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UN, others told to conduct referendum on self-determination in Nigeria

The National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) has condemned the Nigerian Constitution and asked the United Nations and other international bodies to conduct a referendum in the country.

As Nigeria commemorate its 61st year of independence, the group rejected the 1999 Constitution, saying the Richardson/MacPherson Constitutions that empowered Nigerians to govern themselves had been halted and subverted.

The group, in a statement on Friday by its spokesman, Ayo Opadokun, explained that this has led to retardation and underdevelopment of the nation while other countries – such as Indonesia and Malaysia – who got their independence at the same time were already competing favourably with advance western countries.

“NADECO implores the United Nations, its Security Council and other global bodies concerned with peaceful co-existence of the world to urgently fast-track their preparations to conduct variously demanded referendum to ascertain the wishes and aspirations for self-determination of the entrapped indigenous ethnic nationalities of Nigeria who have been on their ancestral lands, owning their waters, vegetations, natural resources etc., for several thousand years before the invasion of the British colonial masters,” the statement said.

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“NADECO hereby requests the UNO, its Security Council and other global bodies to critically accept that their failure to act timeously on these legitimate demands for their intervention may tantamount to an invitation to possible national conflagration and unmanageable national crisis, which may result in consequential deleterious situations on the West African Sub-Region, the African continent, and the world in general.

“Let it be remembered that Nigeria, as the most populous black nation in the world, has about 200 million citizens residing in a suffocating geographical and political space, and the possible reaction of the entrapped ethnic nationalities who are already overwhelmed with repression, discriminations on religion, gender, ethnicities, can quickly result to national upheavals, forced dispersal, and migration with their attendant global consequences.”

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The group alleged that those it described as ‘politicians in military uniform’ halted the nation’s progress and development since the coup that toppled the Tafawa Balewa-led Federal Government on January 15, 1966.

It claimed that such persons have dashed the hopes and aspirations of most Nigerians at independence that the country would be a beacon of light that would provide credible leadership to the black race and contribute significantly to human progress and civilisation.

According to NADECO, the abrogated Federal Constitution was the basic instrument upon which Nigeria was admitted into the committee of nations under the United Nations Organisation (UNO).

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It stated that the Nigerian State has failed to provide security of lives and property – a fundamental right which is its primary responsibility under the UNO Protocols, African Charter on Peoples Rights, and its domestic legislation

“It is needless but necessary to restate that the centralisation and unitarisation of Nigeria had since created injustice, unfair play, inequity, wanton disregard and disrespect for the rule of law,” it said.

“Whereas the President (Muhammadu) Buhari’s led government had frustrated in Nigeria any legal avenue where the entrapped ethnic nationalities can seek redress for the many instances of humiliation, repression, hounding and subjugation of the majority of Nigerians.”

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