By Polycarp Onwubiko
Punch Editorial captioned: “Tinubu, heed calls on Nigeria’s Restructuring”, 9th November 2023 via the National Assembly is utterly wrong, discreditable and unbecoming of such respected elites: the Editorial Board.
It is shocking that the NIgeria Newspapers Editorial presentations have been tainted by the primordial sentiment which have been a stumbling block to tackling the ever eluding “National Question” and by extension, the unity of Nigeria in terms of perception of realities pertaining to sustainable socioeconomic and political growth and development to key into the civilized countries of the world. The mixture of the ultra conservative phalanx with the progressive and civilized minds in the Editorial Board has robbed the newspapers of taking a realistic appraisal and evaluation of critical conditions and topical issues that have crippling impediments and hindrances so as to make recommendations that can raise the template of governance to that of the civilized countries of the world.
The Punch Editorial supposedly advised President Tinubu to heed the clarion calls of realistically minded Nigerians to reinvent the inexorable principles of federal system of government as practiced in the First Republic. The ultra conservative phalanx in the Northern People’s Congress, NPC in the First Republic were blinded by the vaunting and vaulting ambition to impose their decadent value system on the rest of NIgerians took discreditable actions that bastardized the principles of federal system of government. They introduced rigging in the population census to create a wrong impression that the arid areas of the north were more populous than the middle belt and southern part of the country. Fired by the same discreditable actions, they strategised and rigged the general elections. The natural reactions of other ethno-religious groups culminated to political crises that eventually led to the regrettable Nigeria-Biafra war from 1967-1970 with catastrophic consequences.
For the Restructuring of the country’s dysfunctional governance, National Conference of ethnic nationalities is a categorical imperative. National Assembly SHOULD NOT be used to reduce the humongous items in the Exclusive Legislative List because due to the fraudulent 1976 Dasuki Local Government Reform during the military regime, not only that local government was made a tier of government ( which is not in sync with the inexorable principles of federal system of government the world over) but without seeking the input of other ethnic groups, surplus local government councils were created in the northern part of the country and to rub salt on injury, local government councils were used as basis for Federal Constituencies. Consequently, the north was positioned by the military regime teleguided by the “Northern Political Emirates Establishment” to have overwhelming majority in the National Assembly at the expense and detriment of other ethnic groups in terms of making Laws and amendments to the 1999 Constitution made by the military autocrats which brazenly despised the principles of federal system of government as practiced in the first republic.
Read the shameful and utterly discreditable Punch Editorial:
“Urgently, the president and federal and state legislatures should target the immediate devolution of policing, enthronement of fiscal federalism, and reduction in the immense powers conferred on the central government by the 1999 Constitution…
“Tinubu should lead that process, mobilizing the National Assembly, the state assemblies, governors, and other stakeholders for the project. He should revisit the reports of the past Constitutional Conferences which made some far-reaching recommendations on federalism”.
This is utter rubbish. Just take a retrospective glance at the supposedly Amendments to the 1999 Constitution. The membership of the committee were such that the northerners , especially the socalled “Core North”, ab initio referred to as “Caliphate Colonialists and Cabalist hegemonists”, were in the majority so that the Unitary principles in the contraption called 1999 CONSTITUTION were retained. Example is the shunning by the Committee of the clarion calls by over 95 percent of NIgerians for decentralized security architecture, referred to as”State Police or multi level policing structure as obtained in sane and sanitized Federations the world over.
The Centralised security architecture deliberately provided in the 1999 Constitution has given the Caliphate Colonialists a leeway to foist their people at the top echelon of the police ostensibly to enable the terrorists masquerading as herdsmen imported from the Sahel region of West Africa as foot soldiers for Islamisation agenda to be above the law even brazenly clutching AK-47 Riffles illegally and killing people at the slightest pretext and occupying their ancestral lands while the people were driven away and languishing in makeshift refugee camps. Up till today, the refugees are in the ramshackle resettlements while the former president Buhari did not regard it as a problem. Shockingly, Tinubu has not even regarded the issue as of immediate concern to his administration.
It is important to sound it loud and clear that the only reason why the Caliphate Colonialists stridently kicked against Restructuring is to stop multi level policing because it will stop their foot soldiers and compel cattle owners to purchase lands for Ranches in the northern part of the country. Ranches is the norm all over the world; why can’t it be done in Nigeria? Cattle is a purely private business and the owners are financially capable of purchasing lands and establish RANCHES to stop the primitive culture of allowing human beings to live in the forest trekking hundreds of thousands of kilometers from the north to the last town in the Rivers State all in the name of “Fulani culture in open grazing of cattle”. They can tell that story to people in the medieval era.
The southern part of the country people should take a definitive stand and call for a National Conference of ethnic nationalities to brainstorm on how to fashion PEOPLE’S CONSTITUTION following the pattern of the First Republic Constitution which the leaders of the first military coup, out of stark ignorance of the principles of federal system of government dumped the 1960 Independence constitution for a “Unitary-Federal” dysfunctional governance that destroyed the otherwise progressive country in the first republic.
By Polycarp Onwubiko, public policy analyst.