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Nigeria: Scrapping Constitution – Group Distances Southern, Middle Belt Leaders

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Lagos — There is disquiet in the Southern and Middle Belt parts of Nigeria following last week’s 90-day ultimatum given by some leaders of the zones for the scrapping of the 1999 constitution.

Daily Trust reports that prominent leaders, mostly from the regions had on Friday last week asked the United Nations Security Council, African Union (AU), European Union, United States and the British Governments to urgently convoke a Sovereign National Conference to discuss the constitutionality and essentiality of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria and the 1914 Amalgamation of Southern and Northern Nigeria within 90 Days.

The leaders, numbering 127, who spoke under the platform of the Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination, described the Nigerian 1999 constitution as a fraud.

Among the names listed as promoters of the alliance were former Governor of Plateau State, Jonah Jang, Second Republic Member of the Senate, Professor Banji Akintoye, a former minister, Prof. Yusuf Turaki, a former Vice-Chairman of Arik Air, Senator Aniete Okon, President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, retired Commodores Ebitu Ukiwe, and Idongesit Nkanga, and the leader of the Middle Belt Forum, Dr Bitrus Pogu and 121 others.

But yesterday, the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) accused the group of smuggling the names of some of their leaders without their consent.

Spokesmen of the forum, Yinka Odumakin (South West), Chief Guy Ikokwu (South East), Senator Bassey Henshaw (South-South) and Dr Isuwa Dogo (Middle Belt), distanced the forum from the ultimatum.

The SMBLF said it would not “hide under any other group or surrogates to make statements on issues as that would be too demeaning.”

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