June 13, 2024

Coalition of ethnic nationalities calls for restructuring of Nigeria


By Ibrahim Hassan-Wuyo

The Coalition of Indigenous Ethnic Nationalities (CIEN)has said that it has taken cognizance of the fact that our faulty socio-political and socio-economic structures were traceable to the 1999 Nigeria Constitution and believed that the call for the restructuring of the Nigerian Federation is germane and an idea whose time has come.

This was contained in a statement signed by Prof. Benjamin Okaba, Chairman, CIEN, Mr. Timothy B. Gandu, Co-Chairman, CIEN and Mr Nubari Saatah, Secretary, CIEN issued to journalists in Kaduna on Thursday.

The Coalition congratulated Nigerians and the Nigerian state on Democracy Day, “as we commemorate our silver jubilee of unbroken democratic rule. This year’s Democracy Day, more than any other, calls for sober reflection and introspection by Nigerians, and most especially its political leadership.”

“Twenty-five (25) years after Nigeria’s political trajectory changed from the path of guns, khakis and jackboots in a military dictatorship, to political parties and a voting public in a civilian democracy, the hope that this change first rekindled and inspired in Nigerians on May 29th 1999, has slowly but steadily degenerated into palpable despair as a result of Nigeria’s visible socioeconomic and sociopolitical decay,” the Coalition said.

The Coalition explained further that “this slow degeneration of the Nigerian Federation is manifested in more ways than one, but encapsulated in the following: the budding secessionist movements that have sprung up in different sections of the country over the years and now threaten its unity; the rise in religious and ethnic intolerance; insurgency and terrorism which have ravaged and continue to ravage different parts of the country; a gradual socioeconomic decline with a ripple effect of impoverishing a larger percentage of the Nigerian population, with a grossly skewed graph of the distribution of the common wealth; and last but not the least, a decline in Nigeria’s sociopolitical status within the comity of nations on the African continent and the wider international stage. These and many more have brought us to a head as a people.”

“Today, more than at any point in Nigeria’s history, calls for the urgent restructuring of the country have been at their loudest, and continue to reverberate. While we believe that Nigeria has grappled with poor leadership for most of its history, and that this has contributed immensely to our current state, the Coalition of Indigenous Ethnic Nationalities has taken cognizance of the fact that our faulty socio-political and socio-economic structures are traceable to the 1999 Nigeria Constitution. We therefore believe that the call for the restructuring of the Nigerian Federation is germane and an idea whose time has come.”

“Mindful of the above, CIEN, in living up to its founding mandate of uniting Nigeria’s indigenous ethnic nationalities as a means towards fostering mutual understanding and cooperation, the protection of our various and collective interests, self-determination, and the advancement of the Nigerian state in general, have since its founding, been engaging with the indigenous peoples on the way forward for our people and we have been largely successful in this regard.”

“It is on this note that CIEN would like to inform the Nigerian public and its political leadership, that after due deliberations and consultation on the restructuring of the Nigerian Federation, we have put together recommendations and templates which we strongly believe if and when implemented, will serve to steer Nigeria away from a more tumultuous immediate future, and towards a more prosperous future where the hopes and aspirations of the indigenous ethnic nationalities will be actualized.”

“In furtherance of this, and conscious of the times, CIEN has forwarded a letter and accompanying recommendations to the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, His Excellency, Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR, as we move towards deepening the conversation on the restructuring of the Nigerian Federation. CIEN has also forwarded these recommendations to the leaderships of the Nigerian Senate, and the House of Representatives, respectively. The Nigerian public has not been left out, as the recommendations have been forwarded to members of the press for onward communication and reportage to the people.”

“We would like to use this opportunity, to call on the political representatives of our people as comprised in the various State Houses of Assembly, the House of Representatives and the Nigerian Senate, to rise to the occasion at this pivotal point in our history and take the necessary actions that will give Nigeria’s over 450 ethnic nationalities a voice and a renewed hope in Nigeria’s future.”

“In conclusion, CIEN is committed to its engagement with the different nationalities, influencers, labour and trade unions, professional bodies, religious bodies, traditional rulers, political leaders, and all relevant stakeholders in our quest to arrive at the restructuring of the Nigerian Federation to the benefit of all. It is our wish that Nigeria and all its indigenous ethnic nationalities, succeed. May God grant us the courage and wisdom to do the needful.Happy Democracy Day, and may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” they added.