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The Last Straw (Part 3)

The British government had held and referred to what became the Southern protectorate as the Slave Coast before and after the Berlin conference of 1884/1885.

In the North, the Fulani Islamic Jihadists from Western Sudan had held the indigenous people of what became the Northern protectorate under subjugation in a feudal system of government since 1804, a clear 81 years before the Berlin Conference took away that territory from them and transferred it to the British government.

Should it possibly be that the Fulani in Nigeria feel that being masters themselves before the Berlin conference that appointed the Northern and Southern areas of the River Niger with the Colony of Lagos to Britain, the pre- conference status of feudalism (now turned hegemony as a result of modern colonization) should be reverted back to, with the additional responsibility for them to oversee the Southern part of Nigeria when the British left?

By the way, the Jihadist Grand Commander Uthman Dan Fodio, was already headed down South during his conquest before he, and Queen Amina in separate attempts were stopped in the North central area of Nigeria.

There is a story of the Union Jack (The British Flag) being replaced with the Arewa flag in a part of Nigeria and not with the Green-White-Green flag of the Country when the Union Jack was lowered on the departure of the British at Nigeria’s Independence in 1960.

With that incident, if it be true, it is good that the indigenous ethnic nationalities in Nigeria know that the forebears of the Northern political elites actually had long schemed to take over Nigeria, without the south knowing.

This will show Nigerians exactly what is going on today in the mind of some people who believe that they have long won Nigeria over with an Islamic Jihad. It should not come to Nigerians as a surprise that some Northern Nigerian elites actually believe that the Nigerian Independence of 1960 was just a transfer of the colonial baton from one master back to the other localized master who was in control before the British came.

Having looked into the origin of the major problem in Nigeria, this concluding part of the above series offers a solution to this major foundation problem of Nigeria.

 It is my opinion that the foundation problem of Nigeria is solvable, if the right things are done. The reason it remains unsolved is that some people, like the Colossus, stand akimbo on Nigeria, denying her the breathing space and ability to solve her problem, because they, most probably believe that they will miss the opportunity to appropriate the nation’s resources.

We shall discuss how to neutralize the centralized influence of the colossus and render it politically irrelevant without inflicting injury to Nigeria, and the greater majority of Nigerians.

Nigeria has been let loose and dangling since the expiration of the amalgamation treaty of 1914. How long this will last allowing speculators for a new and own country to prey on Nigeria and her resources, must be decided by the indigenous ethnic nationalities of Nigeria who must quickly interpret the handwriting on the wall and jointly take a quick decision before they lose their ancestral homes to marauders.

My opinion is that now that the amalgamation treaty has expired, it is incumbent on the Nigerian ethnic nationalities, if they can muster a joint and coherent political will and force, to press a legal case to revert to their previous autonomies in the face of the woeful failure of the Nigerian experiment.

This is the most equitable thing to do in order to avoid the feeling of being cheated by any side, more especially as the permission of most of these ethnic nationalities were neither sought nor obtained before the signing of the expired amalgamation treaty.

My advice to these ethnic nationalities in the interest of a lasting peace amongst themselves is not to neglect this option, because if they do, the future generations of their people may be impatient to handle it as peacefully as the present generation will do now.

With the option of re-inventing their previous autonomies, the following questions come to mind:

Is Nigeria still legally in existence as a corporate entity without an immediate renewal through another treaty (such as may be harnessed form a sovereign National conference, SNC) to replace the 1914 mandate that brought the Northern and Southern protectorates of the Niger area into existence?

Has any government in Nigeria the legal right to continue to assume that it can negotiate and work legally on behalf of Nigeria and Nigerians subsequently after the expiration of the amalgamation treaty?

Since the ‘Independence’ of Nigeria in 1960 and the so-called attainment of a ‘Republic’ in 1963 was the direct consequence of the 1914 expired amalgamation treaty under a direct British Colonial administration, does it not mean that the expiable tenor of 100 years experimental period has not actually sealed the fate of the constituting members to a permanent relationship as it is being assumed by some people who derive benefit from the mis-arrangement.

Some Nigerians, especially laymen like me, will be needing answers to the foregoing three questions from Nigerian legal luminaries. Till we are given answers to those questions, I think that the politically displaced ethnic nationalities in Nigeria can immediately begin to re-invent their subdued autonomies and severally and/or jointly sue against their continued administration by an entity formed by a treaty whose existence determined on December 31st, 2013.

 Another pertinent question is: could this expiration of the incessant and multiple assaults of the terrorism of the Boko Haram insurgents, the banditry of the ‘kill-and-go’ gun men, and the persistent pattern of sacking of entire villages by the Fulani herdsmen in their non-stop and heightened efforts since 2014 to pick up what they deem to be an expired and floating country dangling and ready for grabs by the strongest force available?

This vacuum in status may also explain the recent involvement of ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria), and the Al- Qaeda, two Islamic organizations known to work for the establishment of Islamic nations around the world, in the scramble for Nigeria.

Re-invention and re-assertion of lost or suppressed rights to choose and freedom to associate falls within the ambit of the fundamental rights of persons as enshrined in the United Nations Charter and Bill of Rights which is upheld, signed and adopted by the member countries of the International Community which Nigeria is part of. In other words, it is not unlawful to proceed along this line of action, which by the way gives me the impetus and right to throw up this suggestion to the public domain.

The right of Nigerians of different ethnic nationalities to choose and freedom to associate supersede a suspicious (and illegal) allegiance imposed on Nigerians by the new National Anthem when considered from the perspective of the expiration of the 1914 amalgamation treaty of the Southern and Northern Protectorates.

 If the civil war of 1967/1970 was a mistake and the ‘federal troops’ insisted, (in the coinage of the defunct first Republic NBS – Nigerian Broadcasting Service – jingle “to keep Nigeria one, is a task that must be done”) on forcing Biafrans to keep to the terms of the ill-conceived contraption formed as a result of the 1914 amalgamation, my opinion is that, since the treaty has expired, all Nigerian ethnic nationalities including Biafra are now free and should be allowed to decide what next they want to do, after due consultation with their people. This is the only national way to justice in this matter, and I think it will please God in the spirit of “vox populi, vox dei” (the voice of the people is the voice of God).

Secondly, the fundamental issues of both the right to choose and freedom to associate override allegiance, especially allegiance that is both doubtful and questionable. This is especially so because allegiance, true allegiance, proceeds naturally from both the right to choose and freedom to associate.

Many Nigerians are surprised that there is a dearth of patriotism in Nigeria. The reason for the dearth of patriotism in Nigeria is because Nigerians have been forced, by their invaders through the invaders’ long term practice of double standard, not to show true allegiance to the country. Integrate this backwardly, and you will discover that corruption in all its manifestations including the looting of national treasury is rooted in the lack of patriotism in Nigeria as a result of the false, pretended and negative allegiance of Nigerians to Nigeria.

People do not steal what belongs to them. They steal what belongs to other people. Most Nigerians do not believe deep down within themselves that the country belongs to them. They believe that Nigeria is an usurper of their freedom, rights, properties, and sometimes lives! I have earlier given an example of this usurping character of Nigeria in part two of this work as The Land Use Act.

I had also discussed this in some of my previous works dating back to almost thirty years including that published in the reflection column of the Reflection Column of The Guardian on Sunday, dated, May 8, 1994. That work was titled “A CASE AGAINST KLEPTOCRACY”.

Honestly speaking, if there is no right to choose and freedom to associate, allegiance will not exist and if it does exist, it will be a false and pretended allegiance which can only manifest negatively as in the case in Nigeria. I am on the same page with the young intelligent Nigerian Online Comedian, Edo Pikin that the reason corruption and stealing cannot stop in Nigeria is because more Nigerians in the background are eagerly waiting for the opportunity to steal from Nigeria.

They steal because they sabotage their allegiance to the Country.

What Nigeria needs to do now is to quickly restore the allegiance of Nigerians to Nigeria by giving them a sense of belonging through a free choice which will be the product of a Sovereign National Conference, SNC.

Though not a lawyer, as an analyst of some experience, I am conversant with the intricate issues of the application of law with its vast and limitless possibilities opened to a bright and creative brain with a good sense of logic.

 For the above reason, I know that a vacuum, a lacuna (the exploration of which can win a case), will inevitably be created if the link between right to choose and freedom to associate, on one hand is not established with allegiance, on the other hand, as is the case with Nigeria and her indigenous ethnic nationalities.

As a matter of fact, allegiance can neither exist nor be legally enforced (unless by brute force) if the right to choose and freedom to associate is denied and not granted.

From this point of law can I explain the unnecessary and punitive proscription of the IPOB (Indigenous People of Biafra), an organization that, in spite of sundry provocations by the Nigerian security agencies, restrains itself from using violence to press its case for self rule.

Allegiance without right to choose and freedom to associate is forced allegiance. This is the method applied to slaves and people under incarceration in prison custody.

Though he may walk the streets, there is no difference between a man who is incarcerated in his country and tied down in a forced allegiance from a man taken away from his home, incarcerated and held down in prison custody.

Nigerians under a system where they are not permitted to re-negotiate an expired union in a Sovereign National conference, SNC, are all under incarceration, hence in slavery or prison custody.

You may ask? What do Nigerians do? Nigerians can do something. As I did say before, Nigerians can actually do something within the ambits of the law to recreate, re-generate, and re-invent Nigeria. Only the combined efforts of the ethnic nationalities of Nigeria must do this. They must do this by first plucking out the moles from among themselves, and anticipating and plugging the loopholes that may be thrown up as the process is in progress.

In the book, ‘The Wretched of the Earth’, Franz Fanon says that an onlooker in any struggle for mass liberation is either a coward or a traitor whose action must not be condoned. As the struggle mounts up, the people must watch out for such individuals that may throw spanners in the wheel of group success and pluck them out fast. In any mass struggle, all hands must be on deck to recover a lost freedom.

Key to this process will be the important issue to prove the legal existence in 2020 of an entity constituted in 1914 for an experimental period of 100 years. This is a thorny legal hurdle that will be difficult for the proponents of the status quo to scale through. The preliminary issue of legality will show how surprisingly easy this matter will be for the proponents, like me, of a Sovereign National Conference, SNC, in Nigeria .

If they decided not to submit to the legality reason (which is doubtful), they will be made to understand that the many failed attempts to tie the components of Nigeria in a tight relationship after the civil war, have shown that a much more loose bonding may go down well with her people. Details of these failures shall mount up as evidence in favor of the ethnic nationalities of Nigeria, nay, the Deponents/ Plaintiffs.

Legal procedure in what is regarded in law as ‘ status bar’ favors the institution of a case for a subsisting abuse and infringement on rights which may have been initiated in the near or distant past through actions of either omission, commission or neglect by an individual, group of persons, or a corporate entity.

The onus will be on the Deponents/Plaintiffs who will be required to provide enough evidence to the proof of its case against a legal entity that have consistently renegade in abiding to the terms of its responsibilities ( most especially as pertains to protection of life and property) as enunciated in the social contract between the people and the government.

The Deponent/ Plaintiffs can access justice through the use of multiple jurisdictions made available and domiciled in the Nigerian legal system, the ECOWAS Court, the legal arm of the African Union, and most importantly, the International Court of Justice stationed in the Hague.

Preliminary pleas for general relief to restrain the Respondent/Defendant from administering some provisions of the constitution and laws of the entity whose existence is in question till a substantive suit of co-existence is ascertained, may be obtained but a specific prayer can be sought by the Deponents/Plaintiffs to compel the Respondent/Defendant (the Government) under an Order of Mandamus backed by the relevant provision and clause to review the previous amalgamation treaty, to convene within a specified time, a Sovereign National Conference, SNC, or a Referendum as will conform with the aspirations of Nigerians.

If all subtle engagements with consecutive Nigerian governments to restructure Nigeria fall on deaf ears, I recommend this process to Nigerians as the most viable and potent legal option to solve the foundation problem of Nigeria without shedding the blood of any Nigerian.

Abuchi Obiora can be reached on


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