudirat Abiola (wife of MKO Abiola), they equally assassinated 79year old revered patron of our democratic struggle, Pa Alfred Ogbeyiwa Osibamowo Rewane, They heartless dispatched to the great beyond Dr. Shola Omotshola, the Director of Security of the Federal Aviation Authority, FAAN.
Also, they tyrannically closed and shut down some media houses that carried stories which they considered unfavorable to them. And finally, a number of media practitioners were detained in solitary confinement, their wives captured if they could not find their husbands, while the type of Baguada Kalto were just eliminated without traces of their remains for befitting burial.
June 12 therefore was a national referendum which if it was not annulled was capable of creating a nation out of the country called Nigeria because the election conquered and subdued the major national faultlines being used by power brokers to keep themselves permanently in power, regularly exchanging batons of power at will while they illegally exploited for their clique in uniform and mufti the Nigeria’s human and natural endowment and in the process parceled out the Nigerians commonwealth among themselves till date.
The treasonable acts of the annullers have since then further turned Nigerian apart so much that the divisions among ethnic nationalities now is greatly deeper and wider than what it was at Nigeria’s independence in 1960 even as recently bemoaned by a former and now late Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Dahiru Musdapha in his lecture at Chief Alani Bankole’s 75th birthday in 2016 at Abeokuta.
The annulment of June 12 led other nationalities to realize that the military politicians composed largely of a sectional ethnic group have erected forcefully a unitary/centralized government to administer Nigeria for their permanent domination and subjugation of other ethnic nationalities using carot and stick of token concessions to accommodate their handpicked surrogates, loyalists, sympathizers and acolytes to present to the public the ridiculous and false colour of national spread of their roguish camp.
It has thereby led to a permanent situation of mutual national mistrust, suspicion, incohesion and general political instability and an unacceptable level of national insecurity.
Quo vadis Nigeria?
The National Democratic Coalition, NADECO which was established as a nationwide broad-based platform by ethnic nationalities, past Military and civilian national political office holders, professional groups, civil societies, trade unions, students and youth, women, academics etc. was created for the main purpose of restoration of democracy to Nigeria through a credible campaign for the de-annulment of the victory of Bashrun MKO Abiola and for him to form a Government of National Unity, (GNU). The major task of the GNU was to be the convocation of a Sovereign National Conference, SNC to democratically discuss, resolve and agree on a nationally acceptable constitutional document to which all Nigerians can subscribe as a binding document, called it Nigerian Grundnorm,an all-inclusive peoples constitutional arrangement.
Today, Nigeria has gone through an unbroken 20years of ‘’civil governance’’ yet mostly dominated and influenced by the military politicians agenda and philosophy which constituted a great disappointment and denial of the hopes and aspirations of the generality of Nigerians for quantitative uplift and better living condition.
The HDI is a summary measure for assessing long-term progress in three basic dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, access to knowledge and a decent standard of living. A long and healthy life is measured by life expectancy. Knowledge level is measured by mean years of education among the adult population, which is the average number of years of education received in a life-time by people aged 25 years and older; and access to learning and knowledge by expected years of schooling for children of school-entry age, which is the total number of years of schooling a child of school-entry age can expect to receive if prevailing patterns of age-specific enrolment rates stay the same throughout the child’s life. Standard of living is measured by Gross National Income (GNI) per capita expressed in constant 2011 international dollars converted using purchasing power parity (PPP) conversion rates.
Nigeria’s HDI value and rank 2017 is 0.532— which put the country in the low human development category— positioning it at 157 out of 189 countries and territories.
Assessing progress relative to other countries the human development progress, as measured by the HDI, can usefully be compared to other countries. For instance, during the period between 2005 and 2017 Nigeria, Mauritania and Cameroon experienced different degrees of progress toward increasing their HDIs.
Nigeria’s HDI and component indicators for 2017 relative to selected countries and groups
The question to ask is that inspite of PMB’s efforts to revamp the economy how can Nigerian with its abundant human and natural resources be so miserably poor as to be ranked even poorer than some war ravaged countries of the world? Yes, it is a painful fact that at independence Nigeria was ranked within the developing groups including current Asian’s Tigers, better than some Latin American nations.
The Nigerian state should accept that Nigeria’s prospect to genuine unity, growth and development can only be a reality if it respects the popular will being expressed by majority of Nigerians that our country should return to federal constitutional arrangement. This demand is proven by the fact that until the unfortunate military insurrection against democratic government on January 15, 1966, Federal and the Regional Governments were relatively productive and responding creditably to the genuine wishes and aspirations of their peoples. Restoration to Federalism should not be based on partisan predilection.
Centralisation of the vital public sectors by various decrees and the appropriations to the Central government of all the Regional Major means of raising resources have crippled the component units since then. Most states now depend on the monthly allocations to run their over bloated bureaucracies. Nigeria should stop living a lie by calling itself a federation when it is in fact being governed centrally under UNITARISM. Given that the discovery of massive petroleum deposit took place during the military regimes and the fact that the humongous earnings from petrol dollars have been diverted to private pockets of succeeding rulers as being currently revealed and exposed remains the albatross on Nigerian neck. But corruption has been institutionalized so much that the arrow heads are richer than the Nigerian state. And they are fighting back ferociously.
However, the PMB challenge could have been mitigated if his government had not dithered and vacillated about its promise of a Federal Constitutional governance, if voted into office. The El-Rufai committee from all intent and purposes was no more than an afterthought as a result of popular national pressure from ethnic nationalities and opinion leaders that Nigerian could not make the expected progress until the current warped, skewed, lopsided, national structure is re-arranged and restored to the Federal Constitutional structure which the military supplanted on January 15, 1966.
The legitimate campaign of many nationalities who as a result of the current unitary/centralized Government (pretending to be a Federal government) had been marginalized, ignored, discriminated against in the distribution and allocation of national wealth cannot be further ignored justifiably. Any further delay would amount to invitation to self-destruction. Imagine how dangerously difficult the Boko Haram, Herdsmen and Kidnappers onslaught had been. The Nigerian State should not further provoke the ethnic nationalities which had been legitimately campaigning for return to federal constitution to resort to self-help. PMB should listen to the legitimate agitations of campaigners for a return to federal constitutional governance.
Categorical imperatives beyond june 12 official recognition
That the Nigerian State should formerly inaugurate post humously Bashorun MKO Abiola as a President of Nigeria and that a National Monument of Consequence be named after President Abiola. We reject any attempt to falsely presenting him as a regional hero or icon like by naming the University of Lagos after him or even presenting his matter as if it is mainly of a regional interest. In the same vein, Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, the heroine of the June 12 struggle must be given National Honour for her martyrdom in the quest for revalidating her husband popular mandate and for restoration of democratic governance to Nigeria.
That NADECO believes that by restoring the concurrent list of items of the 1960 Independence Constitution back to the states along with the concomitant resources to execute those responsibilities, genuine development can be better pursued throughout Nigeria.
That the 1960 Independence Constitution upon which Nigeria secured its independence based on several negotiations be the working paper for the consideration, discussion and resolution of a representative Assembly mainly of the Ethnic Nationalities which were the building blocks upon which Nigeria was constructed. Every Nigerian is from one ethnic nationality or the other. Nigeria was not created by Nigerians and we should stop the pretense of wanting to make Nigerians out of most people without being afforded the freedom of choice since we were forced into co-habitation by Great Britain for their Socio-economic and political interest.
President Buhari’s legacy that can last is in his taking an immediate and bold decision to invite credible ethnic leaders elected through their cultural modalities of choosing representation not composed of government nominees.
Further delay to summon this gathering of ethnic nationalities on equal number of representatives is dangerous and provocative to those who have had to bear the brunt and agony of underserved mistreatment by ‘’pretending owners’’, thereby further endangering this unworkable Nigerian project. Time is running out, and the current rulers must pay dignified attention to what is currently happening in United Kingdom’s efforts to exit the European Union (BREXIT). Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are shaping up themselves to complete their independence struggle.
NADECO’s passionate appeal to the marginalised people, principally, the ethnic nationalities is to intensify their campaign for a return to Federal Constitutional governance because the current national structure remains unsustainable. Every nation state forced into co-habitation had never lasted –Yugoslavia, USSR, Somalia, Ethiopia etc. are historical examples. It is delusionary and a denial of historical reality that those who got undue advantage in the formation of the country called Nigeria through the conspiracy of the colonial master, Great Britain to imagine that they can always continue to exploit various dubious tricks, repression and divide and rule tactics to sustain their tenuous hold on power.
NADECO states that the current inefficient security architecture that had resulted into various acts of criminality, including kidnapping, forceful displacement of natives from their land through elimination and subjugation by unlicensed armed herdsmen thereby making farmers to restrain themselves from going to their farmland, as well as cattle rustling in the process by aggrieved land owners in many parts of Nigeria without any impactful state intervention must be halted immediately. This is because the well-armed herdsmen acts remain provocative and the Nigerian state must be urgently pro-active to curb the needless act of aggression of the herdsmen against farmers of other nationalities who are already gearing up for action as a result of the seeming government failure to protect their lives and property.
NADECO expects President Buhari not to betray peoples trust nor undermine his place in history because whatever successes he promises to make in securing the nation, in improving the nation’s economy and in fighting corruption are efforts against symptoms of a malignant disease/ill-advised human efforts to dominate other human beings when it is a fact of life that “self determination is the anthem of this millenium” nadeco