SAY NO TO SOVEREIGN NATIONAL CONFERENCE IN NIGERIA
The rejection of SNC in Nigeria is borne out of a sense of History and not out of partisanship, out of great concern for our nation and not out of rent seeking from either the establishment or the opposition. No statesman in Nigeria who has these historical facts will ever convoke an SNC.
The constituent Assembly of India for instance was called in 1947 and was the nations first parliament for 3 years. It was empowered within that period to draft the constitution. Of course Pakistan had voted to be a separate nation from India before Independence and not after. The task of the Constituent Assembly of India was to free India through a new constitution, to feed the starving people and to clothe the naked masses, to give every Indian a full opportunity to develop himself according to his capacity. The fact that southern Nigeria decided to wait for Nothern Nigeria from 1957-1960, rather than elect to be a separate independent nation was a missed opportunity that should be forgotten. We were given that option by the British but we chose “One Nigeria”… to quote Nnamdi Azikiwe. The fact that we didn’t convoke an SNC immediately after October 1st 1960 snowballed into the distrust and hatred amongst various ethnic groups a rivalry that eventually culminated in the civil war. Chinua Achebe wrote a classical piece ‘There Was A Country’ to address his personal and emotional reaction to these missed opportunities.
What Nigerians seek is food for the starving people, clothes for the naked, jobs for the unemployed and a full opportunity to develop ourselves according to our individual and regional capacities. We don’t need an SNC to achieve any of these.
My argument is that Nigerians should forget about SNC. Any leader who emerges in our nation and convokes SNC hates Nigeria. These should have been done immediately after independence. The argument that we are not yet a nation doesn’t hold water for nation building is a process and not an event. SNC is an event that though may span a few years will not guarantee nation building 50 years after independence.
The Constituent Assembly of Italy was convoked after the Kingdom of Italy suffered defeat following World War 2. It was held between 1946-1948 to usher in the birth of a new Italian Republic.
The Constituent Assembly of Pakistan was formed on the eve of their independence of December 1946. It served as its first parliament and had its first sitting on August 11 1947.
So what is the common sense in convoking an SNC 50 years after independence and 100 years after the Northern and Southern protectorates, two potentially different nations were cobbled together in an arranged marriage. Mind you not all arranged marriages fail even though all arranged marriages have compatibility issues. Some eventually overcome their issues. Why cant we resolve to overcome ours for the following reasons:
An SNC will polarize the nation further
As a nation, we are already mortally wounded by division. We cannot endure another round of polarization. We are already split along the middle into Christian and Muslim almost 50:50, into over 300 tribes. If this clamor for SNC continues it will further bisect us into pro SNC and anti SNC. The outcome of the Constituent Assembly will never be accepted by anti SNC elements. This rift will continue forever and the gulf will be filled with more reckless violence than we have ever seen.
Recall that the supporters and enemies of the French Constituent Assembly fought politically and bitterly in those dark years of the French Revolution. Foreign Nations took sides. There were nations who favoured the sweeping reforms occasioned by the Constituent Assembly and there were those vehemently against it. Both sides were armed to the teeth equally by their foreign sympathizers. Even within the pro Constituent Assembly minority there were earth rending schisms. The wars snowballed into over 200 years of recurrent battles.
The SNC will generate over 300 militias
We have BH, MASSOB, OPC and MEND right? These represents hypothetically the 4 major ethnic groups in the Nation by population. The GREAT FEAR of the SNC is that the SPIRIT OF POPULAR SOVEREINGTY fuelled the constituent assembly will generate over 300 militias representing all ethnic groups insisting on their right to self determination. A right that even the United Nations cant deny. These militia will of course be sponsored by foreigners. For instance Zionists will sponsor MASSOB (that’s a fact), Al Qaeda will sponsor BH (that’s another fact), I don’t know who will support OPC or MEND but supporters will come. The SNC will replace the legislative arm of government as it happened in France. The National Assembly will never exist alongside a Constituent Assembly. Infact Jonathan will be forced to swear an oath to abide by the decisions of the SNC.
When King Louis of France wouldn’t swear to surrender his powers to the CA, he was summarily executed!
Our Economic Situation will worsen
Check the History of Constituent Assemblies. The rural militancy that it will encourage will be so unparalleled that farmlands belonging to opposing groups will be razed. Think what the Fulani cattlemen are doing is bad? Wait till SNC starts. You’ll see worse. Famine of whole communities will be rife. Starvation of whole tribes will ensue and the story told by Chinua Achebe in There Was a Country will be child’s play. Poverty will engulf entire regions. Protest marches will be spontaneous. Even women will pick Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and other light explosives.
This was exactly how it played out in France during their own CA.
The Power and Wealth of the Church will be stripped
All positions canvassed at the SNC will be voted upon and an example of anti Christian suggestions by atheists, free thinkers, illuminati sympathizers and other religions will include:
The church will be stopped from collecting tithes
The church will surrender all property to the state
The church will pay stupendous taxes
The church will report transactions to EFCC
The church leaders will be banned from owning private jets
The church will take permission from the IGP for any mass movement
In short the church will seek to be classified as a charity organization. Lets face it. Im a Christian but I know that the Church owns lands and property more than any institution in the nation and you know how unbelievably rich some of our pastors are. What you probably don’t know is that other religions resent and hate us for this. At the slightest opportunity they would gladly put us under check… since of course we cant check our own excesses. The SNC will give them just the chance they’ve been looking for. Couple this with the promiscuity and lasciviousness of most Christian leaders. The onslaught against predominantly Christian tribal groups will be unbearable. The igbo tribe of Nigeria for instance will be butchered and hacked down socially, economically and otherwise.
Think about this. You who so glibly parrot SNC… SNC. There will be a schism between pro SNC pastors and anti SNC pastors. They will openly challenge, verbally abuse and brazenly attack each other. This is exactly what the devil wants to achieve through this ill timed SNC that should have come 50 years ago. There will be intense efforts at de-christianizing Nigeria. Social Carnivals will replace Christmas, Easter and other Christian festivals.
In case you think im being too dramatic. Read up the Constituent assembly of France. This was exactly what happened.
Organized labour will be suppressed
In all nations that have had an SNC, motions to abolish all trade unions will be moved by constituents. All workers organizations will be banned from going on strike as strike action will be illegal. Every sort of anti worker sentiment will be generated and anti worker positions canvassed. A great majority will sail through.
Think of these things critically. Do you still think a Sovereing National Conference is desirable?
I’ve submitted severally that the opposition in this country only wants POWER. The government only exists for government interests.
Iroko Obasi ND