Nigeria @63: “We deserves new constitution” ethnic nationalities tell FG
As Nigeria celebrates its 63 years Independence anniversary tomorrow Sunday, 1st October, a non-governmental organisation, Coalition of Indigenous Ethnic Nationalities, on Friday, advocated “a drastic change” in the nation’s constitution.
The coalition, in a statement by the representatives of various ethnic nationalities in Nigeria in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, said, “One hundred and nine years after amalgamation of diverse ethnic nationalities of various sizes, cultures and aspirations and 63 years after independence, Nigeria is still unable to live together in harmony or accept a common national identity.”
The representatives are the Chairman of Ijaw National Congress, Prof. Benjamin Okaba (Chairman); the Co-Chairman of Southern Kaduna Leadership Council, Timothy Gandu; Niger Delta Congress, Nubari Saatah (Secretary); the Afenifere Organisation, Dr. Akin Fapohunda; Kwararafa Union, Prof. Ejeikwu Oloja; Voice of Reason in Yorubaland, among others.
While regretting that the independence of 1960 “has turned out to be a stealthy replacement of western imperialism with the yoke of settler colonialism”, the body added that “indigenous communities in Nigeria have faced a myriad of challenges, including environmental degradation, land dispossession, the threat of annihilation and lack of access to essential services.”
It, therefore, called for a new constitution that would return the country to “a symmetric Federal structure with a guarantee of equal representation to all regions and equitable distribution of power that would ensures the rights of every Nigerian irrespective of population, size of the region or of place of birth or faith.