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Prominent Nigerians oppose Akin Fapohunda, seek restructuring, true democracy, republicanism

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Prominent Nigerians oppose Akin Fapohunda, seek restructuring, true democracy, republicanism

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The Movement for National Reform (MNR) on Friday rationalized its hostility towards the actions of the initiator of a draft bill seeking the restructuring and new model of government in Nigeria, Dr. Akin Fapohunda.

‘’The attention of MNR has been drawn to a strident advocacy that seeks to convert an annexure of decree 24 of 1999 to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (CFRN). The champion of the said advocacy is Dr. Akin Fapohunda who has zealously offered himself as a consultant to Mr. President by substantiating a draft earlier rumoured in the public and denied by the government. This is curious and worrisome as such a matter of national interest affects the collective destiny of all of us as citizens of Nigeria’’.

The movement also contended that it would not be out of place to lift the suspension of the 1963 CFRN to amend it with contemporary realities for seamless reversion to true democracy and republicanism.

‘’Let it be known that We the People in MNR share the same sentiments about the need to restructure the FRN to one that works for all, but we differ significantly in strategy with the position of Dr. Akin Fapohunda. We wish to caution that the art of statecraft requires very careful attention to details in order to eschew social dislocation of the life and livelihoods of citizens by succumbing to fleeting clannish sentiments. We hold the views that all Nigerians will benefit from lifting the suspension of the 1963 CFRN to amend it with contemporary realities for seamless reversion to true democracy and republicanism. We firmly stand on this premise’’.

The Movement in a statement in Abuja accused Fapohunda of seeking to convert an annexure of decree 24 of 1999 to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (CFRN).

‘’The catch phrase, “We the People” is the DNA from which any democratic constitution must draw its life. As a result, it is important to interrogate the position of Dr. Akin Fapohunda in seeking for a conversion of an annexure of Decree 24 of 1999 to the CFRN via a private member Bill at the National Assembly (NASS)’’.

Titled: An addendum to the Memorandum of the Movement for National Reform (MNR) to the House of Representatives Constitution Review Committee of April 6, 2024, the Movement said it was unfortunate that Fapohunda who has zealously offered himself as a consultant to Mr. President descended so low to making unguarded statements.

‘’MNR hereby wish to consider the altruism of Dr. Fapohunda’s motivation against other schools of thought on the ongoing public discourse on the CFRN. It is very revealing and indeed interesting that NINAS with over 25 years of research and advocacy issuing for a brand new CFRN and not such a quick fix of Dr. Fapohunda. MNR view on the subject matter is rooting for a repeal of four junta decrees to pave way for LIFTING OF SUSPENSION of the 1963 republican CFRN for amendment with contemporary realities to rejuvenate the existing presidential style federation akin to that of USA plus necessary modifications that suit our cultural environment. The silence of Patriots about their preference for the 2014 Confab report cum draft constitution should not be disregarded’’.

The statement signed by MNR Constitution Review Committee Chair, Prof. O. Igho Natufe and Secretary, Dr. Yemi Adegoke reiterated that the MNR is clearly focused on the democratic exigencies for NASS to restore the suspended 1963 republican CFRN for amendment rather than the so-called 1999 CFRN.

‘’Our stand gives due recognition to NASS as elected legislative representatives of We the People’. The solo effort of Dr. Akin Fapohunda in his second coming on subject matter is curious. In his first coming of 2021, Dr. Akin Fapohunda was Secretary of an erstwhile Eminent Elders Forum that made a presentation to NASS on 9.2.2021, which did not prosper. That exercise focused on the 1963 CFRN’’

The group said events so far pointed to the fact that it is obvious that the tackles act of Fapohunda is a plot to redefine the federating units from the existing structure of littoral states to shadow notional geopolitical regions.

‘’At his second coming in 2024, same Dr. Akin Fapohunda position has shifted from his support for the 1963 CFRN to now push a narrative that seeks to convert an annexure of decree 24 of 1999 as the CFRN and to redefine the federating units from the existing structure of littoral states to shadow notional geopolitical regions. How a draft by an individual will be different from decrees by few under the military that has rendered the democratic tenets of the nation impotent should be of deep concern to every true democrat’’.

Noting that the activities of Fapohunda if not checked could affect the hopeful democracy in the country, the group said it is advisable to restore the 1963 CFRN from suspension for amendment with contemporary realities such as the existing littoral states in order to recalibrate the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN) in consonant with global best practices that will be modified to align with the cultural traits of the FRN, recognizing the rights of the indigenous ethnic nationalities as the core federating units of the country’’.

‘’The efforts of Dr. Akin Fapohunda in his second outing woefully fail the democratic litmus test of We the People in all ramifications. The 1963 CFRN is the only democratic template upon which the Republican strands of Nigeria are hinged

The Movement urged Fapohunda to stop throwing caution to the wind.

‘’The fear of electoral supremacy of yore from any part of Nigeria will be diminished by the recalibration of the governing system along the path of true federalism that reflects the republican import of ethnic nationalities. In the likelihood of the FRN going the way of USSR/Czechoslovakia, the littoral states in each notional geopolitical zones will easily ‘amalgamate’ into respective standalone Republics they deem fit. Upon the restoration and subsequent amendment of the 1963 CFRN, the emergent entities from the ashes of the FRN will be on sound tenets of democratic foundation; the path of Dr. Akin Fapohunda will birth such entities from the chaotic oligarchy of junta decrees like the burdensome decrees 1 of 1966, 34 of 1966, 104 of 1979 & 24 of 1999’’.

‘’A cursory perusal of the Bill proposed by Dr Fapohunda reveals disturbing provisions for matters of person(s)-specific pursuits rather than secular provisions that are broad in outlook and purview. Such provisions as those in Section 6(g) on transhumance, Section 17(1)(a) on federal government lands in the federation, Section 18(1) on the role of the governor of a littoral entity (state), and section 22(7) on open grazing of livestock are impulsive enough to stir deep and unsavoury hunches in citizens’’ the statement added.

Members of the MNR Constitution Review Committee representing the six geopolitical zones include Mr. Aaron Daniel Ladan, Sir Amorighoye Sunny Mene, Barrister Kingsley Ehensiri Akpederin, Barrister Gbenga Awosode, Barrister Matthew Godfree, Barrister Ozegbe S. Ogokuni, Barrister Edward Ekpoko, Chief Emeka Diwe, Chief Ike Nwalunor and Dr Jonathan S. Akuns.

Others are Dr. Ayodele Ojajune, Dr. Chris Enemuoh, Dr. Diamond Longjel, Dr. Philip Idaewor, Dr. Sola Olunuga, Elder Ben Osawe, Engr. Ikem Nwandu, Prof. Ezekiel Kolawole Ogundowole, Mr. Isa Nuhu and Mrs. J. Adedeji.

Prof. Benjamin Okaba, Prof. Chris Akpotu, Prof. Friday Emenka Udeh, Prof. Jerry Chukwu Okolo, Prof. Nath Agu, Prof. Adaobi Patricia Ugbomeh, Prof. Julie Nwabogo Umukoro, Rev. James Pam, Mr. Rex Essenowo, Mr. Taiwo Akinola, Mr. Tony Ede, Mr. Wole Aina and Mr. Yerima Shetima are also members of the of the MNR Constitution Review Committee.

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