Access Bank
Wednesday, October 27, 2021
Home Blog

Afenifere to FG: Revert to 1963 Constitution, declare bandits as terrorists

0

.Advocacy for terrorists culpable

Uba Group

BY AKINWALE ABOLUWADE, IBADAN

Afenifere, a pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, has advised the Federal Government to consider the readoption of the 1963 Republican Constitution, noting that the problems currently besetting the country are attributable to the 1999 Constitution midwifed by the military and foisted on the citizens in the interest of one ethnic group.

Afenifere spoke in a Communique signed by Jare Ajayi, its National Publicity Secretary, and made available to journalists at the end of its meeting held at the residence of its Leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, on Tuesday.

Condemning Gumi’s call for pardon for bandits, and raising concerns on the uncertain state of the nation, the leading Yoruba group was quoted in the communique as saying that the meeting of ethnic nationalities and related stakeholders should be conveyed otherwise, the country should go back to the 1963 Constitution abrogated by the military.

The communique read, “As is customary with us, our meeting deliberated on various issues concerning the Nigeria nation, particularly in the ways that they affect the Yorubas. Specifically, the meeting deliberated on social, political, security and economic situations of the country. The meeting observed that the country is going through a lot of trauma.

“Afenifere discussed the issue of restructuring and the 2023 elections. The meeting also deliberated on the consistent advocacy by Dr Ahmed Gumi on the government to pardon terrorists and to even compensate them in various ways.

“Afenifere comprehensively considered the current political trajectory of the country. The meeting was in no doubt that most of the problems bedevilling Nigeria would not have arisen if the original Constitution agreed upon by our founding fathers had not been jettisoned.

“Afenifere recalled that during the struggle for independence, the mantra of ‘One Nigeria’ was being sang, Chief Obafemi Awolowo insisted that federalism was the only system of government that could sustain Nigeria as a country. The federal Constitution enabled Nigeria to progress very well until the military scuttled the republican federal Constitution in 1966. We have been consistent in opposing military midwifed Constitution.

“Afenifere, through Alliance for Democracy, participated in the 1999 elections, not because we believed in that Constitution but to let the South-West stand politically in Nigeria. That was why we advocated for Sovereign National Conference. Although, the past administration of Dr Jonathan Goodluck did a National Conference rather than the SNC that we advocated, it is on record that the report of the said Confab was never implemented.

“This is why we have consistently been calling for a renegotiation of the basis of our staying together as a country. The country should go back to the 1963 Constitution that was abrogated by the military. In the alternative, the meeting of ethnic nationalities and related stakeholders should be conveyed. Such a meeting would provide an opportunity for all of us to redefine the basis of staying together.
We are still very much convinced that it is in either of the two propositions that solutions to numerous problems afflicting Nigeria lie.

“Afenifere has been consistent in its call for a replacement of the present Constitution and in restructuring. In other words, we are consistent – and now still insisting – that restructuring that berths true federalism must take place before the 2023 elections.
We recall that many issues that Afenifere initiated could be unpopular at the beginning. For insisting on true federalism, we were dubbed as Separatists. But we are not perturbed. For, we were usually vindicated at the end of the day whenever we take a principled position.

“We have no doubt that no matter the party that takes over in 2023, the problems of Nigeria will remain, if not aggravated, if the present Constitution is not changed to devolve power with true federalism entrenched.”

“Afenifere believes in the unity of Nigeria but not at the expense of Yoruba interest. To us, ‘charity begins at home’ means so much to us. The insecurity problems in the country kept festering. Those who have been kidnapping and killing the people (should) be declared as terrorists and be treated as such. It is unfortunate that attitude of the authority on the issue of security in the country has not succeeded in stemming the increasing spate of insecurity.

“On the contrary, bandits and terrorists kept getting emboldened to perpetrate their nefarious activities. It is ironical that some individuals could be seeking clemency for terrorists who are maiming and killing the people without any thoughts for the victims. It goes without saying that whoever deodorizes or abets evil is culpable.”

It urged every community to be at alert with a view to ensuring that terrorists do not take over, while also harping on the importance of restructuring and the 2023 elections.

Among those in attendance at the meeting in which all states in Yorubaland were represented, with representatives from Kwara and Kogi states, were the Deputy Leader of the group, Oba Oladipo Olaitan; the Assistant Secretary General, Leke Mabinuori; Chief Cornelius Adebayo, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, Chief Supo Sonibare, Abagun Kole Omololu, Senator Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele, Senator Gbenga Kaka, Chief Dayo Duyile, Dr Yomi Atte, and Prof. Opeyemi Agbaje.

Report of mass resignation of ad-hoc staff untrue – INEC

0

Uba Group

BY MAYOWA SAMUEL

The Independent National Electoral Commission has assured that it has enough personnel to conduct the November 6, governorship election in Anambra State.

INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Nwachukwu Orji, disclosed this in Awka on Tuesday.

Reports of mass resignation of hundreds of adhoc workers recruited for the Anambra Governorship election went viral following fears over threat from IPOB to stop the election from
holding if the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, was not released by the Federal Government by November 6.

Orji however dismissed the assertion, saying there was no truth in the publication.

He said, “INEC is still in the process of recruiting the adhoc workers, in fact, we just finished the last training before this false report.

“As the head of the commission in Anambra, I am telling you authoritatively that we have more than enough manpower for the conduct of the forthcoming
governorship election in Anambra”, he added.

He explained that none of the adhoc workers being recruited had been issued their engagement letters. “If we have not issued letters to them, how then can any of them
resign?” he wondered.

Orji urged the media to stop aiding publications capable of causing more tension in the polity and avoid publishing stories capable of frightening the poor masses, most of whom were looking for work to do, so as to improve their lives.

“Taking INEC jobs during elections has been one means for people who do not have permanent jobs to earn little money.

“Publishing negative reports that will scare them is so bad,” Orji said.

Investors jostle for FBNH shares, price peaks at N12.55

0

Uba Group

BY KENNETH EZE

Equities of FBN Holdings Plc. remained toast of investors, on Monday at the Nigerian Exchange Limited, as they ended the day as the most traded stock.

This signals the market’s reaction, the first trading day after the bank officially admitted that a billionaire businessman, Femi Otedola, had acquired a 5.07 per cent shareholding in the company.

THE POINT reports that the holding company for First Bank of Nigeria Limited, on Saturday, informed the NGX and the investing public that Otedola acquired a 5.07 per cent shareholding of its shares directly and through his nominee, Calvados Global Services Limited.

Market watchers had mooted that strategic investors in FBN Holdings, including Otedola and the company’s Chairman, Tunde Hassan-Odukale, might have been behind the company’s significant trading volume on Monday.

The high investors’ appetite for the stock had seen FBN Holdings account for 51.97 per cent of the total number of shares traded and 57.24 per cent of the total value of shares traded on the floor of the NGX at the end of the day’s trading.

THE POINT also reports that the news of the acquisition of 5.07 per cent of FBN Holdings’ issued share capital by Otedola lit up the Nigerian capital and money markets over the weekend.

In the same vein, trading data from the NGX also showed that the share price of FBN Holdings rose by 2.45 per cent to close at N12.55 on Monday from N12.25 per share, where it closed on Friday.

From the data, 350.54 million of the 674.5 million shares exchanged on the floor of the NGX were of FBN Holdings.

Investment Analysts noted that equities of FBNH had been subject to huge patronage for weeks, leading up to the announcement of Otedola’s position.

Word around the capital market circles indicated that other directors of the bank, would move to consolidate their shareholding in the bid to improve their voting power as the quest for the control of the bank hots up.

THE POINT also reports that 2018 was the last time FBN Holdings’ share price hit its current level.

Bolanle Austen-Peters’ Collision Course selected as closing film for AFRIFF

0

Uba Group

BY BOLUWAJI JEGEDE

Bolanle Austen-Peters, Producer of multiple award winning movie, ’93 Days’ and director of the block buster high grossing film, ‘The Bling Lagosians,’ says her new film, Collision Course, has been selected as the closing film of the African International Film Festival AFRIFF 2021.

Austen-Peters, in a statement made available to THE POINT on Tuesday, indicated that “In an announcement at a press conference by the festival organisers, Collision Course was selected as the festival closing film from the array of entries the festival received.

“Festival closing films are typically the centre piece film of festivals and are important films that satisfy the festival’s critical screening and review criteria for it to deserve the closing night spotlight.”

Collision Course was directed by Bolanle Austen-Peters, and produced by Joseph Umoibom and James Amuta.

BAP Productions is a foremost Nigerian theatre and film production company.

Featuring Chioma Akpotha, Daniel Etim Effiong, Kelechi Udegbe, Ade Laoye, Kenneth Okolie, Bimbo Manuel, Gregory Ojefua, Bamike Olawunmi-Adenibuyan (BamBam), Kalu Ikeagwu, and Nobert Young, Collision Course is a heart-thumping story told in 24 hours that dives into the lives of a law enforcement agent, a young man and some rogue element.

“In its 10th year, AFRIFF is one of the foremost film festivals in Africa and a major player in the showcase of African film and film makers. The festival will be running from November 7th to November 13th at the landmark event centre with Collision Course closing the festival on November 12,” the statement read.

Borno’s primary school teachers to get 30k minimum wage soon – Zulum

0

Rules our sack of unqualified teachers

Uba Group

All qualified teachers in primary schools across Borno State will soon begin to enjoy N30, 000 minimum wage, as against current situation in which some number of teachers receive as low as N11, 000 due to activities of ghost teachers, Governor Babagana Zulum has said.

His Senior Special Assistant on Publicity, Lanre Obadiah, said Zulum stated this on Monday, at the Government House in Maiduguri, while inaugurating reconstituted board of the Borno State Universal Basic Education Board, which got a new Executive Chairman, permanent and non-permanent members. The reconstitution was necessitated by expiration of tenures served by former members of the UBE board.

The reconstituted board has Professor Bulama Kagu as the Executive Chairman, Abubakar Mai Deribe as permanent member, 1; Sadiq Abdallah as permanent member, 2 and Habu Daja Aliyu as permanent member, 3 alongside representatives of stakeholder ministries.

“One major issue in Borno’s primary education system today is the welfare of teachers. It is pathetic that there are teachers who are still collecting between N11, 000 and N13, 000. I want to assure, that despite economic challenges, we are working to ensure that every qualified teacher in Borno State earns minimum of N30, 000 which is the national minimum wage” Zulum said.

The governor also said, a number of unqualified teachers identified during assessments, who are trainable, will be sent for professional teachers training, to acquire skills and methodologies than can help them teach effectively.

He, however, noted that those that are not trainable will be transferred to other departments as non-academic staffs in schools.

Zulum ruled out retrenchment including those of untrainable teachers, so as not to increase an already high unemployment rate, with social implications.

In another development, Governor Zulum at the same event, also inaugurated the Chairman and members of a newly established Borno State Audit Service Commission.

The Board is headed by Ibrahim Mohammed Lawalam with Auditor General of the State, Auditor General for Local Government, Mohammed Kauji, Zannah Lawan Mustapha and Zannah Dalatu Shettima Kullima as members.

The governor noted that the commission was established to sanitize governance process from all forms of financial indiscipline and ensure adherence to all financial regulations and extant laws for effective management of public resources.

Buhari urges world leaders, global investors to prioritize humane policies

0

Uba Group

BY ROTIMI DUROJAIYE

President Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, attributed growing social unrest to inequalities and unfair policies that exclude majority from opportunities for participation, admonishing world leaders and global investors to prioritize on inclusive and humane policies.

Speaking at the 5th Edition of Future Investment Initiative Summit holding in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, President Buhari said his administration will keep encouraging public and private initiatives that increase investments in health, education, capacity building, youth empowerment, gender equality, poverty eradication, climate change and food security.

According to his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President noted that, “By so doing, it will go a long way in reenergizing the global economy in a post COVID-19 era.”

“Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy and most populous nation. Our economic reforms which focus on “humane” investments are ideal for investors looking to have profitable returns while positively impacting the citizenry.

“Your Excellences, Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, Investing in Humanity is the right thing to do. I strongly believe the historical under investments in “humane projects” is the genesis of most of the insecurity and socio-economic challenges the world is experiencing today,” he said.

On the theme of the summit, “Investing in Humanity”, the President said the Nigerian perspective remains a focus on people oriented development policies, with diversification from oil to more inclusive sectors such as agriculture, ICT and mining; tackling corruption, insecurity and climate change and introducing Social Investment Programmes.

“Investing in humanity is investing in our collective survival. This is why we in Nigeria we believe that public and private partnership should focus on increasing investments in health, education, capacity building, youth empowerment, gender equality, poverty eradication, climate change and food security. By so doing, it will go a long way in reenergizing the global economy in a post COVID-19 era.

“Nigeria’s population today exceeds 200 million people. Some 70 percent are under 35 years old. When we came into government in 2015, we were quick to realise that long-term peace and stability of our country is dependent on having inclusive and humane policies.

“In the past six years, our government took very painful but necessary decisions to invest for a long-term prosperous future knowing very well that this will come with short term pains,” he added.

The President commended the organizers of this year’s summit for the foresight to look at “investment”, not only from a profitability and wealth accumulation point of view, but also bringing prosperity to humanity in general.

The humane approach to investment, he said, is the only way to address the global challenges we face, especially in the Covid-19 era.

“We should continue to sustain our efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic and mitigate its negative socio-economic impact on our societies, build resilience and achieve recovery. It is therefore my hope that this session will leverage on the enormous economic opportunities that lie ahead in order to satisfy the prevailing needs of our people and planet.”

The President noted that investment in humanity must also take into consideration the effects of debt burden on nations, which had been worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We cannot invest in humanity without relieving our countries from the crushing effects of the debt burden especially when the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the risk of deepening the debt portfolio of poor countries.

“These nations increasingly allocate more and more resources towards external debt servicing and repayment at the expense of the health, education and other services that contribute to the overall wellbeing of their population,” he said.

Describing the summit as a credible forum for interaction between the public and private sectors, to explore ways of advancing economic growth, development and global prosperity, the President said Nigeria’s diversification efforts continue to yield results, particularly in agriculture.

“We introduced policies that supported investments in agriculture and food processing. We provided loans and technical support to small holder farmers, through the Anchor Borrowers Programme. As a result, Nigeria today has over 40 rice mills from less than 10 in 2014. Nigeria also has over 46 active fertiliser blending plants from less than 5 in 2014.

“Furthermore, in agriculture, we have reformed the process of obtaining inputs such as fertilizer and seeds. We have several million hectares of available arable land and have embarked on the creation of Special Agriculture Processing Zones across the country. These initiatives we believe will make it easier for investors in agriculture,” he added.

President Buhari told the gathering of world leaders, global investors and asset managers that the oil sector was already undergoing a reform that would make it more attractive and inclusive.

“Two months ago, I signed the Petroleum Industry Act. The Act will serve as a catalyst to liberalize our petroleum sector. It has introduced a number of incentives such as tax holidays, 100 percent ownership, zero interest loans and easy transfer of funds. In addition, we have highly skilled in-country workforce and a large domestic market.

“In mining, we have also made several opportunities available for investors. Nigeria is a country rich in minerals from gold, iron ore, tin, zinc, cobalt, lithium, limestone, phosphate, bitumen and many others. We have made the licensing process easier and also made extensive investments in rail and transportation.

“Infrastructure investments represent significant potential for investors in Nigeria. We have opportunities in seaports, rail, toll roads, real estate, renewable energy and many others. We have created several institutions that are available to co-invest with you in Nigeria.

“We have the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority and more recently, I approved the creation of Infrastructure Corporation of Nigeria. These institutions are run as independent world class institutions to make investments in the country and are available to coinvest with you,” he further explained.

The Nigerian leader urged more interest in infrastructure such as healthcare and education, which “present enormous opportunities for investors in a country our size.”

“Digital Economy in Nigeria has many potentials for investment, as it has remained the fastest growing sector in both 2020 and 2021. Nigeria has many opportunities for investment in broadband, ICT hardware, emerging technology and software engineering.

“We have recently approved the national policy on Fifth Generation (5G) network. Our aim is to attract investors in healthcare, smart cities, smart agriculture among others. The benefit of real time communication will support all other sectors of the economy,” he noted.

To further improve and reposition the economy to attract investors, the President said “e-Naira, the electronic version of our national currency, which puts us on track to become the first African country to introduce a Central Bank Digital Currency” was launched on October 25th, 2021.

“We believe this and many other reforms will help us increase the number of people participating in the banking sector, make for a more efficient financial sector and help us tackle illicit flow of funds.

“To further strengthen our anti-corruption drive, increase accountability and transparency, we have centralized government funds through a Treasury Single Account, and ensuring that all Nigerians with a bank account use a unique Bank Verification Number (BVN). These initiatives, coupled with our nationwide National Identification Number (NIN) exercise, reinforce our efforts to tackle corruption and fraud. We believe that this should give investors a lot of comfort.”

President Buhari also drew attention of world leaders to the devastating effect of climate change on livelihoods of people around the Lake Chad.

He said, “As we strive to build resilience towards a sustainable economy in our various countries, let us not forget the negative impact of climate change on our efforts to achieve this goal. Nigeria and many countries in Africa, are already facing the challenges posed by climate change. Climate change has triggered conflicts, food insecurity, irregular youth migration, rising level of sea waters, drought and desertification, as well as the drying-up of the Lake Chad.

“In the Lake Chad Basin region, where Boko Haram insurgency continues to undermine the peace, security and development of the region, climate change is largely responsible for the drying up of the Lake Chad which has shrunk by more than 85 percent its original size.

“The diminishing size of the Lake is at the root of the loss of millions of livelihoods, displacement of inhabitants and radicalization of teeming youths in the region who are recruited to serve as foot soldiers in the insurgency.

“In order to redress this situation and restore the lost fortunes of the Lake Chad Basin region, strong public-private partnership through massive investments will be needed to recharge the waters of Lake Chad. I am confident that this forum will rise to the challenge in the interest of durable peace and sustainable development of our region.”The President conveyed heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud for the invitation and congratulated His Royal Highness, Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman for leadership and support through the Future Investment Initiative Summit.

“I remain confident that through such exchanges, the world indeed will be a better place. I hope and pray that this forum will rise to the challenge in the interest of durable peace and sustainable development,” he said.

2023: We’ll support those who support us, Nigerian women tell politicians

0

… decorate Yahaya Bello ‘Hero of Women Inclusion’

Uba Group

Nigerian women have sounded a note of warning to politicians in Nigeria, especially those considering governorship or presidential seats, that they will only support those who support them come 2023.

The women, top entrepreneurs, professionals across major sectors, media executives, and ace Nollywood actresses, among others, gathered in their numbers in the Federal Capital Territory on Monday to honour Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State with a distinguished ‘Hero of Women Inclusion Award’ at the grand finale of the Nigerian Women Arise for Nigeria (NIWAFON) awareness campaign.

The women based their support on the fact that the Kogi Governor had surpassed the United Nations’ 35 per cent affirmative action and had appointed women in strategic positions in his government.

The President, National Association of Women Entrepreneurs, Barr. Vera Ndanusa, who led the women entrepreneurs to the awareness programme, particularly noted that Nigerian women were behind the Governor for his unflinching belief in their ability to resolve knotty issues and right the wrongs in Nigeria.

“Thank God for Governor Yahaya Bello that has given positions of power to women and has surpassed the 35 per cent affirmative action. Women must rise up to support him, that is why we have made him our hero. The success story being recorded in Kogi State strengthens the saying that behind a successful man is a woman,” she said.

“Other governors should emulate him and aspire to receive this distinguished award,” the President added.

The 1st Vice-President of NIWAFON, Yeye Ifeyinwa Omowole, said women of substance in Nigeria were ready to sue the Kogi Governor if he refused to declare his intention to run for Presidency.

According to her, Kogi is working because women are manning strategic positions in the state.

She said, “Show me another state where a woman is the ADC of the Governor. This is not enough, the Secretary to the State Government is a woman: the Head of Service is a woman; all the Vice Chairmen of the Local Governments are women, among many other female appointees.

“We women who should know in Nigeria will mobilise support for that one leader that has taken us above the levels of yester years. We will support Governor Yahaya Bello all the way because he knows how to make a nation great.”

The President, National Association of Women Journalists, Ladi Bawa, urged Nigerian women to arise and speak with one voice.

“I am happy that we are recognising one man that has done a lot for women. We as women must rise up and be actively involved in politics, aspire to be governors. Others must know that if we must support them, they must be fair in terms of gender equity,” the NAWOJ President said.

“Today, Yahaya Bello is who we see and we will support him,” she added.

Ace actress, Binta Ayo Mogaji, also led other screen divas to demand for the rights of women in Nigeria and to eulogise the Kogi Governor for his feat in women inclusion and good governance.

Over 50,000 Nigerian Android phone users download eNaira App within 24 hours

0

Uba Group

More than 50,000 Nigerian Android phone users have reportedly downloaded the eNaira application on the Google Play Store, 24 hours after it was launched by President Muhammadu Buhari.

This came as the Central Bank of Nigeria says that transactions on eNaira platform would be free for 90 days.

On the Google Play Store, the application is rated three stars out of the five stars obtainable.

The 8.89mb app has green as its dominant colour, with a mixture of white and black.

According to the Central Bank of Nigeria, the version of the App, which is 1.0.0 may request access to take pictures and videos.

While introducing the App, the CBN said, “eNaira Speed Wallet is a fast and convenient way to conduct financial transactions.

“Your money is guaranteed and secured with the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“Remote, online, or in-person transactions, paying and getting paid are as simple as a scan or a click.

“eNaira Speed Wallet is a fast and convenient way to conduct financial transactions.”

It was observed that the App allows people to make payments using only their verified user name.

FG to end petrol subsidy by June 2022

0

Uba Group

BY KENNETH EZE

Going by the 2022 budgetary provisions, the much talked about petrol subsidy would end June, next year.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, on Monday at a panel session during the 27th National Economic Summit, revealed that the Federal Government made provision for petrol subsidy covering the first six months of next year.

She said, “In our 2022 budget, we only factored in subsidy for the first half of the year; the second half of the year, we are looking at complete deregulation of the sector, saving foreign exchange and potentially earning more from the oil and gas industry.”

Also during the session, the World Bank’s Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, expressed concern that Nigeria would be spending up to N2.9trillion this year on petroleum subsidy, while essential areas of the economy like primary healthcare, basic education and rural roads were left unattended to.

“This year, Nigeria is on track to spend N2.9trillion on PMS subsidy, which is more than it spends on health,” Chaudhuri said.

He used the image of a malnourished individual needing urgent treatment to buttress Nigeria’s case, and maintained that critical decisions needed to be made for the country to realise its potential.

“I think the urgency of doing something now is because the time is going in terms of retaining the hope of young Nigerians in the future and potential of Nigeria.

“The kinds of things that could be done right away – the petrol subsidy; yes, I hear that six months from now, perhaps with the Petroleum Industry Act coming into effect, this will go away.

“But the fact is can Nigeria even afford to wait for those six months? And there is a choice: N3tillion to PMS subsidy which is depriving states of much-needed revenues to invest in basic services.”

The Chairman, Presidential Economic Advisory Council, Prof. Doyin Salami, said he had argued for a long time that subsidy really needed to go.

He said, “With the PIA, essentially, it makes illegal petrol subsidy and yes, there is a period where NNPC and the new regulatory agencies must calibrate themselves, but at the end of this period – and I think it is about six months, which explains why the minister has said for the first half of the year – there is provision.

“My view will be, if we could get it done sooner than that, it will be excellent. It releases money. The key point is simply this: we are now at the tail end of that conversation, except if we choose not to obey the law. My sense is, we will obey the law and subsidy will be gone.”

Allow Igbo secession – Northern Coalition

0

Uba Group

The Coalition of Northern Groups has asked a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to order the National Assembly to hasten the exit of the South-East region from Nigeria.

The group of elders and politicians from the North, led by Nastura Shariff, Balarabe Rufa’I, Abdul-Aziz Sulaiman and Aminu Adam, in a suit prayed that this should be addressed before the conclusion of the ongoing constitution amendment.

According to them, allowing Igbo to secede would end violence and destruction in the South-East.

The Coalition stated that this would prevent a repeat of the civil war of 1967 to 1970, that led to wanton destruction of lives and property.

They added that it would end the agitations by the members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, led by Nnamdi Kanu.

The Attorney General of the Federation, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives and National Asembly were joined as defendants in the suit.

They prayed, among others, for “a declaration that combined effect of the provisions of Section 4 of the Nigerian Constitution and Articles 1, 2, and 20(1) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act 2004, the National Assembly, sued as the fourth defendant “is empowered to set in motion a framework for a referendum to allow the South-Eastern region of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to decide on their bid for self-determination.”

They also urged the court to order the 2nd, 3rd and 4th defendants (the Senate President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the National Assembly), “to provide a framework that will pave way for the self-determination of the South-Eastern states so as to leave the geographical entity called Nigeria before any further step is taken to further amend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria can be further amended at any time after the question of self-determination must have been resolved by Nigerians.”

Meanwhile, lawyers from the South-East, led by Chuks Muoma (SAN) have applied to the court to join them as defendants in the suit.

The lawyers, including Ukpai Ukairo, Ebere Uzoatu and Obi Emuka, asked for order of the court to allow them join in the suit as representatives of the people of the South-East region.

In their application, filed on Monday by Victor Onweremadu, they said the case of the Northern elders seeking the exit of South-East from Nigeria had the capability to shape the life of the generation of Igbo people.

The motion on notice for the joinder request was brought pursuant to order 9 rule 5 and order 26 rule 2 of the Federal High Court civil procedure rule 2019.

The Igbo lawyers said they had interest to protect in the suit, hence, their request to be made defendants.

In the 12-paragraph affidavit in support of their application, the lawyers said that the Coalition of Northern Groups, in the suit did not think it necessary to join the people of South-East or their representatives to enable the court hear from them.