Say we stand on referendum or nothing
By Dapo Akinrefon
LAGOS— A coalition of socio-cultural and self-determination groups from the South and Middle-Belt of Nigeria, on Tuesday, urged world leaders attending the United Nations General Assembly, UNGA, to take urgent steps at tackling the myriads of problems confronting the country alleging that governance has been run grounded in Nigeria.
President Muhammdu Buhari is billed to address the 77th Session of UNGA on September 21, 2022.
The group comprises the Oodua Peoples’ Sovereign Movement, OPSOM, Igbo National Council, INC, Middle Belt Patriotic Front, MBPF, Freedom from Nigeria, FFN, Chilos Godsend, CG, National Council for Women Society, NCWS, and other groups.
The groups expressed worry that Nigeria’s economy is now bleeding and haemorrhaging under “a unitary constitution in a supposed federal state.”
In a statement by their Spokesperson, Dr Ngozi Orabueze from Atlanta, United States, the coalition alleged that the Northern and Middle-Belt of Nigeria have been captured via state-sponsored terrorism while the South of Nigeria has been encircled by government-backed terrorists whose sole mission is land-grabbing.
The statement reads: “We are using this opportunity to appeal to the 77th edition of United Nations General Assembly never to allow themselves to be cajoled as President Major General Muhammadu Buhari address them on Wednesday. We are stating without any fear or favour that Nigeria of today is a failed state in all ramifications.
“On security, the entire north has been captured with the Middle-Belt, while the south has been encircled waiting to explode. Despite its claim as the giant of Africa, the economy of the country is now haemorrhaging and bleeding. The economy of Nigeria has turned a majority of our young ladies, who are graduates into prostitutes.
“Empirical studies conducted by our research team show that six out of 10 single ladies in Nigeria today are into direct or indirect prostitution while 4 out of married women engage in adultery mostly caused by poverty and hunger and unemployment.
“Findings of our studies also show that there’s no highway in the entire south and middle belt of Nigeria where a car can speed for 10 minutes without galloping, traffic jam or road block, thanks to the alarming state of decadence on our roads and failed security architecture in Nigeria.
“We also wish to let the world know that terrorists and their negotiators now enjoy patronage and immunity in Nigeria. Some local government areas have been over-ran in Benue, Plateau and Nasarawa states by Fulani terrorists masquerading as Bandits who kidnap for billions of ransoms and move untouched despite the thousands of armed military personnel mounting our roads in the North.
“The master of corruption in Nigeria is the 1999 constitution that has rendered the federating units powerless and useless. The assets of the regions of the south and middle belt have been hijacked to feed and develop the minority Fulani states who contribute little or nothing to the economy of the country.
“Our position, as we have stated severally in the past is a referendum to decide and establish our nationhood and sovereignty. We reject on behalf of the people of the south and middle belt of Nigeria, the 1999 unitary constitution being used to govern Nigeria.
“We demand unequivocally, a referendum to be conducted in Nigeria so that the people who never voted to be called Nigerians could decide on their sovereignty or decide on the structure and system of government they want in line with democratic principles and we urge UNGA to prevail on Buhari to allow the justice prevail in Nigeria.”