National Democratic Coalition, Nigerian pro-democracy group that fought against military rule in the country has regrouped and it has set its sight against what it described as the return of Nigeria to an era of military dictatorship.
Members of the group met in Lagos over the weekend with a call for the return of the 1963 Constitution, restructuring and true federalism top on its agenda.
It categorically stated that “Nigeria is back to dictatorship.”
In a statement released after the meeting, the group said, “it is time once again to rise and defend democracy in our dear country. We are very troubled by recent national developments and are forced to issue this warning to all our compatriots that democracy is once again under threat in our nation!”
While condemning military operations against the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) in the south-east and the planned attempt to repeat it in the other two zones in Southern Nigeria, the group called for the entrenchment of true federalism in the country.
“In Abia State, the soldiers invaded communities, tortured civilian population, over-awed the constitutionally elected governor and civil institutions of the state, and declared the IPOB a terrorist organisation, in defiance of the judgment of the Federal High Court.
“The Army High Command has announced further that the ‘Operation Python Dance’ will be a regular event and that another similar activity named ‘Operation Crocodile Smile’ will be carried out in the south-south and south-west.
“The actions of the military, we restate, are inconsistent with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and may be the beginning, if not checked, of the unwitting or witting subversion of democracy in Nigeria.”
NADECO also said Nigerian politicians were deliberately misinforming the people with the aim of confusing “the Nigerian public and particularly our young people about the clear and unambiguous meaning of Federalism which universally represents a system of government whereby there is a distribution of power particularly between a central government and the constituent units wherever it is practised as opposed to centrist/unitary government.”