The Kano State Civil Society Forum, a platform which brings together all Civil Society and Non-Governmental Organizations in Kano to address matters of common concern to the wellbeing of Kano People in particular, and Nigeria at large held a roundtable on Sunday 25th March 2012 at the Premises of the Africa Research and Development Agency (ARADA), Tawakkali House, Tarauni by Maiduguri Road, Kano to discuss the nagging call for a sovereign National conference (SNC).
The roundtable was attended by more than fifty (50) Civil Society Organizations, Community based Organizations and interest groups, including representation from Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Bayero University Branch, the Kano Branch of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), the Kano State Council of Ulama, Student Union Representatives, Women Groups and Community Leaders. The discussion was led by Dr. Sule Bello, Executive Director ARADA and Head of History Dept. ABU Zaria, under the chairmanship of Dr. Sa’id Ahmed Dukawa of the Kano State Council of Ulama.
After extensive deliberations and discussions, it was observed that:-
b. The agitation is ethnocentric in outlook, content and ideology.
c. That the current agitation is being instigated and spearheaded by fringe movements, neither anchored in mainstream National Politics, or popular movements to enable them achieve their set goals and objectives, and therefore tended to thrive more on foreign funding and pursuit of goals often associated with varied, but known interests of their sponsors.
d. That the “ideology of tribalism”, which is central to their agitation is Protofacist, which denies and indeed defies Nation building towards democratization, Constitutionalism and basic citizens Rights.
DOES THE SNC SEEK TO ADDRESS GENUINE NATIONAL PROBLEMS?
A cursory look at the views and utterances of protagonists of the current SNC Campaign indicate, it is not only ethnocentric, but does not even make any attempt or pretense to addressing genuine and pressing multiplicity of National problems, of Underdevelopment, Economic dependence, Corruption, violent conflicts, Poverty etc and coming up with workable solution. They choose, on the contrary, to root their arguments on “re-structuring” the country on a view point of a fictional, non-existent ethnocentric structure. They equally fail to appreciate the economically dependant structure of mono-culturism of our democratic structure, and therefore end to inciting ethnic separatism and balkanization of the country and nowhere has balkanization succeeded as a development strategy.
Finally, their call lack any clear, legitimate and functional methodology of convocating the conference. Who, for instance will be the convener, How and what is the legal basis of its so called “Sovereignty”?
1. Forum calls on the general public, organizations and institutions to address the issues and make public their positions, for this is the only way to defeat harmful retrogressive ideas which promote hate mongering, ethnicity and inter-group animosities, in favour of peaceful and harmonious co-existence, good neighbourliness and respect for human and constitutional rights.
2. The Federal Government of Nigeria must investigate and uncover the various Agencies and Institutions, over heating the agitation of the Convocation of the SNC, to ensure they are not instigated by divisive foreign elements through their Nigerian collaborators.
3. Allow for interested parties or aggrieved interests freely make submission for consideration to any National institution constituted to look into the matter.
4. Ensure justice to all, whether they be for Separation or continuous integration of the Nigerian Nation.
The issues associated with the campaign for SNC have many dimensions and potential repercussions. They are matters deserving formal, Constitutional and popular approach to address them justly, legally and effectively.
They can therefore not be left in the hands of an exclusive and self appointed group of rubble rousing Campaigners. The matter needs to be fully and formally addressed in conformity with existing legal structures and popular aspirations of the Nigerian People.
MALLAM BALA ABDULLAHI
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