The pastor and serving overseer of the Citadel Global Community Church, Tunde Bakare has said that there will be fresh hands and new people to change things in Nigeria as he announced the coming of a group known as Nigeria for Nigeria Movement (N4NM).
Bakare disclosed this in his state of the nation broadcast titled ‘The black box of Nigeria’s politics’ beamed yesterday from his church auditorium in Ojota, Lagos.
He said the N4NM it would serve as the voice advocating for doing things right in the country.
He said certain things needed to be put in place before the 2023 general elections and wondered why the conduct of election should generate much tension in Nigeria when it is done with ease in other climes.
“We need to put our house in order before putting our hat to the ring.
He said the movement will be involved in open campaign and sensitisation programmes stressing that it will not work alone but with other groups.
He noted that the “patching” of the constitution can never bring the desired change for according to him the 1999 constitution had deviated from the ancient landmark set by Nigeria’s founding fathers.
“Fellow Nigerians, throughout our history, from the fight for local representation in the colonial administration to the fight for the independence of Nigeria, every time there was progress on the path to nation-building, it was because the people realized that the power of the people is greater than the people in power.
“As nation builders, this realization of the power of the citizen was what informed our confrontational stance against the military dictatorship.
“It was what informed every intervention in governance that we have either pioneered or supported since the return to civil rule. It was what birthed the Save Nigeria Group, SNG, amidst the turbulence of a power hijack over 11 years ago.
“It is what is about to awaken a new wave of intelligent engagement in the polity as we reclaim Nigeria for Nigerians and as we go to the nations to rally Nigerians for Nigeria,” said Bakare who is nursing a presidential ambition in 2023.
On the dysfunctional 1999 federal constitution, Bakare said: “The Constitution (as amended) was imposed upon the nation by the military and has completely removed the ancient landmark set by our founding fathers in the 1960 Independence Constitution and the subsequent 1963 Republican Constitution respectively. This is where the rain started beating us afresh as a nation.
“For every contractual agreement, the parties are required to sign a document validating the terms and conditions in the reckoning of the Law.
“In the case of Nigeria, our founding fathers, in effect, signed a contract in 1960 detailing the terms and conditions of our union or unity following a series of negotiations. This contract was then updated in 1963 following due consultations.
“While the 1999 Constitution (as amended) opens with the preamble “We the people,” We, the People of Nigeria, were neither duly consulted, nor did we accept the conditions under which we are now being governed.
“How, then, can anyone hypocritically insist that our unity is non-negotiable? Did we not negotiate it in 1960 and 1963?
“Truth be told, the majority of the champions, promoters and supporters of the “our unity is non-negotiable” slogan pay lip service to a version of unity that serves their selfish interests. What they are insisting on, in reality, is that “our disunity is non-negotiable,” and that we must be forced to live together irrespective of the inherent dysfunctionality of the terms and conditions.
“The continued insistence on altering the set rules amid our spirited game of national development, and the subsequent imposition of a draconian and lopsided concoction of a constitution in 1999, is the most inhibiting, corrosive spanner thrown into the wheel of our national unity and faith, peace and progress, from that time until now.
“I am fully persuaded, as are many fellow compatriots within and outside the shores of Nigeria, that the 1999 Constitution, whether as amended, or to be further amended by the National Assembly, is nothing more than a glorified death certificate,” he said.
Going back to history, Bakare said the Berlin walls separated Eastern Germany from Western Germany until late US president, Ronald Reagan “in his indomitable manner spoke lucidly on live television to the president of the then Soviet Union.”
“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” Mr. Gorbachev eventually did, and Germany is better off for it today.
“In the same spirit, I say to President Muhammadu Buhari: Mr. President, stop passing the buck to the National Assembly. Tear down this inhibiting concoction of a constitution; tear it down so we can build a truly great nation.
“This is one enduring legacy your administration can still secure before your time in power draws to a close. If you do, present and unborn generations of Nigerians will remember you for it and write your name in gold when the history of this period is written.
“If you don’t, history will record that you failed to rise to the occasion and squandered a great opportunity.
“What we need is a geopolitical structure that will provide an enabling environment for every zone in our nation to maximize its geo-economic opportunities and potentials under a strong and united Nigeria.
“This can be achieved by a pragmatic approach to restructuring Nigeria, rather than by mere zoning of the presidency,” he added.
On the clamour for rotational presidency he wondered in what way rotational presidency had benefited the zone that produced the president.
He said what is important is to look for competent hands to run the affairs of the country.
However, he added that if rotational presidency formula was adopted to make the country peaceful so be it.
He maintained that the restructuring of the country must take place before the 2023 general elections
“Please note that those clamouring and waiting for genuine change to happen through the upcoming 2023 presidential election, without first insisting that our imposed sham of a constitution must be torn and discarded, are merely putting the cart before the horse.
“This is nothing but a prescription for retrogression. No tangible progress can ever be made by such an exercise in futility.
“It would be tantamount to building a superstructure on a faulty or shaky foundation.”