My Thesis on the 1963 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (CFRN) by Da JS AKUNS, 7.7.2024

  1. … From 15.1.1966 when junta administration started, Nigeria has run governance without a written CFRN but junta decrees; a decree is a political process that should not override the rule that brought such decree about. Decree is simply a professional process of the military to manage/handle political power seized from the legitimate mandate holders by a warped use of the gun.
  2. … The said exacting rule is the 1963 CFRN without which there wouldn’t be a polity of a territorial entity from which the junta would have snatched political power by use of gun; hence, junta decrees 1 and 34 of 1966 are the burden/yoke upon republican democracy in Nigeria. It is not by error that no military regime from the second one of 29.7.1966 has tinkered with decrees 1 and 34 of the coup d’etat of 15.1.1966.
  3. … The military armed forces of Nigeria have woefully failed their ethical values of being the professional managers of force and violence; rather, they have converted such ethics into a junta panacea for political power and meddlesomeness in statecraft in civil governance.
  4. … The only written CFRN is that of 1963 that was suspended cum amended by the cited two decrees 1 and 34 of 1966; it’s time for the representatives of We the People in parliament to lift the suspension of 1963 CFRN by repealing the obnoxious decrees aforesaid. Nigeria is operating without a written CFRN from 15.1.1966 except by decrees with the defining ones as those of 1&34 of 1966, 104 of 1979 & 24 of 1999. The junta of 31.12.1983 simply repudiated decree 104 of 1979 & no mention was made of the two obnoxious 1966 decrees!
  5. … The taunted civilian episodes of 1979 and 1999 were based on decrees 104 and 24 respectively; when the junta returned to political power on 31.12.1983, it only repudiated decree 104 of 1979 that handed over power to the civilian administration; leaving intact the junta foundation in governance firmly rooted in decrees 1 and 34 of 1966.
  6. … The case of decree 24 of 1999 is even stupefying; the document called 1999 CFRN is simply an annexure of decree 24, which has no overriding effect on the thrust of decree 24. This one too left intact the obnoxious decrees 1 and 34 of 1966 that thwarted republican democratic governance, thereby guaranteeing an easy return to governance by the junta at any time soon.
  7. … The trigger of the ongoing national discourse is the request of NASS to the public for inputs for further amendment of the document called 1999 CFRN, which we argue does not exist but decree 24 that is not amenable to scheduled amendment. The only lonesome written CFRN that needs to be amended is that of 1963; 1979 and 1999 documents called CFRN are junta decrees 104 and 24 respectively.
  8. … Curiously, the parliamentarians of the civilian hand overs of 1979 and 1999, often embellish junta decrees by converting them to Acts of the parliament including the two obnoxious ones of 1966 that provide a sturdy foundation for a sustainable junta rule and the governance architecture of Nigeria without a written CFRN. Strangely, the cited junta handover to civilian administrations is often referred to as 2nd and 4th republics despite its glaring absence of a constitutional nexus that created the 1st republic by 1963 CFRN.
  9. … Interestingly, the process that birthed the 1963 CFRN was presciently hinged on the We the People mantra that is the altruism that gives life to constitutional governance; a meeting of ethnic nationalities of Nigeria held in Lagos on 25-26 July 1963 to pave the way for the representatives of We the People in the parliament that emerged from 1959 elections to enact the 1963 CFRN with effect from 1st October 1963. Thus, enthroning republican democracy in Nigeria that lasted only 2 years 3 months and 14 days on 14.1.1966
  10. … To restore the 1963 written CFRN and amend it with current realities would require the representatives of We the People in the parliament that emerged from 2023 elections to lift the existing suspension of the junta decrees by repealing the identified four obnoxious decrees. The transition provisions in chapter 11 of the 1963 written CFRN will accommodate realities that have occurred in governance years of 15.1.1966 to date in 2024. So, the renewed federalism in Nigeria will start with existing 36 littoral states, or more, as federating units akin to the USA that has 50 such federating units. Notional geopolitical zones of Nigeria would be retained or increased for reference purposes only; maybe for rotational presidency as elsewhere in the world, such as the Swiss governance framework.
  11. … The spirit and letter of the 1963 written CFRN is all about devolution of political power, resource control, balanced federal structure of federating units and a clause about how to exit from the federation; the activation of the exit clause by any ethnicity will engender a healthy dialogue and conversation in the polity away from the ongoing prevalence of violence-prone chaos in the guise of self-determination by actors.
  12. … Global templates of parsimonious exits abound such as the Glasnost and Perestroika of the USSR, velvet divorce of Czechoslovakia and the European strategy rather than allowing the current state of affairs of an unwritten CFRN to nudge actors to push Nigeria along the path of Yugoslavia.
  13. … The state of governance in Nigeria without a written CFRN exposes the diverse ethnic territories that constitute the polity as virgin lands available to those seeking to establish a homeland vide the praxis of Settler Colonisation as well as conquest by war and by law.
  14. … I consider the republican democratic antecedents of the incumbent governing authorities that emerged from the 2023 elections as those destined by fate to bell the proverbial cat; the overriding question in my mind is simply one that asks, when will that cat be belled? If not in the tenure of the incumbent governing authorities, when?
    My Speaking Engagements
    1) Zoom Clip; MNR on 6th July 2024
    2) YouTube Clip; Njenje Media Group Tv on 6th July 2024
    3) Zoom Clip; Middle Belt Groups on 30th June 2024
    4) Tribune Newspaper; 27th June 2024
    5) Dr Bolaji O. Akinyemi; 23rd June 2024
    6) YouTube Clip; NCEF on 18th May 2024
    7) Dr Bolaji O. Akinyemi; 14th June 2024
    8) Thisday Newspaper; 7th May 2024
    9) The Nation Newspaper;, 7th May 2024, page 5: monarch, expert clash on new constitution
    10) The Sun Newspaper; 6th May 2024
    11) Zoom Clip; ZLRdpdykOtIBtAVpoZRRt6R.pyNhOVoM-NltPTjr; NCEF on 2nd May 2024
    12) Guardian Newspaper; 26th February 2022
    Da Jonathan Sunday Akuns, (Galadima Daffo, Bokkos LGA, Plateau State)
    Email:-; gsm:- 08033348351; X:- @jsakuns