By Robert Egbe
The National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) has backed the call for return to the 1960 or 1963 Constitution.
In separate letters to the United Nations and President Muhammadu Buhari, it noted that both constitutions, now abrogated, were what Nigerians subscribed to at independence and when the country became a Republic.
The 1999 constitution, it argued, is a military imposition through which Nigerians were fraudulently deprived of their sovereignty, lands, resources and rights.
NADECO General Secretary Ayo Opadokun, in the letter, said NADECO’s demand is because of the alleged “nepotic, ill-treatment, inequitable and unjust nature” with which the president and his government had governed Nigeria.
According to him, the pro-democracy organisation had “no alternative” but to join in insisting on a return to the Republican Constitution, because Section 6 of the 1999 Constitution had taken away aggrieved Nigerians right to seek redress in Nigerian Courts.
“There have been growing demands by several southern groups for constitutional reform following rising insecurity and the president’s perceived mismanagement of the country’s diversity, particularly his view on the solution to the farmers – herders’ crisis.
According to NADECO, the South was agitated because of unresolved issues relating to inequitable distribution of the country’s resources.
It noted that out of the total of 360 House of Representatives members, the South has 169, while the North has 191.
It said there was further injustice of oil income distribution in Nigeria with the 19 Northern states “receiving a minimum of 57 per cent of the oil revenue to which they contribute 0.00 per cent.”
According to NADECO, the eminent Nigerians, ethnic nationalities leaders pleading for a return to a federal constitutional governance under the Independence Constitution “as negotiated by our founding fathers and upon which we Nigeria sought membership of the United Nations” were not Nigeria’s enemies, rather wanted the best for the country.