DRAFT OF THE OODUA REGION YORUBA CONSTITUTION
When different Nationalities and Ethnic Groups live in the same country, it is imperative that they each let the others know what their special interests are, in order to make living with each other worthwhile. If all of them are to live in peace, they must each know what is of paramount concern to each and every Nationality. Given the fact that the Yoruba Nation also extend beyond Nigeria, she has the obligation to preserve her cultural heritage and way of life within Nigeria and elsewhere where she has a sizeable community.
In a situation where the Yoruba Nation share a common country with some other Nationalities either with feudal tendencies or conformity by coercion, this can be stifling to the fullest development of the Yoruba. It is therefore in the interest of the Yoruba Nation to have as much Autonomy in their Region as a Truly Federal arrangement would demand. This means that more power will be with the Nationality, where, with a True Federal set-up, planning and execution of social, economic and other services that meets the aspiration of Yoruba Nationhood will be possible.
As we all now know, there is a serious question mark on Nigeria as a Federal State. This has led to current agitations and permutations as to correcting this fundamental defect.
In considering current developments, certain areas that need to be thoroughly examined have been identified. Specifically, a Truly Federal Nigeria in which the Constituent Nationalities will posses a reasonable degree of Autonomy will require clear understanding of the impact of the following on the Nigerian Union:
(1) The development of social and economic relationship between the various Nationalities within Nigeria and their Diaspora; for the Yoruba Nation, that will be Brazil, Cuba, the U.S, the West Indies and South America without the overriding legislative power of the Nigerian Union.
(2) The ability of the Nations to pursue micro and macro Economic policies
(3) Regional Command of the Armed Forces, taking cognizance of the fact that a country’s defense is linked to its foreign policy and vice versa.
ENDORSEMENT OF CONSTITUTIONS:
(1) Endorsement of Regional or Nationality Constitutions through Referendums within the various Regions or Nationalities only.
(2) Endorsement of the Negotiated Federal Constitution through a country-wide Referendum.
DRAFT OF THE OODUA REGION YORUBA CONSTITUTION
In order to secure the dual ends of good government for, as well as peaceable living among ourselves and between us and other Nationalities in Nigeria, we, the OODUA Yoruba people do commission and give consent to the following as the Constitution of the Yoruba Nation:
THE OODUA NATION
1. YORUBALAND, existing as an AUTONOMOUS Nation in a UNION OF NIGERIAN CONSTITUENT NATIONALITIES, shall be known and styled as “ODUDUWA REGION”.
2. The Central government of the Union shall have no power to interfere nor intervene in the affairs of the ODUDUWA REGION, save as shall be agreed to by three quarters of the members of the Region’s Parliament.
3. The land description of the Oodua Yoruba Nation corresponds to the present states of Ekiti, Eko, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo and all Oodua lands in Kwara, Kogi, Edo and Delta States.
4. There shall be a Division of the Federal Armed Forces in the Region, 90% of which personnel shall be
indigenes of the Region. The Divisional commander shall be an indigene of Oduduwa Region.
1. Oduduwa Region shall be a Federation consisting of a Regional government, provinces (Ipinle) and
Localities (Ibile). The Region as well as each Province and Local Council shall have a capital city which shall be the seat of Government.
2. ODUDUWA Region shall adopt a parliamentary system of government.
3. All legislative powers shall be vested in PARLIAMENT of the Region, without prejudice to the rights of provinces and local Councils to enact laws and ordinances, relating to their provinces and local councils.
4. Any elected Member of Parliament, Provincial and Local Assembly who wishes to join another party must first resign his/her parliamentary seat and re-contest election if he/she so wishes on the platform of his/her new party.
THE REGIONAL GOVERNMENT
1. The Parliament shall be composed of members elected every 4 years by the people of the region.
2. Such persons shall be elected on the platform of the political party they represent or as independent
candidates. There shall be no restriction on the number of political parties.
3. The Proceedings of Parliament shall be directed by the Speaker who shall be elected from among the members.
4. Elections into Parliament shall be held on June 12 of the election year, while the swearing in of elected representatives shall be the 8th day of August and annual opening session of Parliament shall be 23rd day of September (to commemorate the peace treaty that ended Kiriji war on September 23, 1886) of the same year.
5. The members of Parliament shall be remunerated for their services, as shall be determined by law.
6. Parliament shall enact all laws for raising revenue. No money shall be drawn from the treasury
except through an Appropriation Act.
7. Parliament shall have the power to make laws governing taxes, duties, excise, payment of debt, etc
It shall have the power to make laws governing the sourcing of funds on behalf of the Region and to
regulate commerce with the co-prosperity spheres within the Union of Nigeria.
8. Taxes are to be collected at Regional, Provincial and Local levels for promotion of the general welfare
of the people.
9. Parliament shall have the power to make provisions for the general welfare security and prosperity of the Region. It shall set the standards for economic, educational, social and cultural advancement of Oodua people.
10. Parliament shall have the power to establish Regional Police Service with responsibility to
investigate Regional crimes. This Police Service shall have no superintending control over the Provincial and Council Police service, but shall coordinate activities at the Regional, Provincial and Local council levels.
11. There shall be a Regional Prosecutors’ office responsible for the prosecution of cases as investigated by the Regional police. The Regional Prosecutor shall be elected by popular vote and shall
not be a registered member of any political party.
12. Recognizing that the Oduduwa Nation is multi-religious society, the citizens shall have the
right to freedom of worship.
13. Parliament shall make no retroactive law. Nor shall it abridge the freedom of speech or the right of
peaceful assembly. It shall not abridge the right of citizens to petition government for redress. The
privilege of the writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended. Parliament shall not make any law abridging the fundamental rights, freedoms and liberty of the citizens. All Oodua persons resident in any of the provinces of the Region shall be entitled to the same privileges and immunities.
14. The powers not delegated to the Parliament or the Provincial/Local Assemblies by this Constitution are reserved in the people, which may be invoked by a simple majority of voters through a Referendum in the Region, Province or Locality as the case may be.
EXECUTIVE OF THE REGIONAL GOVERNMENT
1. A Head of State/Aare shall be elected for a period of 5 years of not more than 2 terms. The Aare shall not belong to any political party, and must not be less than 60 years. The Aare must be a person whose parents belong to a community indigenous to Oodua Nation. The Aare shall declare open the parliamentary Session, represent the Region on ceremonial matters, announce the dissolution of Parliament and all such matters.
2. The Aare shall be elected from an electoral college composed of selected leaders from the provinces. The provincial representative could be traditional rulers or statesmen and women.
3. Executive power at the Regional level shall reside in the Premier-in-Council (PM) elected for a period of 4 years. The leader of the majority party in parliament shall be PM and shall be vested with the
power to appoint Cabinet Ministers. The PM must be a person whose parents belong to a community indigenous to Oodua Nation.
4. The Parliament shall stand dissolved at the expiration of its 4-year term. In the event of a motion of no confidence passed on the government by not less than three-quarters of members of Parliament, the PM and the government shall resign forthwith. Thereafter, the Aare shall call on the leader of the
party which appears able to form a government that will enjoy majority support in Parliament to fulfil
the term of the current Parliament or new election held within 30 days of dissolution of Parliament.
5. The Council of Chiefs and Obas. There shall be a Regional House of Chiefs and a Traditional Council of Obas and Chiefs at the Provincial and Local Council levels.
1. The Judicial power of the Region shall be vested in the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, High Court,
Customary Court and Other lower courts as the Parliament may establish.
2. There shall be a Court of Appeal in each of the provinces.
3. There shall be, in each province, a High Court from which appeals shall lie to the Court of Appeal and
4. There shall be a CONSTITUTIONAL COURT of not more than 7 persons. Members of this court shall not be less than 60 years old. The court shall determines cases of serious Constitutional issues among Local, Province and Regional Governments, and between individuals and government. Members shall be nominated by the Body of Benchers in each provinces; subject to ratification by Parliament. Membership of this court is for life, subject to soundness of body and mind.
5. FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS:
All Oodua persons shall be protected by the various international treaties passed in the Bill of Rights of the UN and various regional Bills of Rights such as the African Human and People’s Rights.
LAND AND MINERAL RESOURCES
1. Oodua Customary forms of land ownership shall be respected. Exploitation of mineral resources shall be the prerogative of the host community without prejudice to the right of the Local, Provincial and
Regional Governments to levy appropriate taxes for the welfare of the people of Oodua land and without prejudice to the right of the Federal Government to levy taxes.
THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT
1. There shall be established a PROVICIAL ASSEMBLY in each of the provinces of the Region.
2. Provisions of ARTICLES ONE and TWO in this Constitution as applied to the Parliament of the
Region, shall apply to the PROVINCIAL ASSEMBLY except that the tenure of the Assembly shall be 3 years.
3. The Executive Power of the Province shall reside in the PROVINCIAL GOVERNOR-IN-COUNCIL, who must be an elected member of the Assembly and vested with the power to appoint members of the Provincial Government. The size of the provincial cabinet shall be determined
by consideration for the financial resources of the province.
4. The Assembly shall make provision for the establishment of a Provincial Police Service, which shall be empowered to maintain law and order in the Province and investigate crimes within its jurisdiction. The Provincial Police shall be responsible to the Provincial Governor.
5. There shall be a Provincial Prosecutor’s Office responsible for the prosecution of cases as investigated by the Provincial Police. The Provincial Prosecuting Officer shall be elected by popular vote, and shall not be a registered member of any political party.
THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT
1. There shall be established a LOCAL ASSEMBLY in each of the Local Councils of the Region.
2. Provision of ARTICLE ONE and TWO in this Constitution as applied to the Parliament of the
Region, shall apply to the LOCAL ASSEMBLY except that the tenure of the Assembly shall be 3 years.
3. The Executive Power of the Local Council shall reside in the LOCAL ASSEMBLY CHAIRMAN-IN-COUNCIL, who must be an elected member of the Assembly and vested with the power to appoint members of the local government. The size of the Local Government cabinet shall be determined by consideration of the financial resources of the local council. The electorate shall have a say in the remuneration of elected members of the Councils.
4. The Assembly shall make provision for the establishment of a Local Council Police Service, which
shall be empowered to maintain law and order in the Local Council, investigate crimes within its jurisdiction. The Council Police Service shall be responsible to the Local Assembly. There shall be Council Prosecutor’s Office responsible for the prosecution of cases as investigated by the Local Police Service. The Council Prosecutor shall be elected by popular vote in the Local Council and shall not be a registered member of any political party.
THE OODUA PERSON
1. All persons either of whose parents or grandparents belong or belonged to a community indigenous
to Oodua land. All persons in the Diaspora, of African decent who claim Oduduwa/Yoruba ancestry, either through cultural affiliation or genealogical connection.