For more than a decade, reasonable Nigerians had been calling for true Federalism to return to the country because the Unitary system practised since 1966, was unjust and therefore not working. Those agitating for this reorganisation simply called it “Restructuring”. The government of Buhari and Osinbajo was elected in 2015 on their promise of giving Nigerians the Restructuring they wanted. However, once in power, they failed to honour this promise in their party’s Manifesto to “…implement efficient public financial management strategies and ensure true Federalism”. Despite appeals from numerous quarters that rejecting Restructuring would lead to break-up, and slogans of “No Restructuring, no Nigeria!”, central government remained adamant that the Unitary system that incidentally, comes by way of the imposed and illegitimate 1999 Constitution is what they were going to maintain over the people – and that was that.
The Buhari – Osinbajo ticket had also promised change, but the change Nigerians are experiencing is certainly not the kind they had been expecting. Under this regime the “change” is that not only has Nigeria become the world’s poverty capital, but indigenous peoples also now face an existential threat from ethnic cleansing to facilitate land grabbing. The influential USA House of Representatives non-partisan Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission Hearing on 17th December 2020 titled, “Conflict and Killings in Nigeria’s Middle Belt”, reported that GENOCIDE is going on carried out by Boko Haram and Fulani militants. Plus that “Fulani militants pose a MORTAL THREAT to the predominantly Christian farming tribes in the Middle Belt and surrounding states…”. Furthermore, other changes brought about by the Buhari – Osinbajo government is that the International Criminal Court is investigating Nigeria for war crimes and human rights abuses. Another change is that Nigeria is now designated a Country of Particular Concern by the USA. Thus, SELF-DETERMINATION is what ethnic nations are insisting upon now. They need self-determination in order save their lives and lands, then be able to get out of the shameful and painful “world poverty capital” label.
Coming to today, a Constitutional Force Majeure (“Confom” for short) had been declared on 16th December 2020 by NINAS, the alliance of indigenous peoples of the Lower Niger Bloc, the Oodua Bloc, and the Middle Belt Bloc, thereby making Nigeria a Disputed Project. As a Disputed Project, one of two self-determination outcomes now seem more likely which we can examine. But first, to get the correct temperature of the country, Nigerian television news channels should not be relied upon. Even those that may describe themselves as independent, could be difficult to accept as such, given the open bias of much of their current affairs or political programmes. Therefore, other sources would give a more accurate picture of what Nigerians, especially young people, are planning for their future.
The people’s focus now seems to be on two self-determination options. Either “Aburi”, ie a Confederation, or “Araba”, ie Dissolution. Aburi may be more familiar to people, but Araba (separation) was a word used in 1966 by Northerners in Bauchi during a protest in support of breaking away from Nigeria.
Fortunately the pathway for either option are pretty much clear cut in terms of either boundaries of Confederating units or boundaries of emerging new countries, for they would be the same. The Arewa Bloc started off the process of boundary-making when that area took up Sharia. So today, Arewa has already clearly defined its borders. Other Blocs have begun to define themselves using ethnicity, cultural and historical ties, plus language similarity, etc. Thus, three other groupings are emerging as Middle Belt, Oodua and Lower Niger Blocs.
The Confom, mentioned above, is the ORDERLY PROCESS that follows international law and United Nations procedures that resolves the question of what kind of self-determination arrangement there will be. Nigerians, ie “We the people” will decide that, through Regional Referendums by ethnic nationalities in their Blocs to vote whether to re-commit to, or exit the Union. The results of these Regional Referendums will determine what form self-determination will ultimately take.
A disturbing fall-out of unitary Nigeria is a “do or die” climate where a significant number of individuals become so obsessed with imposing their own personal choice on everybody else. The idea that “we the people” should decide the future for themselves, sends them into a rage. Psychologists will need to unravel the mental operations of such people. Calm minds are required at this time, so that these egomaniacal ones, especially those in leadership positions, are prevented from doing actions to aggravate the country’s already dreadful insecurity situation.
Given all that is happening in Nigeria, those who want a Confederation need to convince their own ethnic people that that is best for them. They will need to show how their people will be kept permanently safe from genocide and land grabbing. They will need to show how their people and their lands will be kept free from Islamist terrorism, and from the dishonour of being a citizen of a terrorist country. They will need to show their people why they should give a certain proportion of money to a central government. In short, they will need to show their people the benefit of being in the Union.
For now, the ground swell seems to be with those who want Dissolution. That rage of those “do or die” types has already come up and they falsely call it a “secession” when the truth is that the Union is only a virtual one that cannot stand up in any honest court, since the 1999 Constitution that upholds it is a forgery, and illegitimate. Therefore, one cannot “secede” from a Union that just is not. What we see is that by taking up Sharia, Arewa clearly showed its desire to separate away in their Bloc of twelve contiguous states. Considering other recent developments could it be that Arewa Bloc would rather join to its northern brother, Niger Republic? This is Nigeria, where things are undisclosed, so only time will reveal all. The NINAS Alliance though, is transparent and openly announced. It is between three Blocs, and each Bloc is composed of compatible ethnic nations. Thus, there would be four Blocs which could be the confederating units if the peoples decide on having a Confederation. If it is to be Dissolution, these four Blocs could become four new nations, each of them viable, and governed according to their citizens’ wishes. Whichever of these two options, the peoples need stability and Africa needs stability.