From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination (NINAS) on Saturday declared a 120-day period of consultations with the people of the three alliance territories for various segments of the Nigerian society as well as the diplomatic and international communities towards achieving self-determination for the blocs.
NINAS Chairman Prof Banji Akintoye made the declaration at a press conference that the group addressed at the expiration of the 30-day period of consultations with elected officials from the alliance territories, which was issued at the expiration of a 90-day period of notice of grave constitutional grievances issued to the federal government by NINAS on December 16, 2020.
Akintoye, whose address was read by the Chairperson of the Steering Committee of NINAS, Otunba Sade Olukoya, explained that NINAS is a self-determination movement birthed as Alliance of the Self-Determination Initiatives across the three alliance territory blocs of the Lower Niger, the Middle-Belt and Yorubaland. He added that the group has a mandate to dismantle the purported ‘fraudulent 1999 constitution’ and end the ‘unworkable’ unitary union that the constitution foists and to champion the processes for self-determination by which sovereignty would be restored to the constituent regions of the alliance.
The press conference was also attended by the Secretary of NINAS, Tony Nnaji, and notable Yoruba leaders, including Secretary, Ilana Omo Oodua, George Akinola; and Homeland Secretary, Ilana Omo Oodua, Kunle Adesokan.
Akintoye, who doubles as the President of the Ilana Omo Yoruba, noted that the group had earlier allotted a total of 120 days to the two tiers of government in the country, comprising the first 90 days and the second 30 days, for consultations and engagements and the government refused to heed their calls, the group’s train of consultation and engagement has moved on to the people of Nigeria, especially the alliance territories, ‘who collectively own the sovereignty forcefully consolidated and hijacked by the Nigerian State, via the instrumentality of the imposed and fraudulent constitutional arrangements of 1999.
‘NINAS hereby declares a 120-day period of consultations, commencing today April 17, 2021 with the people of the alliance territories with dedicated sessions for various segments of the Nigerian society, the diplomatic community and the international community.’
Akintoye stated that within the period, all segments of the Nigerian society in the alliance territories would be consulted and engaged with the NINAS propositions on the dismantling of the 1999 Constitution and self-determination. The segments, according to him, would include grassroots organisations, young people, youth organisations, political parties, the media, religious networks, regional socio-cultural and socio-political organisations, organised private sector, farmers’ union, traders’ associations, trade unions, professional groups, and traditional rulers.
‘These consultations shall mostly take the form of town halls, mass dissemination of fliers and leaflets, pamphlets, audio-visuals, street evangelism and visitations,’ adding that the town hall meetings could be virtual in some instances based on the limitations imposed on the global community by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Nigerian Diaspora Community, especially those from the alliance territories ‘are hereby mandated to organize town halls in their countries of residence to discuss and disseminate Constitutional Force Majeure, CFM-related information just as it is being done in Nigeria.
‘Let it be noted that in response to interventions by people of goodwill from within and outside Nigeria, including foreigners, who are sympathetic to Nigerians for their horrifying plight, NINAS will in the interest of our people, be willing to reopen the window of dialogue and engagement with the two tiers of government in Nigeria, if they turn up in the course of the 120-day period of consultations with the people of Nigeria and the international community.’