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A former Governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu, yesterday asserted that with the intractable agitation for secession in Nigeria, some aspects of the 1999 Constitution were fast becoming a dangerous ground for activities that could plunge the nation into crisis and destroy the unity of the country.
According to him, it was now obvious that Nigeria was facing internal conflict and for the country to be brought back from the precipice, the laws about dual citizenship and the place of traditional institutions in governance must change to reflect clarity.
Speaking at the International Peace, Unity, and Nation-building Conference organized by StandTall Africa Initiative in Abuja, Babangida Aliyu explained that some of the challenges confronting Nigeria had been foretold, but that the warnings were ignored, hence the current inflicting point the country had reached.
He said ‘We must change some of our laws, especially the aspects that deal with dual citizenship, and the place of traditional rulers in governance.
‘Today, everything is collapsing. Those who cause a lot of trouble like the leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu; the Yoruba freedom fighter, Sunday Igboho; and Omoyele Sowore all have foreign passports. For Kanu, British; for Igboho, German; and for Sowore, American.
‘We need to appreciate what is giving them the confidence to create problems for this country. It is because they have come to believe they are no longer purely Nigerians.
‘I have looked at the situation and said, ‘Oh, could they have been encouraged by the fact that they will have support somewhere?’ Americans and Europeans value life so much that the moment you are their citizen, they will protect you. When Kanu was brought back to Nigeria, the UK High Commissioner in the country made some noise.
‘However, Kanu and Igboho are also Nigerians who think secession is the solution to their problems. But they cause trouble along the line and run away leaving behind those without equal opportunity to escape to face the consequences of their actions.
‘So, I am saying that we must have a law in place that says public figures and those seeking elective offices must renounce their dual citizenships’.
The Ex-governor also lamented that despite the impeccable intelligence-gathering systems of traditional leaders, especially at the grassroots, they have been obliterated from governance and law enforcement.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK