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Buhari Plans 6-Year Third Term Allowing Him To Serve For 14 Years |The Republican News

President Muhammadu Buhari

…Bills to amend the constitution pass first reading in Reps

…APC may still feature Buhari for fear of extinction

…Crisis looms in PDP over zoning

Despite the outright denial by the Presidency that President Muhammadu Buhari is not interested in running for a third term, facts have emerged that he is perfecting plans to continue in office at the expiration of his second tenure in 2023.

When this plan was first uncovered, the Presidency quickly debunked such insinuations, describing them as internet-based gossip and un-informed media commentary.


The Presidency had said Buhari would serve his full second elected term in office ending 2023 and then there shall be a general election in which he will not be a candidate.


The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu who denied the possibility of a third term agenda said: “The Presidency wishes to correct internet-based gossip and un-informed media commentary regarding presidential term limits, given credence by so-called support groups, staging street demonstrations asking President Muhammadu Buhari to do a third term.


“There are no circumstances or set of circumstances under which President Buhari may seek to amend the Constitution regarding the two -term limit on holding office as President.

“President Buhari intends to serve his full second elected term in office, ending 2023 and then there shall be a general election in which he will not be a candidate. There is not even the faintest possibility that this will change. It is important to note that there was a past attempt to change the constitution to allow for the then incumbent president to stand for a third term.”

According to Shehu, “That attempt was wrong, unconstitutional and rightly rebuffed. No such attempt will happen under this President. President Buhari is a democrat. He respects the constitution. Any activity aimed at altering the two-term limit will not succeed and shall never have his time nor support”.

But political observers are becoming more curious that Buhari through the ‘Cabal’ in the Presidency is leaving no stone unturned, including constitutional amendment, arm-twisting of the judiciary, pocketing the Electoral Umpire, rubber-stamping the legislature and castrating Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to realise the third term bid.

Only recently, an erstwhile political associate of Buhari, who is now the National Chairman of Reformed All Progressives Congress, rAPC, Buba Galadima, raised the alarm that the President may be contesting in the 2023 presidential election

Galadima said the forces controlling Buhari are planning to lure him into running for third term, alleging that the present administration has pocketed the judiciary and is doing all it could to muzzle the opposition.

According to him, Buhari has already pocketed the judiciary, and he feels that nothing will happen, and that he will be victorious at the court. His government has destroyed the judiciary and this is very troubling for democracy, and our nation


“A lot of politicians will be disappointed. Only God knows what will happen between now and 2023. Buhari may even be drafted to join the 2023 fray by some of his aides and associates.

Apart from Galadima, other political actors who however, lack the audacity to come out publicly are speaking in low tones that Buhari and his handlers are not ready to vacate the scene after 2023.

Some inside sources within the power cycle who would not want to be mentioned agreed that there are hidden plans for the incumbent President to continue in office beyond 2023.

They alluded to the fact that Buhari may not want policy somersault particularly the war against corruption, border closure, among others hence, the desire to have another tenure which would provide enough time for their consolidation.

Our sources noted that the continued retention of Service Chiefs even when some have attained 40 years against the mandatory 35 years of retirement is part of the plan not to inject new blood into the system to pave way for the unhindered tenure elongation.

The sources further disclosed that constitutional amendment is imminent and it would be targeted at creating a six-year single tenure so that after Buhari, no one would enjoy serving for a second tenure and in a way making him the last longest serving President.

“We are beginning to sense that the President and those around him don’t want to go after 2023. That is why they are doing everything, though covertly to water the ground for his third term.

“What do they want to do? They will ensure there is a constitutional amendment not just for Buhari to go for a third term but to introduce a six-year single tenure after his exit.

“So far, the Independent National Electoral Commission is in their palms, the National Assembly has been captured or do you think Gbajabiamila and Lawan would object anything the President and the Cabal want? No. In fact, they were handpicked for this purpose.

“The CSOs, where do you think they are? Can they try any rubbish? If anyone tries, he or she will have himself to be blamed as Sowore. The opposition has been annihilated. In fact, EFCC alone would finish them. Forget, 2023 is a done deal for Buhari,” a source that claimed to know the workings in the corridors of power said.

The indications to amend the constitution are becoming even palpable; hence so far, three Bills to amend the constitution have passed first reading in the National Assembly, especially in the House of Representatives which may not be unconnected with tenure elongation or six-year single term for President.

These bills are: Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2019 (HB.408) (Hon. Dachung Musa Bagos), Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2019 (HB.410) (Hon. Dachung Musa Bagos) and Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2019 (HB.418) (Hon. Awaji-Inombek Abiante).

Also, there is anxiety within the ranks and file of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) that the party would go down with President Buhari if he exits in 2023 as he is presently the uniting force of the strange bed fellows – the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), parts of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and the New Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP).


As recently decried by former Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, APC might lose its current grip of power in 2023 as APC is a party that they hurriedly put together when they were governors, with Buhari as the fulcrum.

“President Muhammadu Buhari gave character to APC. He brought his integrity to bear on the party. He made the party what it is in the northern part of the country and the masses of the North, who saw him as a true leader, and we all rode on that to achieve that victory, but after the credibility of Buhari into this party, there seems to be no alternative in the same manner that will drive this party to 2023 victory.

“This is why I expressed my concern that if we are not very careful, APC might go with Buhari in 2023, and that will be a very unfortunate situation for the founding fathers of APC. The party needs to show purposeful leadership, show character,” Okorocha said.

Meanwhile, there is raging crisis in the ranks of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) over zoning of the presidential slot ahead of 2023.

The party, particularly the National Working Committee (NWC) is plotting to maintain the zoning of its presidential ticket to the North East and South East, respectively.

By this zoning arrangement, the NWC is bent on picking former presidential candidate of the party, Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi as the candidates for 2023.

The NWC may have felt that since the party had a remarkable outing in the last presidential election, with Atiku and Obi, if the statuesque is maintained in 2023, PDP will oust the ruling APC roundly.

However, it was gathered that the PDP governors are not in any way ready to back the Atiku/Obi ticket anymore. The governors appear to be divided since all of them are angling for the position.

The governors seem to be resistant on the zoning to North East and South East because, they feel President Muhamadu Buhari’s body language tilts towards plot to elongate his tenure in 2023, and that if Atiku/Obi ticket is flown, the party may not coast to victory.

Sources said, already, some of the governors including Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto and Nyesom Wike of Rivers State are nursing political ambition to run on North West and South-South zoning. They have since started holding secret meetings to woo the other governors’ support to convince the party to zone the presidential slot in their favour.

Wike, it is said has been the chief strategist rooting for Tambuwal as he wants to be Vice President in 2023 but as it stands, there is no possibility that the NWC will agree to dance according to tunes of Wike and or bow to any North West and South-South zoning, just as it appears Wike is the major financier of the party, hence Rivers is rated the only PDP state with overall financial might.

Retrospectively, it was same Wike’s alleged shenanigans that saw the crisis that erupted, few months ago, between the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT) and NWC, over suspension of the House of Representatives Minority leader, Ndidi Elumelu. The dust on the matter is yet to settle.

Wike had reportedly tipped Peter Chinda who is from Rivers State for the position and compelled the party to accept it, which the party refused.

Unfortunately, majority of party executive members did not buy into it and worked against it vehemently. Till now, the crisis on the matter is brewing and the party is not ready to entertain yet another internal chaos.

Although at the moment, the PDP appears unstable on how it intends to zone the presidential slot, it is determined to oust the APC and to resist every move by Buhari to elongate his tenure in 2023.

Of course, with alleged Buhari’s plan to retain 2023, pundits perceive that the consideration of Tambuwal and Wike for the 2023 slot may garner more acceptability, more so that they are younger politicians with vast experiences and sagacity.

But the PDP has said it is yet to decide on any zoning and that those trying to peddle the information are doing so to further their own selfish political ambitions.

The PDP, through the National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan has stated in a statement that there is no plot to stop the ambition of any of the governors either.

“For the avoidance of doubt, our party is yet to discuss the 2023 presidential election, overtly or covertly, at any time whatsoever.

“If anything, the PDP is currently working with Nigerians on how to win its elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states and will not be distracted by

individuals who found themselves operating in the highest offices of the land but failing in governance.
“As a party, we are also working with our respective state governors and legislators across the country as they work hard, in line with the manifesto of our party, to improve on the welfare and development of Nigerians,” he said.

“Moreover, it is also imperative to counsel, without any equivocation, that enemies of our party, who feel threatened by the rising profile of
Governor Nyesom Wike, should have a rethink on their incessant attacks on the governor,” Ologbodiyan said. (BusinessDay)

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Exclusive: Buhari Set To Extend ‘Private Visit’ To London On Health Grounds |The Republican News

Buhari-latest-London-visit1

Inside sources in the Presidency who spoke with SaharaReporters said there is a high likelihood of the President extending his stay on the orders of his doctors.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari may not return to the country on Sunday May 5 as scheduled due to health complications.

Inside sources in the Presidency who spoke with SaharaReporters said there is a high likelihood of the President extending his stay on the orders of his doctors.

President Muhammadu Buhari had travelled to the United Kingdom on April25 for what the presidency described as a “private visit”.

Constitutional Breach

Shortly after his announcement, Buhari’s departure sparked a constitutional debate over his refusal to notify the National Assembly of his planned absence and hand over to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

In 2016, he had handed over to Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo after notifying the senate of his 10-day visit to the United Kingdom where he claimed he would be seeing an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist over a persistent ear infection.

By refusing to hand over to the Vice President, Buhari breached Section 145 (1) and (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) which states that:

“Whenever the President is proceeding on vacation or is otherwise unable to discharge the functions of his Office, he shall transmit a written declaration to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives to that effect, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, the Vice-President shall perform the functions of the President as Acting President.

“In the event that the President is unable or fails to transmit the written declaration mentioned in subsection (1) of this section within 21 days, the National Assembly shall, by a resolution made by a simple majority of the vote of each House of the National Assembly, mandate the Vice-President to perform the functions of the office of the President as Acting President until the President transmits a letter to the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives that he is now available to resume his functions as President.”

Widespread National Anger
In 2017 during his prolonged absence, Nigerian protesters in Lagos, Abuja and the UK protested after mobilizing using the hashtag #ResumeOrResign demanded that President Muhammadu Buhari either resume his job as president or resign, after more than 90 days of absence.

Demonstrators rallied for three days, demanding action by the government, with many claiming Buhari’s absence is unacceptable and harmful for the country.

The demonstrations, led by prominent activists such as Omoyele Sowore, Charles Oputa and Deji Adeyanju forced the President to return home.

His most recent trip is also causing widespread anger from Nigerians, who accuse him of insensitivity to the plight of Nigerians, especially in the wake of rising kidnapping and banditry in the country.

Buhari’s Crohns Disease
Contrary to claims that the President suffers an ear infection, SaharaReporters in 2017 authoritatively confirmed that Buhari is battling a persistent “internal organ” problem.

The source attributed the President’s inability to eat as well as his progressive loss of weight to Crohn’s Disease, a medical condition that has affected his digestive system.

According to the source, Buhari had had parts of his colon removed in 2013 and also had another operation to have hemorrhoids, swollen veins near the human rectum, removed in 2016 in London during one of his secret trips to seek urgent medical treatment.

Timeline Of Medical Visits
Since his inauguration in 2015, President Buhari has embarked on no less than eight trips to the UK, mostly to cater to his health.

On the February 5, 2016, he embarked on a six-day medical vacation to London. Shortly after, on the June 6, 2016, he took to the skies for a 10-day medical vacation to deal with a “persistent ear infection”.

Again on January 19, 2017, he took off to London again on a medical vacation and on February 5, 2017, he wrote to the National Assembly, asking lawmakers to extend his London medical leave.

He returned on the March 10, 2017 but did not resume work immediately before jetting out two months later on May 7, 2017 for another medical vacation that lasted 104 days.

President Buhari returned in and worked from home August 19, 2017.

He again flew out in May 8, 2018 for a ‘private visit’.

(Source: Sahara reporters)

 

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UK Visit: PDP, SANs Fault Buhari’s Refusal To Write National Assembly, Handover Over To Osinbajo

Buhari lands in London

Olusola Fabiyi, Eniola Akinkuotu, John Ameh, Leke Baiyewu and Ade Adesomoju

Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), has described as illegal President Muhammadu Buhari’s ‘private visit’ to London and his refusal to inform the National Assembly.

Falana said this during an interview with SUNDAY PUNCH on Saturday

The senior advocate said Section 145 of the 1999 Constitution stated expressly that whenever the President was travelling out of the country on vacation, he must transmit a letter to the National Assembly.

The activist said, “No doubt, the President is entitled to embark on local and foreign trips to attend the engagements of family members and friends like other citizens.

“But the President is not permitted by the constitution to abandon the enormous responsibilities of his office for 10 days on account of a private visit to the United Kingdom or any other country whatsoever.

“Since President Buhari’s current private visit to the UK for an undisclosed mission has made it impossible for him to preside over the meeting of the Federal Executive Council and perform other functions of his office, he should transmit a letter to the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives in compliance with Section 145 (1) of the Constitution.”

He said as long as the President could not fully carry out the functions of his office, he ought to inform the legislative arm of government.

Falana stated, “Having regard to the facts and circumstances of the controversial private visit, President Buhari is deemed in law to be on vacation or leave of absence for 10 days.

“Whether the President is on vacation or not is not in dispute, but that he is unable to discharge the functions of his office for 10 days. To that extent, the President has to comply with Section 145 (1) of the Constitution which states that, ‘Whenever the President is proceeding on vacation or otherwise, unable to discharge the functions of his office, he shall transmit a written declaration to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives to that effect, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, the Vice President shall perform the functions of the President as acting President’.”

He wondered why the Presidency refused to inform the nation of the President’s mission to the UK as Buhari remained the chief public officer.

Falana said, “The official claim that the President is not on vacation has failed to address the constitutional implications of the privacy of the visit of the Head of the Federal Government which is administered on the basis of accountability and transparency.

“Under the current democratic dispensation, the movement and activities of the No 1 Public Officer in the country cannot be shrouded in secrecy.”

Also, in an interview with SUNDAY PUNCH, another human rights activist, Chief Mike Ozekhome, said the President’s decision to travel out on a private visit was not only unconstitutional but immoral.

The senior advocate said the President, as the number one public office holder, had no right to embark on a private visit without informing Nigerians of the purpose of the visit.

He wondered why the President, who had been informing the National Assembly of his previous travels and had been delegating power to Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo as acting President, would suddenly change.

He said, “The entire journey is not only illegal, it is also unconstitutional and immoral. It is immoral in the sense that the President travelled with the tax-payers’ money.

“The day the President was sworn in, he ceased to be a private citizen and he became a public figure whose public outings must be known, especially when he is outside Nigeria.

“The visit is illegal and unconstitutional because he did not transmit a letter to the Senate that till he returns, the Vice-President will be the acting President and perform the duties of the President.”

Also, another SAN and Queen’s Counsel, Prof. Fidelis Oditah, said although the trip might not be illegal, it violated constitutional provision that required the President to transfer power to the Vice-President whenever he was on vacation.

Oditah, whose QC title is the England’s equivalent of the Nigerian SAN, said the President’s “private” trip abroad qualified as a vacation.

He added, “How is the trip illegal? I think it is better to say that the President violated the provision of the constitution which requires him to transmit a letter to the National Assembly transmitting power to the Vice-President.

“I don’t know if that, by itself, makes the trip illegal. But I suppose it’s a matter of semantics.

“I think the Constitution is clear that whenever the President wishes to go on vacation, he is required to inform the National Assembly and to transmit a letter that he is transferring the reins of power to the Vice-President.

“I am not sure of what the President says he is doing, but if the President were to be on an official duty outside the country for five or six days, he would not be required to transmit a letter. But here he says he is making a private visit to the United Kingdom for 10 days, and I think that will count as a vacation, whether he says it is a vacation or not.”

But another Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Paul Ananaba, said the trip was not illegal, stating that every issue should not be politicised.

He said, “The trip is not illegal. Transmitting letter has to do with whether the Vice President should act or not. We should not politicise every issue in the country.

“Transmitting letter or not has to do with which role the Vice President will play when the President is on a foreign trip and not the illegality or otherwise of the trip.”

When contacted, the spokesperson for the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Organisation, Mr. Festus Keyamo (SAN), said he was not competent to speak on the issue but the President’s spokespersons.

Expect more ‘I don’t care’ attitude from Buhari –PDP

In its own reaction to Buhari’s trip, the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, said Nigerians should expect more daring actions from the President in coming days.

It said this was one of the many reasons why the President and the All Progressives Congress were making moves to install their cronies as the heads of the two chambers of the 9th National Assembly.

The National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, who spoke with SUNDAY PUNCH on Saturday, said the President and the APC were planning to undermine the 9th National Assembly.

Secondus stated, “We now see one of the reasons why the President and his party are desperate to force their cronies on both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

“The President wants a National Assembly that will not ask him questions. He wants a leadership that will pass bills as presented without subjecting them to public hearing and debate. The President wants to leave the country without anyone asking him his whereabouts.

“That will not be possible in a country like Nigeria. How will he leave for 10 days without informing the National Assembly and also hand over to the Vice President? This is wrong.”

Secondus asked Nigerians to get ready to confront the President in the coming days, wondering why he (Buhari) would not show commitment to end the killings in many states, including Katsina.

Buhari can rule from anywhere within short absence –Presidency

But the Presidency said on Saturday night that Buhari could govern the country from anywhere in the world.

It stated that so long as the President’s absence was for a short period, he did not need to inform the National Assembly.

The Presidency also said Buhari, while in the UK, was exercising authority as the President since his absence would be for 10 days and not up to 21 days.

In a response to an enquiry on the issue by Sunday PUNCH, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, made a reference to Section 145 (1)(2) of the 1999 Constitution to make a defence for Buhari.

When asked why Buhari did not inform the National Assembly of his trip, Shehu replied that it was not necessary.

He stated, “No, that is not necessary. The President can exercise authority from wherever he is as he is currently doing.

“This is a relatively short absence. If you check Section 145 (1) and (2) of the Constitution, you will see that the law is only infringed upon when such absence extends to 21 days.”

The President had jetted out of the country on Thursday, last week.

Meanwhile, both the presidential liaison officers in the National Assembly and officials in the offices of the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives could not confirm the transmission of a letter by Buhari notifying the legislature about his trip as of Saturday night.

When contacted on Saturday evening, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (House of Representatives), Mr Umar el-Yakub, declined to speak to one of our correspondents.

The SSA on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, also did not confirm transmission of the letter. “I will be able to speak about it on Monday. Right now, I’m home for family and political matters. When I return (to Abuja) I will officially speak next week; I will officially speak on Monday,” he said.

Also, the Special Adviser to the President of the Senate on Media and Publicity, Alhaji Yusuph Olaniyonu, could not confirm receipt of the letter by his principal as of Saturday night.

Olaniyonu, however, noted that the letter might have been transmitted to his principal after the plenary on Thursday and might be made public to members at the next sitting on Tuesday.

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Nnmadi Kanu Releases ‘Proofs’ Surrounding Buhari’s Nationality, Says He’s Not A Nigerian |The Republican News

 

Mazi Nnami Kanu, the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra has released some new ‘proofs’ that Buhari is not a Nigerian.

The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has come up with a fresh claim about the true nationality of President Muhmmadu Buhari.

Kanu, in his broadcast from the United Kingdom at the weekend, said that neither “dead” Muhammadu Buhari, nor “his replacement” Jibril al Sudani, is qualified to contest for Nigeria’s presidential election.

Nnamdi Kanu argued that being born on Nigerian soil was not enough to qualify one as a Nigerian citizen by birth, unless the parents, grandparents of such person is also born in Nigeria.

The IPOB leader said that Buhari’s father, Hardo Adamu, was a nomadic FULANI trader, a duck seller, from Niger Republic and later became a bodyguard in the Emir of Daura’s palace, which made him to settle in Daura, Katsina State, adding that he (Hardo) was borne in Niger Republic, not Nigeria.

Kanu said that the All Progressives Congress, APC, has opened the door by challenging Atiku’s citizenship by BIRTH, it now lies within the rights of every right-thinking person to also question Buhari’s citizenship by birth, even litigate it in Court.

He added, “NEITHER THE DEAD BUHARI NOR HIS REPLACEMENT JUBRIL AL-SUDANI IS A CITIZEN OF NIGERIA BY BIRTH ACCORDING TO SECTION 25 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA

“Buhari, even before his death should not have contested for the presidency how much less the impostor Jubril Al-Sudani.

“Section 25 (1) of the badly worded, badly written 1999 Nigerian Constitution states that being born on Nigerian soil is not enough to qualify you as a Nigerian citizen by BIRTH, unless your father, mother, grandfather or grandmother is also born in Nigeria:

“According to the highest (Supreme) law in Nigeria which is the constitution, ‘The following persons are citizens of Nigeria by BIRTH-namely:

“(a) every person born in Nigeria BEFORE the date of independence, EITHER of whose parents or ANY of whose grandparents belongs or belonged to a community INDIGENOUS to Nigeria;

“Provided that a person shall NOT become a citizen of Nigeria by virtue of this section if NEITHER of his parents nor any of his grandparents was BORN in Nigeria.

“In simple/plain English this means that if NONE of your parents or grandparents is BORN in Nigeria, you cannot contest for the office of the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, simple and short.

“Section 131 of the 1999 Constitution which APC is relying on to disqualify Atiku, provides:

“‘A person shall be qualified for election to the office of the President if –

(a) he is a citizen of Nigeria by BIRTH.’

“Now, leaving that of Atiku for the moment, let us now consider whether the dead Buhari (now replaced by Jibril from Sudan) was a citizen of Nigeria by BIRTH, as defined under Section 25 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (CFRN) above.

“Keep in mind that Section 25 did not provide being born in Nigeria as the ONLY conditions for being considered being Nigerian by BIRTH. There are other conditions, which one must fulfil and they are:

“1. As applied to Buhari, you must have been born before Independence, so having been borne in 1942, the dead Buhari passed this first test.

“2. Either of Buhari’s parents or any of his parents must belong to a tribe INDIGENOUS to Nigeria; and … [mind you not Republic of Niger]

“3. Under the Proviso to Section 25, either of them MUST also be BORN in Nigeria. [This is the most important proviso because even if you pass 1 and 2, you will still fail and won’t qualify to be Nigerian president if you don’t pass No 3, that is what the law says].

“Now, we know from public records that Buhari’s father, Hardo Adamu, was a nomadic FULANI trader, a duck seller, from Niger Republic and later became a bodyguard in the Emir of Daura’s palace, which made him to settle in Daura, Katsina State. So, he (Hardo) was borne in Niger Republic, not Nigeria.

“And Buhari’s father, being from Niger DID NOT belong to a tribe indigenous to Nigeria. This law was designed to stop cross border tribes from claiming indigenous identity to run for the presidency of Nigeria. Remember that the Yoruba tribe extends into Benin Republic.

“Though they are Yoruba by indigenous identity, they are not regarded as a population indigenous to Nigeria by virtue of the fact that they belong to another country. The same applies to Fulani people indigenous to Niger Republic that share common porous border with Nigeria.

“But given that Section 25 used the words ‘either of the parents or any of the grand parents’, we shall consider whether Buhari’s mother, Zulaihatu, was born in Nigeria.

“What we know for sure is that Hardo Adamu married Zulaihatu in Niger Republic and both of them, being nomadic, emigrated to Daura together sometime in early 1941. That is why there is NO record of any local Daura family in present day Katsina State that claims Zulaihatu comes from them.

“In other words, Buhari’s mother, also a Fulani from Niger Republic was NOT born in Nigeria.

“Now, here’s the question: if neither of Buhari’s parents were BORN in Nigeria, is it likely that any of his grandparents, that is the parents of Hardo and Zulaihatu were born in Nigeria? Not likely. This is where I challenge the Daura Emirate of Katsina to confirm or deny this.

“Let us now recall the Proviso to Section 25 which states, and I quote: ‘Provided that a person shall NOT become a citizen of Nigeria by virtue of this section if NEITHER of his parents nor any of his grandparents was BORN in Nigeria.”

“So, now we know that even though the late Buhari may have been born in Daura in present day Katsina State, NEITHER of his parents or grandparents were born in Nigeria. Buhari is therefore NOT a citizen of Nigeria by BIRTH as defined in the Proviso to Section 25 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“So, even if they now claim that the Fulani is indigenous to Nigeria, Buhari still failed the FINAL and ultimate test of his parents or grandparents not being born in Nigeria.

“So, given that APC has opened the door by challenging Atiku’s citizenship by BIRTH, it now lies within the rights of every right-thinking person to also question Buhari’s citizenship by BIRTH, even litigate it in Court.”

(Daily Post)

 

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Onnoghen: US, UK, EU Supporting Corruption – FG |The Republican News

 

Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja

 

The Federal Government has said that the statements by the United States (US), the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union Election Observer Mission (EU EOM) on the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, portends tolerance for corrupt acts and the downplaying of the anti-corruption crusade of the Buhari administration.

The government also said the statements signified alignment with the opposition and endorsement of its position that the ruling party, and by extension, the Federal Government of Nigeria, is working on rigging the forthcoming elections.

This is the third time the government is reacting to statements by the US, the UK and the EU, having earlier said that the presidency will not bend rules or allow interference, and that the US, UK and the EU were not properly informed over concerns raised by the suspension of Onnoghen.

In a statement by the spokesperson, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, George Ehidiamen Edokpa, the government stated that the statements were inimical to the wellbeing and development of Nigeria, given their nuisance value of promoting sectional and religious divide in the country, anarchy and retrogression.

“The Federal Government of Nigeria notes with deep concern, statements made by representatives of foreign governments and international organizations resident in Nigeria, notably the Embassy of the United States of America, the High Commission of the United Kingdom, as well as the European Union Election Observer Mission, regarding the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), which demonstrate serious and unacceptable interference in the internal affairs of Nigeria.

“The various statements, especially of those referred to above, appear prejudicial and signify alignment with the opposition and endorsement of its position that the ruling party, and by extension, the Federal Government of Nigeria, is working on rigging the forthcoming elections in Nigeria. These statements also portend tolerance for corrupt acts and downplay the anticorruption crusade of the Buhari administration, knowing fully that the suspended CJN had not denied the charges against him and that probity requires of him to step aside while the case is under scrutiny.

“It is pertinent to underscore the unfortunate fact that statements, as referred above, are inimical to the wellbeing and development of Nigeria, given their nuisance value of promoting sectional and religious divide in the country, anarchy and retrogression. Now, more than any other time, Nigerians and true friends of Nigeria should be working towards repositioning Nigeria to realize her potential and sustainably provide the leadership expected of her.

“His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari had consistently demonstrated respect for the rule of law as a presidential candidate and as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and would engage in nothing to the contrary. He also remains a man of integrity who has severally pledged free and fair elections. It is therefore absurd to presume that the suspension of the CJN is geared towards rigging the forthcoming elections in favour of the ruling party.

“For the avoidance of doubt, be it known that on three occasions that Mr. President went to court as a presidential candidate and lost his case, in 2013, 2011 and 2007, the presiding judges at the Supreme Court were all northerners and Muslims: Justice Muhammad Lawal Uwais, Idris Lebo Kutigi and Dahiru Mustapha respectively. In fact, in one instance, the presiding judge at the Appeal Court was from Katsina State and the President’s former classmate, yet, he lost the case. The minority judgements in his favour were given by two judges, both of them southerners and Christians: Justices George Adesola Oguntade and Sylvanus Nsofor.

“Resident embassies and international organizations invited to observe the forthcoming elections must therefore be wary of being drawn into the camp of the opposition, otherwise their neutrality, which is the hallmark of election observers becomes questionable. It is indeed unfortunate that foreign missions would align with the opposition and seek to negatively interpret actions by the Federal Government, no matter their positive basis and intention. Had the Federal Government been high-handed, would the opposition have been able to express its views even to the point of pouring invectives on Mr. President? How best can the corruption in the judiciary, which has enormously undermined the rights of the common man and made justice available only to the highest bidder, be best tackled than by ensuring that known cases are fundamentally tackled? Where is the rule of law, if justice is applied selectively?” the government queried.

The government further raised pertinent questions which it said, the opposition and their sympathizers must reflect upon.

“Pertinent questions that the opposition and their sympathizers must reflect upon are: How has the action of Mr. President undermined the resolve for free and fair election? In what ways does it undermine the independence of the Judiciary, except in the minds of the opposition and its cohorts? What right has a representative of a foreign government to incense an already volatile situation on the grounds that her government has invested heavily in the elections? It is insulting for any foreign representative to claim the right to interference in Nigeria’s internal affairs, based on the premise that its government has invested heavily in the election,” the government added.

The government further said Nigeria had invested enormously over the years in election processes of many African countries and will continue to do so without interfering in their internal affairs.

The government also said interference in Nigeria’s internal affairs under any guise will therefore not be accepted.

“Representatives of foreign governments and organizations are therefore advised to tread with caution and desist from using the utterances and actions of opposition organizations and individuals as a vehicle to interfere in Nigeria’s internal affairs. Embassies and organizations accredited to Nigeria should desist from actions and utterances that can only create political, sectional and religious crises and divides,” the government warned.  (The Sun)

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Executive Order Will Lead To Abuse Of Law, Order, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Warns|RN

The President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo said executive orders are an attempt to subvert the fundamental rights of the citizenry.

Raphael Ede, Enugu

 

President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, has warned the Federal Government against the use of executive orders, which, he said, could lead to excessive abuse of law and order, thus, “unacceptable in a democratic dispensation.”

Nwodo, who stated this in a statement he issued through his Media Adviser, Chief Emeka Attamah, said in exercising the orders, President Buhari must subject it to the provision of Chapter 4 of the constitution, which enshrines fundamental rights of individuals.

The President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo said executive orders, in a situation where a state of emergency does not exist or has not been proclaimed, are an attempt to subvert the fundamental rights of the citizenry.

He opined that a man cannot be subjected to any disability except as provided by the nation’s constitution and judiciary, adding that it was not proper for the president to stay in his office and decide the fate of any citizen outside the provisions of Section 6: 33 to 45 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.

“Ohanaeze Ndigbo affirmed that fundamental rights cannot be derogated from without judicial pronouncements,” he said.  (The Sun)

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Buhari Signs New Law That Bars VPs, Deputy Governors From Second Term

By Anule Emmanuel

New law bars successor VPs, deputy govs from second term
  • State assemblies, judiciary get financial autonomy

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has signed into law a bill that will amend the 1999 Constitution which bars vice presidents and deputy governors who succeed their principals from seeking a second term in office. He also signed into law Bill No. 16, which means vice presidents and deputy governors who succeed their principals are not entitled to eight-year tenure.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, disclosed this while briefing State House Correspondents at the presidential villa, Abuja. He said: “The intent of the Bill No. 16is to ensure that where a vice-president succeeds a president or a deputy governor succeeds a governor he can no more contest for that office more than once more.

“The fact is that having taken the oath as president once and you can only contest for the office once again and no more. That is the intent of this amendment.” The new law also gives financial autonomy to state houses of assembly and judiciaries in the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Enang said with the signing into law of the Constitution Alteration Bill, the State Houses of Assembly would now operate like the National Assembly where the Federal Ministry of Finance automatically transferred budgetary allocation direct to the account of the legislature. According to him, the Judiciary in the states under the new arrangement will also enjoy similar financial independence as their budgetary allocations will no longer go through the budgeting process of the executive arms at the state level. Such funds, he said, would henceforth be transferred directly to the account of the judiciary.

Enang said: “I just want to inform you that His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari today assented to the Constitution Fourth Alteration Bill which grants financial autonomy and independence to the Houses of Assembly of the respective states and to the Judiciary of the respective states.

“Therefore upon this signature, the amounts standing to the credit of the judiciary are to be now paid directly to the judiciary of those states, no more through the governors and no more from the governors. “And then the amounts standing to the credit of the Houses of Assembly of the respective states are now to be paid directly to the Houses of Assembly of that state for the benefit of the legislators and the management of the States Houses of Assembly.

“This grants full autonomy now to the judiciary at the state level and the Houses of Assembly at the state level. This allows the State Houses of Assembly to operate like the National Assembly does because the National Assembly does not get its money from the executive. “It provides money in the statutory transfers which the Ministry of Finance will automatically transfer to the account of the National Assembly.” He said: “Just like that of the (Federal) Judiciary, you see the judiciary sometimes get N150 – N170billion sometimes a little bit about a 100billion. It does not go through the executive and it does go through the budgeting process of the executive. “It is transferred directly to the account of the judiciary, which is the head of courts.

When the Houses of Assembly are doing their budgets the amounts standing to the credit of the judiciary it will now going to be among the statutory transfers which will be statutorily transferred to the heads of the courts. “And then that of the State Houses of Assembly will stand transferred to the House of Assembly of the state.” President Buhari also yesterday signed into law the Constitution Amendment No. 21 which relates to a determination of pre-election matters. He said the new bill had reduced the days and time of determining pre-election matter to ensure that preelection matters in courts do not get into the time of election do not pend thereafter.

“The relevant section of the constitution has also been amended by this Act, therefore, amending the constitution,” he added. Enang said the president also signed the Bill No. 9 into law. According to him, the Bill No.9 gives the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) sufficient time to conduct by-elections. He said with the president’s assent to the bill, the days for the conduct of by-elections had been increased from seven to 21 days. “These four Bills added to the ‘Not Too Young To Run’ Act, have now been assented to by Mr President and they have now become laws. And then the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended are hereby further amended by the assents of Mr President to these bills today,” (yesterday) he said.  (New Telegraph)

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JUST IN: Buhari To Sign ‘Not Too Young To Run’ Bill |The Republican News

By Anule Emmanuel, Abuja

 

Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that he will any moment from now sign into law the ‘Not too young to run’ bill.

The President stated this in a nationwide broadcast to mark the 2018 Democracy Day early on Tuesday.

He said, “In few days to come, I will be joined by many promising young Nigerians to sign into law the ‘Not too young to run’ bill”

The bill, which is part of the process to amend the 1999 Constitution, seeks to reduce the minimum age requirement for elective positions in the country.

It was first passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives in July 2017. Many state houses of assembly in the country have also passed the bill.

President Buhari also advised Nigerians to be law-abiding as the country enters into a season of another round of election for 2019.

According to him, “The upcoming months will usher us into another season of general elections. Let me use this opportunity to urge us all to conduct ourselves, our wards and our constituencies with the utmost sense of fairness, justice and peaceful co-existence such that we will have not only hitch-free elections but also a credible and violence-free process.”

President who assured that his government was committed to the fight against graft noted that the administration will not relent on one of its primary objectives in killing corruption before it damages the national social economic fabric.

He said, “The second primary objective of this administration is to fight corruption headlong. Like I have always said, if we don’t kill corruption, corruption will destroy the country. Three years into this administration, Nigerians and the international community have begun to applaud our policies and determination to fight corruption. We are more than ever before determined to win this war, however hard the road is. I, therefore, appeal to all well-meaning Nigerians to continue to support us in this fight.

“Various policy measures already put in place to stem the tide of corrupt practices are yielding remarkable results. Some of these key reform policies include Treasury Single Account, which has realised billions of naira being saved from the maintenance fee payable to banks. N200bn has also been saved from the elimination of ghost workers in public service.”

President Buhari seized the opportunity of the broadcast to reel out some modest achievement of his government in the last three years.
He noted that the whistle-blowing policy had helped the government to recover over N500bn.

“The Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit, set up with a mandate to validate controls, assess risks, prune personnel costs and ensure compliance with Public Financial Management reforms, has helped to identify and remove over 52,000 ghost workers from the Federal Government’s MDAs Payroll.

“The Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme aimed at expanding tax education and awareness have offered the opportunity for tax defaulters to regularise their status in order to enjoy the amnesty of forgiveness on overdue interest, penalties and the assurance of non-prosecution or subject to tax investigations,” he added.

He continued that the Sovereign Wealth Fund project portfolio had been expanded with an injection of $650m so as to strengthen its investment in local infrastructure, power, health, reconstruction of the Abuja-Kano Road, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, East-West Road (Section V) and the Mambilla hydro-electric power project as well as the construction of the 2nd Niger Bridge.”

Buhari noted that the fight against corruption, through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, had resulted in the recovery of billions of naira, as well as the forfeiture of various forms of assets.

“We have retained the services of one of the world’s leading assets tracing firms to investigate and trace assets globally. This is in addition to the exploitation of provisions of existing treaties, conventions as well as bilateral agreements with multilateral bodies and nations. Nigeria has also signed Mutual Legal Assistance Agreements to ensure that there is no hiding place for fugitives.”

According to him, through prudent spending and blocking of leakages, the nation’s foreign reserves had improved to $47.5bn as of May 2018, as against $29.6bn in 2015 while inflationary rate, had consistently declined every month since January 2017.
The President commended Nigerian women for their contributions to national development and advancement of democracy.

He urged Nigerians to avoid hatred and intolerance as this would help the country to achieve its developmental objectives in an atmosphere of harmony and peaceful co-existence.

Other achievements listed by the President include increase food security programme built around self-sufficiency and minimisation of import dependency.

The President said rice importation had been cut down by 90 percent, which he noted had a direct impact on foreign reserves, the Social Investment Programmes, Home Grown School Feeding Programme, and Conditional Cash Transfer where underprivileged Nigerians were given N5, 000 per month.

President Buhari described the commemoration of 2018 Democracy Day, which is the third anniversary of his administration, as a celebration of freedom for Nigerians.

He said the celebration was also a recommitment by his government to keep its promise to lead Nigeria into a new era of justice and prosperity.

Buhari admitted that his administration had faced challenges in the journey of three years while Nigerians stood by his government in achieving its three cardinal points.

He said, “Today marks the 19th year of our nascent democracy and the 3rd Anniversary of this administration. I am thankful to Almighty God for bringing us thus far.

“This administration came at a time that Nigerians needed change, the change we promised and the change we continue to deliver.

“We have faced a lot of challenges on this journey and Nigerians have stood by us in achieving the three cardinal points of this administration namely; security, corruption and the economy.

“The commemoration of this year’s Democracy Day is a celebration of freedom, a salute to the resilience and determination of Nigerians and a recommitment by Government to keep its promise to lead Nigeria into a new era of justice and prosperity,” he noted.      (New Telegraph)

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Buhari, Saraki, Dogara Meet Over Budget, NASS Invasion, Melaye, IGP, Others |RN

Buhari-Saraki-and-Dogara

President Muhamadu Buhari, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Speaker Of the House Of Representatives

Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

The non-appearance of the of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, the ill-treatment being meted to Senator Dino Melaye, the invasion of National Assembly by suspected thugs as well as the passage of the 2018 budget were among the issues that President Muhammadu Buhari discussed with the leadership of the National Assembly.

Senate President  Bukola Saraki and Speaker of House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, on Monday afternoon on the invitation of President Buhari, told State House Correspondents that they talked on the key issues of importance to both arms of government.

Saraki and Dogara, arrived the Aso Rock in the same car to meet with Buhari, barely two hours after he arrived Abuja from his home state of Katsina, where he had participated in the ward congress of the All Progressive Congress (APC).

Saraki said the President invited them over to discuss with them his recent visit to the United States of America, the passage of the 2018 Budget, and the invasion of the National Assembly by thugs, but they used the opportunity to complain to him their reservations about the non-appearance of the IGP, despite repeated invitations.

They appealed Buhari to make officers of the executive arm of government operate within the ambit of law in their actions.

Melaye, who represents Kogi West Senatorial Zone, had been accused of gun-running and later, attempted suicide, by the police, which eventually arrested him, confined him to the hospital and later stretchered him to two different courts to face the charges.

Some hoodlums had on April 18th invaded the Senate and made away with the Mace, the symbol of authority.

Saraki on why they were in the Presidential Villa said, “Well, we came on the invitation of Mr President, he wanted to brief us on his trip to the United States and also the issue of the budget. We also talked about the issue of concerns to us, the invasion of the National Assembly, which he showed great concern and said action will be taken to investigate that.”

Asked when they are passing the budget, the Senate President said, “Well, hopefully, it should be laid this week. If it can be laid this week then it can be passed early next week but we are hoping it will be laid this week.”

On what was the President’s response on invasion, Saraki said, “Of course, he sees it as an embarrassment to the country and that there will be a proper investigation because is something that is not just about the National Assembly, it is about the country.”

On efforts to improve the strained relationship between the executive and the legislature, the Senate President said, “You see we are here today, it was the initiative of Mr President to brief us on his visit to America and to engage on discussions and I think that is a good sign. We in the National Assembly have always been ready to give all our support to the executive and we will continue to work along those lines. As I said, the presidential system that we operate, we sometimes have the responsibility to check the excesses of the executive, so there will always be times we will disagree but by and large, we will always work for the interest of Nigerians and always keep on moving on.”

On where the issue of Senator Dino Melaye came up in the meeting, Dogara said, “On the issue of Senator Dino, of course, anything that happens to one of our members or any member of the National Assembly is of concern to us. And there is no way we can have this kind of meeting without raising that. This is a civilian administration, it is a democracy and it is imperative and very very important that all institutions of democracy operate within the ambit of the rule of law.

“There is nowhere,  I have said it before that police will behave in a democracy like a clan of tribesmen, like an upgraded barbarians sort of. So there is the need for us to act with civility. We are not saying that anybody should be protected and defended. Once you have committed an offence, our law said you should answer to it but you just have to utilize the provision of our constitution, the rule of law and that this administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has overemphasised in order to bring people to book. But a situation where people are wheeled to court, that doesn’t give a good image of our democracy. I have not seen a democracy where people are wheeled to court, they are not in the proper frame of mind and they are forced to undergo trial.

“Whatever it is, even if Dino is pretending as some have said it in some section of the media, he cannot pretend forever. He is there, he will not run away, he is a senator and he can be tried any time he is in the proper frame of mind. As a lawyer, I can tell you, any judge that assesses an accused person not to be in a proper frame of mind, even if the accused person pleads guilty, he is duty bound by law to record a plea of not guilty if he is not satisfied as to the soundness of the mind of the accused person.

“So the emphasis is there and I believe the president being a listening president will definitely take steps and do something about it.”

Asked if the issue of planned impeachment process came up in the meeting, Dogara said, no as it wasn’t part of the agenda of the meeting.

“Well, I don’t think we have the authority to discuss issues of impeachment, impeachment is a political offence and I don’t think we are there yet.

“No, never. It wasn’t part of the agenda.”

Saraki speaking on the non-appearance of the IGP said, “Just talking about the issue of the police, we also raised the issue of the non-appearance of the IG at the Senate and felt that they must continue to ensure that he continues to apply obedience to the issue of constituted authority. We are of great concern that this is the first time this is happening and that this matter needs to be addressed considering the importance of the powers of the  constitution that gives investigative powers, also gives to us and that there is need for police to accept that they too are under constitution and they must obey that. We raised that concern.”

Saraki said the meeting was a good one as it touched on some of the important issues. (The Sun)

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The Biafra Question, Igbo Question, Nigerian Question, Self Determination

LowerNigerCongress

This is a presentation by the secretary general of the Lower Niger Congress( LNC) to the Igbo Summit at Enugu, with the Theme: “Navigating the Future”, Convened by the World Igbo Congress, 27th May 2017 at Enugu).

The Lower Niger Congress has long legally been on the forefront of addressing Nigeria’s flawed constitutional problem and addressing the issue of agitation or self determination andconsequent referendum.

Here is the presentation from Lower Niger Congress Secretary General:

 

PROTOCOLS.

It gives me great pleasure to welcome us all to the Great Coal City, Enugu.
I must commend the Conveners, World Igbo Congress (WIC), for finding the Courage at this difficult juncture of the Igbo Odessey in Nigeria, to bring this Summit to Igboland, right in the middle of the 50th Anniversary of the Declaration of Biafra,after many years of holding it’s major Public Events in the United States of America, where the LNC and I had had to go to engage our Brethren in the US on these never-ending Dialogue on the Igbo Quo Vadis.
I particularly recall the 2012 WIC Convention in Orlando, Florida, where I had gone to share with the Igbo US Diaspora important developments regarding the issues that now overarch the Igbo Question in Nigeria, which first emerged in 1966 as the Eastern Nigeria Question in Nigeria, turning rapidly in 1967 into what became the Biafra Question, recently resurrected by the younger generation of the East in what has raged on as the “Biafra Agitation”.
In my reckoning, it is this Trinity of a Question that this Summit has saddled itself with the task of Interrogating, with a view to finding viable answers for better Navigating the future of Eastern Nigeria.
Shorn of all embellishments, this Trinity of a Question simply seeks answers to the issues relating to Equitable, Consensual Protocols of mutual coexistence in the Nigerian Union from the perspective of the Igbo and by extension, Eastern Nigeria. It becomes “Biafra” when Consensus fail as it did in 1967.

The historical beginnings of the Nigerian Union is too well known to bear much repetition, but for the sake of that younger generation here present, that was denied the teachings of History as a School subject by their Country, and who, for no fault of theirs, are totally uninformed about how their Country Nigeria, particularly their Igbo Homeland component of it, arrived at the sorry pass and quagmire it now is in, and who befuddled by the pernicious reality they live in, raised a Campaign for the recovery of some fabled lost Paradise called “Biafra”, a little historical excursion will be undertaken.

Nigeria was a Colonial-era creation of the British. The Country Nigeria was  January 1st 1914 artificially cobbled together by the Annexation of the then Protectorate of Southern Nigeria to the then Protectorate of Northern Nigeria in an exercise officially tagged “Amalgamation”.
The mind-boggling failures of this otherwise giant promise on the African Continent has been the subject of many researches and academic inquisition.

Decades of routine, massive bloodletting which punctuate these monumental failures, came to global reckoning in the years 1967-1970 when Eastern Nigeria, one of the four Federating Regions that constituted Nigeria, suddenly found itself engulfed by Genocidal War which began as Pogroms.

The War was levied on the East by the rest of Nigeria, after the East Proclaimed itself the Republic of Biafra, May 30th, 1967 in a desperate bid to preserve the remnants of its population who were being massacred and decimated, in mass xenophobic killings by rampaging Northern elements who clung unto a false interpretation of a botched Military Coup in January 1966 in which leading Northern Politicians lost their lives.

Those pogroms collapsed the Union of Nigeria in 1966 as Easterners fled massively homewards for safety and the attempt to revive the Union failed in January 1967, after an Accord reached in ABURI, Ghana with the East was jettisoned by the Federal Side (basically, the rest of Nigeria in that period).

In the War that erupted, over 3.5 million Easterners perished amidst the search for Self-Determination, in circumstances that cast a shadow of doubt on the humanity of mankind in that era.

The gory pictures from the killing fields of Eastern Nigeria, particularly the bony frames of dying, thoroughly malnourished infants, with protruding stomachs signaling the terminal stages of the dreaded hunger-induced kwashiorkor, defined the Biafra War in the global media of that period.

At the cessation of bomb and bullet hostilities in 1970, the Victorious Federal side, isolated the Igbo of Eastern Nigeria and continued the War by other means, particularly on the Economic, Political and other insidious fronts, despite a bogus Declaration of 1970 “No Victor, No Vanquished” Proclamation and the even more bogus “Three R’s”, (Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, and Reconciliation) by the Federal Government, ostensibly to rebuild the damaged East and to reintegrate the surviving Igbo into Nigeria.

By 1979, the Victorious Federal Alliance of the Rest of Nigeria formally codified the Unilaterally-Imposed Terms of the Nigerian Federation by way of the so-called 1979 “Constitution”, replacing the Negotiated Federal Constitutional Basis of Nigeria which got toppled and jettisoned by the Military in the aforementioned 1966 intervention.

In order to gain an insight into the dark contents and workings of the deliberate isolation and punishment of the Igbo East by the rest of Nigeria since the so-called end of the War in 1970, which degenerated to the point where a younger Igbo generation plunged itself into an inevitable Self-Redemption task framed as the “Restoration of Biafra”, and to therefore get a better handle on the situation of the Eastern Nigeria which is the subject of this Summit’s enquiry, it is instructive to examine the description of what really transpired, from the prism of what seems to be a divinely inspired confession made 1999 by an iconic scion of the Political North.

In the words of Lamido Sanusi Lamido, the immediate past Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and now the Emir of Kano:

“The Northern Bourgeoisie and the Yoruba Bourgeoisie have conspired to keep the Igbo out of the scheme of things. They have been defeated in war, rendered paupers by monetary policy fiat, their properties declared abandoned and confiscated, kept out of strategic public sector appointments, and deprived of public services. The rest of the Country forced them to remain in Nigeria and has continued to deny them equity. Our present Political Leaders have no sense of history. There is a new Igbo man who was not born in 1966 and neither knows nor cares about Nzeogwu and Ojukwu. There are Igbo men on the streets who were never Biafrans. They were born Nigerians and are Nigerians, but suffer because of the actions of earlier generations. They would soon decide that it is better to fight their own war and maybe find an honourable peace than to remain in this contemptible state in perpetuity. The Northern Bourgeoisie and the Yoruba Bourgeoisie have exacted their pound of flesh from the Igbo. For one Sardauna, one Tafawa Balewa, one Akintola and one Okotie-Eboh, hundreds of thousands have died and suffered. If this issue is not addressed immediately, no Conference will solve Nigeria’s problems.”

(Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, at a Public Lecture titled, “Issues in Restructuring Corporate Nigeria” 11th September, 1999, at Arewa House Kaduna).

For the sake of brevity, the Lower Niger Congress adopts this succinct 1999 encapsulation of the Igbo misery in Nigeria by Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and so invites all amongst us who may not understand what the whole Biafra-or-Death Campaign is all about, to hear the reason for that Campaign from the horse’s mouth as they say.

Of course, as to be expected, the situation has gone progressively worse for the Igbo, with the simultaneous introduction of violent Sharia by 12 Contiguous States of predominantly Muslim North since year 2000.
There is no doubt that the 1999 prophesy of Lamido Sanusi Lamido is fulfilling itself now, simply because nobody heeded that sober call for equity, publicly and passionately issued 1999.

Needless to recount here the details of the several debilitating Constitutional shackles, consciously emplaced by the same victorious Alliance of the rest of Nigeria against the East, in what now translates to a Master-Servant Constitutional Order, comparable only to the Apartheid-era South Africa, presently anchoring Nigeria’s “Democracy.”

The aforesaid imposed “1979 Constitution” emerged from the pretence at a Constituent Assembly, 1977, and was by the Decree No of 24 of 1999 issued by one General Abdusalam Abubakar, transmogrified into what we now have as the 1999 Constitution, with a 68-Item Federal Exclusive List Under which the East lost the ownership of key Economic Assets including Oil and Gas, Coal, vast Maritime space and Resources to the so-called Federal Government, as well as the right to work those Assets for the benefit of our People, including the right to generate and transmit Electricity or to build the road from Enugu to Port Harcourt, because it is now a Federal Asset.

It is against this backdrop that one can meaningfully examine the dynamics driving both the relentless, ubiquitous demand for ‘Biafra,” and the world-wide outrage of the Easterners at the highhandedness of the Federal Government in dealing with the Agitators.

It is also against this backdrop that we can meaningfully explore the options open to all sides to the Disputations: the Federal Government, the Igbo Leadership Collective as well as the Biafra Agitations.

The LNC posits that it is Self-Evident, well known Constitutional Grievances of Eastern Nigeria, bordering on Self-Determination, outstanding since after Aburi 1967 and now aggravated by the imposed post-War Unitarist Nigeria Constitution 1999, that needs to be resolved.

The LNC further posits that the situation at hand falls squarely into the category of matters for which the 21st Century Global Community emplaced a mechanism called “Referendum” for resolution.

The Countrywide Agitation for the Resolution of this vexed issue of distorted Protocols of mutual coexistence in Nigeria, has been framed as a Campaign for “Restructuring” in the last 10 to 15 years.

While the Conservative Elements amongst the Northern Political Establishment had been adamantly opposed to any renegotiation of the distorted terms of Nigeria’s Federation, compounding the situation by the simultaneous imposition of Sharia in 12 Contiguous States of the Predominantly Muslim North, the Yoruba West had been vociferous in demanding a return to the pre-1966 Federation Model.

The East which had been waiting patiently for the rest of Nigeria at the Aburi Bus Station (Restructuring), since January 1967, seems to have a new situation at hand, wherein the younger generation that did not wield rifles in the Biafra War, has completely lost faith and interest in the Union of Nigeria and has taken upon itself the task of extricating the East from what has clearly become a toxic Union of Nigeria, while some amongst the Older Generation Igbo still cling wearily to the dimming hope that some miracle might happen to save the dying Union of Nigeria from going into disintegration.

The LNC is firmly convinced that the urgent responsibility of the Igbo Leadership Collective which this Summit eminently represents, is to find sufficient Commitment, Courage and Tact to boldly advance this universally acclaimed Referendum Prescription as the Quid Pro Quo to the aforementioned three sides to the disputation, namely the Federal Government, the Biafra Agitation and the Igbo Collective whose sympathies clearly lie with Self-Determination at this time, whether in a Restructured Nigeria or in an outrightly Independent Eastern Nigeria, which has already assumed the sobriquet “Biafra”. Only a Referendum can establish what the Igbo Populace wants at this time. Nothing less will do neither is the current Unitarism sustainable. Something must give.

The imperative upon the Igbo Leadership Collective to tow this path of asking that the Questions raised by the Constitutional Grievances of Eastern Nigeria be referred to a General Referendum of the People is created by the now identified direct causative nexus between the impositions of the 1999 Constitution and the Constitutional Grievances of Eastern Nigeria, as well as the open Igbo Consensus on rejecting the fraudulent 1999 Constitution as the Basis of Nigeria.

It will be recalled that the Communiqué from the well attended World Igbo Summit held October 2016 at Gregory University, Uturu expressly stated that Nd’Igbo reject the 1999 Constitution as the Basis of Nigeria and seek a Return to the 1963 Constitutional Model that guaranteed the Autonomy of the Federating Regions.

Similarly, it will be recalled that Resolution Number 7 of the Communiqué issued by the World Igbo Congress Convention 2016 held in Detroit, USA stated that Nd’Igbo reject the 1999 Unitary Constitution as the Basis of the Federation of Nigeria.

Going forward therefore, the logical progression for the Igbo Leadership Collective is to identify with the aspirations of the Igbo People it Leads, by asking that the questions arising from the disputations on the Terms of Mutual Coexistence in Nigeria be Referred to a Referendum, if only to reconcile itself with the younger generation that now seems to have lost all confidence in the current Igbo Leadership, especially on this question of Protocols of Mutual Coexistence in One-Nigeria, for which reason it launched the ‘Biafra’ Agitation. More importantly, such a demand for a Referendum would help decriminalize the Self-Determination Agitation in Eastern Nigeria and operate as a potent lever of pressure on the rest of Nigeria, especially the North and the Federal Government to come down from their high horse on this issue and to stop the totally unnecessary bloodletting that has characterized their response thus far to the Eastern Nigeria Self-Determination Agitation.

It is no longer adequate for the Igbo Leadership Collective to make bland calls for “Restructuring” as it had done for decades now.

The disappointed Igbo younger generation actually view the call for Restructuring at this time as a euphemism by their elders and Politicians for supporting the retention of the One-Nigeria Status Quo since such calls are not backed up by any potent actions.

May I use this opportunity to inform the Politicians in our midst that the restive younger Igbo generation agitating for Self-Determination, now view the Igbo Politicians who swear to uphold and defend the obnoxious 1999 Constitution as directly responsible for the sustenance and reinforcement of that Instrument of enshacklement and enslavement against Nd’Igbo. This points to the urgent need to begin some kind of countdown to the winding-up process of the so-called 1999 Constitution. The 1990-1994 Frederick De Klerk Transitioning Template commends itself for a guide here.

As the push for a Referendum in the East gathers steam, the Lower Niger Congress (which is the aggregation of the Self-Determination Initiatives in the combined Old Eastern and Midwestern Regions of Nigeria seeking to Federate into a Prospective Lower Niger Federation as a part of the inevitable Reconfiguration of the failed Federation of Nigeria, according to the 1885 Ethnolinguistic Map Annexed herewith), is pleased to inform all that it already has in its Referendum Train, both the Niger Delta Agitations and the genuine Biafra Agitations, in contradistinction to the renegade elements driving the various Biafra Franchises.

THE LARGER NIGERIA QUESTION.

Having treated the Igbo/Eastern Nigeria component of the notorious Nigerian Question, I now take a cursory review of the larger picture so that the Eastern component already reviewed gets situated in the larger Nigeria picture.

It is pertinent to do this cursory review because the LNC frames its Campaign as Self-Determination Campaign and not “Biafra”, also rejects the “Secession” paradigm which immediately isolates the East and unites the rest of Nigeria against the East. The LNC adopts an approach that takes Nigeria as a whole for Constitutional Reconstruction which may yield a Federation as we had up to 1966, or a Confederation as we would have had if Aburi was not abandoned or units of outrightly Independent Successor-States including the East. Everything would be decided by the People Via Referendum and Plebiscite. Nobody will abridge this.

It is in this vein that we recall that the British creators of Nigeria had ominously packaged it as a Marriage, with the North as the Poor Husband and the South as the Rich Wife. That Marriage has come to grief, and in dealing with the terminal issues that have arisen, it is important to bear in mind that the rules that guide Marriages both in the making and in the dissolution shall apply.

By a cablegram message of December 1913, the then British Secretary for the Colonies, Lord Harcourt, boss to Lord Frederick Lugard, had captured the purport and import of the impending Annexation of the then Protectorate of Southern Nigeria to the then Protectorate of Northern in the following words:

“We have released Northern Nigeria from the leading strings of the Treasury. The promising and well conducted youth is now on an allowance of his own and is about to effect an alliance with a Southern Lady of Means. I have issued the special license and Sir Frederick Lugard will perform the ceremony. May the Union be fruitful and the couple constant.”

It is noteworthy that the Amalgamation announced January 1st, 1914 was celebrated by grand durbars in Zungeru and Sokoto while it was greeted by loud protests amongst the then Lagos elite.

It was in celebration of this grand British bequest to the North, that the then Premier of Northern Nigeria, Sir Ahmadu Bello declared to his lieutenants in the week of Independence in 1960 that:

“The New Nation called Nigeria should be an Estate of our Great-Grandfather, Uthman Dan Fodio. We must ruthlessly prevent a change of power. We use the Minorities of the North as willing tools, and the South as a Conquered Territory and never allow them to rule over us, and never allow them to have control over their future” Parrot Newspapers, 12th October, 1960.

It is self-evident that the current Constitutional regime in Nigeria is the full implementation of this 1960 Script and it is within the context of that Mission Statement and Battle Script of 1960 that one can understand the mindset of the Northern political gladiators who in 2010 proclaimed that the North would make Nigeria ungovernable should Jonathan or anyone else from the South emerge President in 2011, since according to them, “it will be tantamount to stealing our Presidency.”
With all these in focus, the Lower Niger Congress posits as follows:

That the Union of Nigeria was a grossly inequitable imposition on the Peoples Southern Nigeria by the British Crown.
That all efforts to transform it into a Union of Agreement had been frustrated by those from the North, who proclaim they were born-to-rule the rest.

That the disputations constantly rocking the foundations of Nigeria are more of a deep-lying clash of civilizations than the previously held views revolving around shallow symptomatic issues such as Leadership deficit, Economic disparity and Corruption. These are are mere symptoms of the deep-seated malaise.

That the twin phenomena of Sharia and Feudalism, make the Union of Nigeria unworkable since the faith and social dictates of one group requires them to kill the other group who they consider “infidels” and inferiors. Since no one can compel the Muslim North to abandon Sharia and embrace Democracy and Constitutionalism nor can anyone compel the Christian South to embrace sharia and feudalism in place of Christianity and Constitutional Democracy.

It has been a Union of attrition.
That the attempt to “equalize” the two mortally opposed civilizations saw the elevation of mediocrity in the name of Quota System and now “Federal Character” and the result has been the wreckage the World calls Nigeria. The frustrations arising from this has more than anything else, fueled the demand by the Peoples of Eastern Nigeria to get off the yoke of Nigeria, with the routine bloodletting engendered by irreconcilable religious and political differences.

That the issues that led to the Biafran War remain starkly unaddressed to date, degenerating further by the oppressive actions of our conquerors.

The geopolitical alignments that drove the 2015 electoral round re-enacted a sharp imagery of the geographical formations in which the Nigeria-Biafra War of 1967-1970 was fought.

However anyone else may view it, this was the reading of the 2015 Electoral Map by Peoples of Eastern Nigeria. The heavy, undisguised partisan involvement of the Western powers on the side of rest of Nigeria Alliance in the rowdy 2015 Elections was a sad reminder of the unconscionable international marauding in the Nigeria-Biafra War.

The current escalation of the quest for an exit from the failed Nigerian Union must therefore be seen by the global Community in its true context as the continuation of an almost 50 years old fight for Self-determination driven by a clash of irreconcilable civilizations and cultures, erected by Colonial fiat.

Providentially, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 2007, offers a fresh window of engagement with these volatile issues in a manner that steers everybody away from the specter of violence, since a simple Referendum can resolve the matter instead of War and violence.

It was in pursuit of this NON-VIOLENT option that the Lower Niger Congress stepped in in April 2015 by Convening a SOLEMN ASSEMBLY OF THE PEOPLES OF THE LOWER NIGER IN PORT HARCOURT 27th April 2015 at which it was unanimously resolved that the Peoples of the Territory shall go to a Referendum to determine their political future in exercise of their Right to Self-determination.

The East is now suing for the annulment of the fraudulently procured marriage of 1914.
Lower Niger Congress therefore invites all stakeholders including the International Community, to accept the pursuit of this peaceful process of Referendum as the most viable answer to the long-standing Biafra Question.

It needs be restated that what the Biafra Agitators are seeking is simply Self-determination, completely legitimate under the relevant United Nations instruments to which Nigeria is signatory. The method of pursuit is by way of a Referendum. It is therefore unnecessary to criminalize the agitations or introduce violence as Nigeria currently does in its heavy-handedness against the Biafra Agitators.

In the same vein, the Lower Niger Congress also calls on the Biafra Agitators yet to do so, to embrace the Referendum Option since it leads to the destination of the freedom they seek.

The Lower Niger Congress also calls on the Nigerian authorities to immediately release all persons detained in connection with the agitations for Self-determination and instead engage in dialogue, as is done in a democracy, especially since the President of Nigeria had at 2015 United Nations General Assembly called on the World Body to facilitate the exercise of that right for the People of Western Sahara in Morocco.
Thank you for your attention.

TONY NNADI Esq.

Secretary-General.

Lower Niger Congress.

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