Foremost pro-democracy group, National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) has called for the suspension of all processes directed towards the conduct of the 2023 general elections until Nigeria re-adopts the 1960 Independence Constitution, the negotiated federal constitution which was in operation before the advent of military rule in the country.
In a special message to mark Nigeria’s 62nd Independence Anniversary, Ayo Opadokun, a chieftain of NADECO, described the current move to hold another general election next year as a dubious rat race, a misplaced priority and an act of insensitivity to the popular demand for a return to federal constitutional governance as opposed to the unitary system imposed on the nation by the military.
“No one is fooled to believe that the election is to consolidate democracy, considering how the two so-called main parties abandoned rotational presidency agreement for equity, but to further the imposition of ethnic agenda which has denied Nigeria the chance to provide modern, transparent, people oriented governance and where the popular will of the people is treated with the highest regard,” NADECO said.
According to the group, the military adventurers, who ruled Nigeria for a total of 44 years out of its 62 post 1960 Independence years, deliberately created the 1999 to promote a sectional agenda and maintain their stranglehold on the nation at all cost.
Nigeria, NADECO said, must of necessity return to federal constitutional governance before the holding of any election as the citizens have not seen any tangible gains from all the previous elections held since 1999 when the military retreated to the barracks.
“The 1966 military suspension and abrogation of the Federal Constitutional Governance of Nigeria as negotiated by the Founding Fathers and it’s substitution with series of decrees including their 1979 and 1999 manufactured decrees called constitutions which have centralized governance has been the main reason for our national woes and calamities. The decrees forcefully empowered the centralized government to appropriate to itself all the major natural endowments of the component units. If the military has not violently usurped power, the politicians for enlightened self-interest could have bent-over backward to accommodate themselves. The political crises could possibly have been resolved.
“Nigeria is an heterogeneous country with over 350 ethnic Nationalities with their different languages, religions, customs, traditions, cultures, artifacts, folklore, mores, morals, etc., which cannot be legislated out of existence. That’s the reason why all the dubious efforts to make Nigerians out of many people remain a pipe dream. And it was the reason why the British along with the Founding Fathers and Nationalists resolved that the only suitable constitution for heterogeneous people as we have in Nigeria, Germany, Australia, etc. if they were to cohabit in a country is a Federal Constitution