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Petition To Christian Association Of Nigeria:call On Christian Association Of Nigeria To Champion Referendum For Self-determination.

By Egbe Omo Oduduwa

Christians for Yoruba Nation (CYN) was founded as a platform for concerned Christians in general and Yoruba Christians in particular, to intervene in the attempts at redefining the concept of Nigeria and the place of Yorubaland and her people in it.

CYN is not advocating a “Christian” Yoruba Nation, for we recognize that the Yoruba Nation is a multi-religious society hence all her citizens and residents shall have the freedom of worship, more-so when the Yoruba Society has a tradition and Global reputation of religious tolerance within itself. This religious tolerance is a major aspect of Yoruba National culture and as an example of societal harmony where members of the same family practice different faiths without disruptions in family relationships.

LETTER TO CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (CAN)

1. As Nigeria lumbers through, and wobbles in the throes of her numerous crises, several suggestions as to the resolution came forth. These range from the President’s promise to reduce the cost of governance to those asking for the scrapping of either the Senate or the House of Representatives in favor of a Unicameral Legislature while others seek revisiting the Constitution of Nigeria, for a fundamental reconstruction to enable the Federating Units of Nigeria function in their proper role.

2. Preceding these new suggestions were the various “National” Conferences and Summits, the IMF debates, Political Bureau, Niki Tobi's Constitutional review, Abubakar's consultations, Obasanjo’s “Technical Review Committee”, Yar Adua’s Constitutional Review, Jonathan’s “Confab”, APC’s Committee on Restructuring with each legitimizing doubtful socio-political legacies.

3. Yet, it is obvious that Nigeria cannot continue in these endless journeys to nowhere; the discourse and current prescriptions, taken all the above into consideration, must therefore be placed within the context of addressing the question of Federalism in Nigeria, by which the Peoples of the Nationalities push for and assert their right to Self-determination via re-establishing the Peoples in their cultural and existential self-conception(s)and expressions.

4. A peaceful and practical way towards reestablishing Nigeria as a Federation, that is, a Union between two or more entities, is for each of the Nationalities in Nigeria to organize and hold a Referendum within the Nationality/Constituent Unit as the first step, from which a Federal Constitution for a Federal Republic will emerge.

5. Christian Association of Nigeria has a major role to play in this, as the organization can initiate a dialogue with their Muslim counterparts with the aim of utilizing their combined influence to ensure the passage of the Bill for a Referendum among the various Peoples of Nigeria.

6. This Bill is to be submitted to the various Houses of Assembly in the South-West, South-East, South-South, North Central, North-East and North-West zones, where each Zone must fashion out the content of its own Bill for A Referendum based on the reality of different expectations and expressions between and within the different Zones.

7. Towards this end, and for Yorubaland/South-West, Christians for Yoruba Nation (CYN) was founded as a platform for concerned Christians in general and Yoruba Christians in particular, to intervene in the attempts at redefining the concept of Nigeria and the place of Yorubaland and her people in it.

8. In pursuing this, CYN is not advocating a “Christian” Yoruba Nation, for we recognize that the Yoruba Nation is a multi-religious society hence all her citizens and residents shall have the freedom of worship, more-so when the Yoruba Society has a tradition and Global reputation of religious tolerance within itself. This religious tolerance is a major aspect of Yoruba National culture and as an example of societal harmony where members of the same family practice different faiths without disruptions in family relationships.

9. CYN is following on the footsteps of early Yoruba Christians, like Mojoola Agbebi, James Johnson, Samuel Johnson, Ladejo Stone et al, whose pioneering efforts against colonial invasion of Yorubaland and by extension, what later became Nigeria, led to the realization of cultural nationalism as a condition for Independence.

10. For Yorubaland/South-West, the Egbe Omo Oduduwa already published a Draft Bill for a Referendum Law,(sample below) to be submitted to the Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo and Ekiti Houses of Assembly, through their Speakers, for appropriate action with copies to the Governors in these States as well as the Yoruba Obas, representing the Yoruba People in Kwara and Kogi States.

11.CYN endorsed and still endorses this Bill for A Referendum Law and we are asking CAN to throw its weight to its passage in the South-West, just as we would expect them to do in the other Zones.

12.This Bill of a Referendum Law is anchored on the following Annexure:

· A Federal Nigeria, through a Federal Constitution, to be known as The Union of Nigerian Constituent Nationalities, with a Federal Presidential Council, whose members will be selected or elected from each of the Nationalities as Federating Units and from whom a Head of State will be selected or elected as the primus-inter-pares with an agreed term.

· Western/Oduduwa Region shall be a Constituent Unit of the Nigerian Union.

· Western/Oduduwa Region shall adopt a Parliamentary System of government.

· 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.

· 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.

· The Judicial power of the Region shall be vested in the Supreme Court of the Region, Court of Appeal, High Court, Customary Court and Other lower courts as the Parliament may establish.

· There shall be a Court of Appeal in each of the provinces. There shall be, in each province, a High Court from which appeals shall lie to the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of the Region.

· Western/Oduduwa Region shall have its own internal security system.

· Each Constituent Unit of the Nigerian Federation shall control primary interest in its own resources with an agreed Tax Model for the Federation.

Pastor Femi Afolayan, Convener, Christians for Yoruba Nation.

DRAFT BILL FOR A REFERENDUM LAW
A Law of Ekiti State House of Assembly, Ogun State House of Assembly, Osun State House of Assembly, Oyo State House of Assembly, Ondo State House of Assembly and Lagos State House of Assembly for the holding of a Referendum on the proposal to Federate Ekiti State with Ogun State, Osun State, Oyo State, Ondo State and Lagos State and constitute same into Oduduwa Region of Western Nigeria, within the Federation of Nigeria.

A: REFERENDUM ON FEDERATION OF EKITI STATE WITH OGUN STATE, OSUN STATE, OYO STATE, ONDO STATE AND LAGOS STATE AND CONSTITUTION OF SAME INTO ODUDUWA REGION IN A FEDERATION OF NIGERIA.

1. On this ——— day of —————, 2020, A Referendum shall be held in Ekiti State, Ogun State, Osun State, Oyo State, Ondo State and Lagos State of Nigeria on:

(i) Whether the Governments of Ekiti, Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Ondo and Lagos States should negotiate with each other with a view to forming a FEDERATION of STATES to be known as the ODUDUWA REGION OF WESTERN NIGERIA and (ii) whether the said REGION should negotiate with the Government of Nigeria and the remaining 30 states or any group of states that have also agreed to Federate and the administration of the Federal Capital Territory to achieve AUTONOMY/SELF-DETERMINATION for the said REGION within a Federation of Nigerian Constituent Units. (ANNEXURE)

2. The questions or propositions to be voted on in the Referendum and form of the ballot paper to be used for that purpose are to be in the form set out in the schedule herein contained.

3. Those entitled to vote in the Referendum are the persons who, on the date of the Referendum, would be entitled to vote as electors at a local government election in the electoral area/ward of the State in which they reside and/or carry out business.

4. The Governor of Each State shall appoint a Chief Electoral Officer who shall appoint an electoral officer for each Local Government Area.

5. Each Local Government Electoral Officer shall (a) Conduct the counting of votes cast in the area under his/her authority in accordance with any directions given by the Chief Electoral Officer and (b) Certify the number of ballot papers counted by him/her and the number of votes cast for each question/proposition.

6. The Chief Electoral Officer must certify:
(a) The total number of ballot papers counted for the whole of Each State and (b) the total number of votes cast for each proposition/question for the whole of the State.

7. The result of the Referendum shall constitute the entire position of the people of Ogun State, Oyo State, Osun State, Ekiti State, Ondo State and Lagos State (WESTERN/ODUDUWA REGION OF NIGERIA).

8. In the event of a YES vote on the Referendum, the Governors of each State shall appoint members into a Constitutional Council of Western/Oduduwa Region.

9. The Constitutional Council of Western/Oduduwa Region shall include not more than twelve (12) other members chosen at random throughout the Region and four (4) members from Kwara and Kogi States.

10.The Constitutional Council of Western/Oduduwa Region shall be vested with powers to present and represent the views of Western/Oduduwa Region and negotiate on behalf of the Western/Oduduwa Region with all the agencies of the Nigerian Government and non-Governmental organizations involved in the process.

B: The short title of this Law is “Referendum Law of Ekiti State, Ondo State, Osun State, Oyo State, Ogun State and Lagos State”.

SCHEDULE
FORM OF BALLOT PAPER: Ekiti State House of Assembly, Ondo State House of Assembly, Osun State House of Assembly, Oyo State House of Assembly, Ogun State House of Assembly and Lagos State House of Assembly, have decided to consult the People of Each State On this ——— day of —————, 2020, on the proposal to Federate the Government of Ogun State, the Government of Osun State, the Government of Oyo State, the Government of Ekiti State, the Government of Ondo State and the Government of Lagos State with a view to constituting a REGION of Western Nigeria within a Federation of Nigeria.

THUMBPRINT in the box containing: (YES)
1. I AGREE that the Governments of Ekiti State, Ondo State, Oyo State, Osun State, Ogun State and Lagos State should negotiate with each other with a view to forming a FEDERATION of STATES to be known as the ODUDUWA REGION OF WESTERN NIGERIA which shall negotiate with the Yoruba persons in Kwara and Kogi States, whether they want to be part of the ODUDUWA REGION or not; shall further negotiate with the Government of Nigeria and the remaining 30 states and the administration of the Federal Capital Territory to achieve AUTONOMY/SELF-DETERMINATION for the said REGION within a Federation of Nigeria.

OR
(NO)
2. I DO NOT AGREE that the Governments of Ekiti State, Ondo State, Oyo State, Osun State, Ogun State and Lagos State should negotiate with each other with a view to forming a FEDERATION of STATES to be known as the ODUDUWA REGION OF WESTERN NIGERIA which shall negotiate with the Yoruba in Kwara and Kogi States as to whether they want to be part of the ODUDUWA REGION or not, and further negotiate with the Government of Nigeria and the remaining 30 states and the administration of the Federal Capital Territory to achieve AUTONOMY/SELF-DETERMINATION for the said REGION within a Federation of Nigeria.