The Lower Niger Congress, a non-violence organisation, is canvassing for the restructuring of Nigeria to ensure that no group is marginalised
| By Anayo Ezugwu | May 4, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT |
THE Lower Niger Congress, LNC, a non violent group made up of people from South East and South South are agitating anew for the restructuring of Nigeria to ensure that no section of the country is marginalised. On Monday, April 20, the group told journalists in Lagos, that people from the South-East and South-South geo-political zones are marginalised in the country and that the outcome of the 2015 general elections further lends credence to their claims. LNC insisted that the outcome of the general elections whereby General Muhammadu Buhari defeated incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan was borne out of conspiracy between the South-West and the Northern regions to sustain a master/slave relationship against other regions.
Fred Agbeyegbe, president, Lower Niger Congress, said though the international community with its observers has adjudged the 2015 election as peaceful, free and fair, it was not so because their are many disputations around the nation’s constitutional foundation. For such disputation to remain unattended to does not particularly give hope of a true federalism being ushered into Nigeria with the coming administration.
He said the Nigeria constitution and the nation’s democracy have not favoured the people and the region in spite of its abundant resources, and that there was the need for the regions to seek self determination. “We are nevertheless, compelled to observe that, even if the rest of the world cannot see through the façade of a penchant for democracy, we, the ethnic nationalities, minorities, owners of the resources, victims of and for whose sake the Nigeria brand of democracy was wrought, are aware that their commercial interests in a ‘peaceful’ Nigeria, and that overrides any pretended interest in democracy.
“Why else would the European Union and the United States of America, the citadels of the principles of equality, equity, fairness and justice, accept rules of democracy couched from a slavery-enacting document like the 1999 Constitution imposed by one group in Nigeria over all else who had no participation in its making and from whence comes the Nigerian nation of democracy, considering that that Constitution is the instrument mandating the elections they come to Nigeria to observe?”
“Not even a myriad of elections can resolve our peculiar circumstances, the simple reason being that we have come to the conclusion that politicians and their elections cannot bring us the respite we need. We have no doubt in our minds that non-action on our part or leaving our fate in the hands of our politicians, will forever consign us to the yoke of the predatory will of British imperialists. We have a duty to ourselves and our posterity to decide whether to continue to subscribe to a system detrimental to our interests, since time is running out for us,” Agbeyegbe said.
On his part, Tony Nnadi, secretary general of the group, told Realnews that the concern of the group was not about winning and losing 2015 general elections but on the marginalisation the regions are suffering in the hands of the federated Nigeria. He said it is the duty of more than 75 million people who make up the Lower Niger, to decide whether they want to remain in the Nigeria federation or not.
According to Nnadi, the 1999 constitution is not a democratic constitution and therefore, the people of the Lower Niger will not be governed by the constitution. He said the celebrated democracy in Nigeria has left a deeply fractured nation where the ethnic nationalities that make up the Lower Niger region are treated as conquered people, who have lost their power to participate in the Nigerian state as equal pruners.
The secretary general said the brazen manner in which the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, treated the Electoral Act with disdain, the flagrant abuse of voting in the North, the manipulation of the card reader scheme were all done to weaken the voting strength of the Lower Niger region while the North was given unfair advantage in the electoral contest. Nnadi noted that the Lower Niger Congress was planning a self determination referendum in the region comprising of the South-South and South-East zones.
“Our contention is that the people of the Lower Niger have been short-changed and all the issues we feared for before the general elections have happened. The country is fractured under ethnic and religious line. The voting pattern of the 2015 elections divided the country and we see the election as a referendum. No matter what other think, the Lower Niger people are feeling like the blacks in South Africa during the Apartheid,” he said.