INSECURITY: WHY NIGERIA MUST AVOID VIOLENT DISINTEGRATION - NADECO
By GBENGA OKE
HAS THE National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) woken up from its slumber? This is the question that filled the mouths of many last week when the group called a Press Conference to address the state of the nation.
For some time now, NADECO appeared missing in the political calculations of Nigeria especially after the demise of its leader, Chief Anthony Enahoro.
NADECO was a formidable group during the dark military days of late General Sani Abacha when it mounted a strong opposition against the military until power was returned to civilians in May 1999.
*Ndubuisi Kanu & Ayo Opadokun
The disappearance of NADECO came as a rude shock to many political onlookers who felt the group would have played more prominent roles especially to stabilise the nation's fledgling democracy
We remain committed - Opadokun
However, Chief Ayo Opadokun, one of the leaders defended the group, saying that they remain committed to their original objective of fighting injustice like during the days of military rule in Nigeria.
According to him, the group felt it was high time to rise to the occasion of condemning some inadequacies of the government.
NADECO also used the event to call on President Goodluck Jonathan and his Adminsistration to urgently convene a Sovereign National Conference (SNC) to address the major problems the country was facing to avoid disintegration.
NADECO maintained President Goodluck Jonathan needs to urgently toe the path of salvaging the country from grave danger as the crises facing Nigeria showed that it was mandatory that the people of Nigeria must sit down together and restore the very foundation of the country.
How to avert disintegration - Kanu
Spokesperson of the group, Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu (rtd) warned that if Nigeria failed to quickly restore the true federal foundations upon which the country was established, the country might begin to disintegrate.
His words: 'We warned during the anniversary marking one year remembrance of our leader, Chief Anthony Enahoro that action was needed to avoid violent disintegration of Nigeria but it now seems evident that the actions of Boko Haram and other regional, ethnic/self determination groups may have now set us almost irreversibly on the highway to disintegration, most likely violently.
''NADECO repeat its call for a Sovereign National Conference because the crises we are seeing presently re-affirm that it is mandatory that all the people of Nigeria must sit down and restore the very foundation of the country and thus re-establish the constitutional architecture of Nigeria, allowing every group sufficient space for self and group actualization which will enable us build a nation state out of the diverse ethnic nationalities.'
Kanu continued: 'Some who believe they benefit from the skewed structure and who adamantly refuse to allow the needed dialogue often turn round to accuse SNC proponents of pushing for Nigeria's break up. The truth, however, is that the actions of the opponents of SNC can only lead to Nigeria's break up and responsibility for such outcome would rest squarely upon such opponents of SNC.'
While calling on President Jonathan to embrace the SNC, Kanu explained that the dialogue was inevitable as SNC remained the only way to resolve fundamental issues affecting the continued co_existence of Nigeria..
The group stated that plans had been concluded to convene the SNC within the first half of 2012, noting that it would intensify its position and that of other ethnic nationalities.
'The process to convoke the SNC is on now and in coming days, NADECO will be inviting various Ethnic Nationalities to a colloquium where issues and processes will be outlined and reviewed because we believe that the issues at stake transcends amendments or empanelment of Presidential Committee to collate past reports and ratify them,' Kanu said.
Opposes undemocratic regime change
NADECO however stated that no group should take advantage of the crises and insecurity in Nigeria to take over governance.
'We warn the power hungry adventurers of whatever class not to contemplate to, talkless of, to capitalise on the crisis to take over government because any such adventure will come to naught and to the grief of such perpetrators.
Such adventure will turn mis_adventure and would hasten and cement the undesired and otherwise avoidable violent disintegration of the country,' it warned, 'let it be known from all observable signals and assessments that what is being witnessed now will be a child's play if we do not quickly confer. We wish not, we pray not but it will obviously be so if we confer not.'
Whether or not the Federal Government will convene the SNC remains very sketchy as this is not the first time groups and eminent Nigerians will be calling on the government to organize such conferences.
It is to be seen what the government would now in view of pressing and deteriorating challenges.