Sovereign and Sovereignty Question in Nigeria

It was noted that the lack of understanding of the concept, principle and philosophy of sovereign and sovereignty was a principal factor why most Nigerians have refused to show a serious concern and a willingness to give support to the various groups championing the cause of the Sovereign Conference/Restructuring. It was on the basis of this awareness that led me to suggest that each literate Nigerian should devote some quality time to library work to unravel the mystery of this important political concept.

On my part, I made some attempt in this direction and discovered that although sovereign and sovereignty are political concepts but their true meaning can only be experienced spiritually. They are among those philosophical concepts that derive their powers from a personal intuitive consciousness of their social values. And I came to a firm realisation that true understanding of the power of the concepts can only come through an inspired revelation.

Knowing and understanding the meaning of sovereign and sovereignty are among the intellectual and spiritual experiences that come to a person as rewards when one has devoted ample time to the search for the true meaning of life and existence. The spiritual awakening that accompanied one’s understanding of the true meaning of these concepts is the happiest reward every sincere seeker of the truth of life and existence is expected to receive.

Religious Beliefs as Obstacle

Unfortunately, religion is not very helpful in this direction. Some religious doctrines and dogmas are so loaded and inscrutable that they end up standing in the way of our understanding of the concepts of equality, freedom, justice and sovereignty.

For example, the dogma of beliefs built around the dictums, “a god-fearing person”, “a slave of god”, and “given one’s life to god”, are innocuous concepts. But they have a far-reaching impact on the psyche of believers than most people can ever imagine.

God-fearing cannot be a virtue as curators of religion try to impress on the believers. God-fearing is a symptom of spiritual decadence. Fear is a symptom of wrong doing, of a state of anxiety and of a psychological imbalance and impairment. It is far better to be a God-loving person when we understand the attributes of God as that of love and mercy.

In a loving relationship, fear has no place at all. The relationship between God and man is that of love; it is not of fear. For example, when there is fear between father/mother and their children in a household, the relationship has tended towards child-abuse.

Similarly, a slave will forever remain a slave unless he/she fights for freedom and rescues oneself from the chains of slavery. Once a person accepted and imbibed the concept of being a slave of God then the representatives of God on earth have a deceptive right by proxy to usurp the first owner, who is God, and turn a slave of god into their personal slave.

Of course, they would claim that the right of a slave owner is held on behalf of God and in the interest of the slave. It is much more advisable and dignifying to see oneself as a son or daughter of God if anyone desires to show humility towards the creator of life.

In the same sense, the idea of asking anyone to give one’s life to God before a person can receive salvation from mistakes, human errors and wrongdoings that are due to ignorance of the true meaning of life also carries immense implication for exercising natural and inalienable right to freedom and liberty.

It is a very illogical proposition to demand from anyone to give his/her life away. Life is a precious gift from the Creator to the created. It is the duty of the awakened mankind to guide this precious gift jealously. Anyone who is conscious of his/her position as part and parcel of God has no need to give a gift back to one’s benefactor. It does not show good manners. Simply, it is rude to give a gift of loving kindness back to the Creator.

Once a person cheapens his/her life by carelessly giving it away on demand to snake-oil preachers, there is nothing else that is sacred in such person anymore that can be honoured, revered and respected.

However, there is nothing wrong, in fact it is an evidence of true knowledge to seek wisdom from the Giver of life on how one should use the gift of life to the maximum effect possible. A sensible person should not give the gift of life back and especially not to the collectors of human and material sacrifices on behalf of the gods. The gift of Life is personal to every creature. No creature who has not lost the instinct of survival and preservation would batter away life for any otherworldly promises while neglecting one’s happiness and joy in the journey of earthly life.

The above are some seemingly innocuous but very powerful psychological obstacles that can stand in one’s way from gaining a true knowledge and a reasoned understanding of the concepts of sovereign and sovereignty.

Sovereignty: Monarchy versus Republican

Basically, sovereignty is about having the natural capacity and the inalienable right to self-determination and self-rule. It is about understanding who has the power to dictate how one’s life is to be run. And who has the power to define or take away or delineate one’s rights to enjoy freedom, equality, and justice. As well as who has the right to limit or curtail one’s rights to a space, property, life chances and choices.

Sovereignty is about who has the final authority or the final say over one’s life in the present, future and even over one’s posterity.

Sovereignty is about having power in political, social and economic terms over oneself and over others.

Sovereignty is therefore the right to exercise any of these powers with respect to one’s happiness and life goals. Whoever holds and exercises the absolute power thus described above is the sovereign.

In the search to gain an understanding of the meaning of sovereign and sovereignty, a true seeker must be eclectic in his approach; must be adventurous in his desire to know; and must be willing and ready to cut off all umbilical cords of traditional, cultural and religious superstitions, myths and legends, etc.

A devoted seeker of the truth of existence would sooner than later see through the various artefacts of indoctrination and brainwashing that were designed to establish, promote and support a popular culture that accepts and teaches one to imbibe a placid attitude of living in a state of ignominious servitude to any god forsaken sovereign/master in societies.

In countries where a monarch rules, the King/Queen by the historical heinous acts of regicide, genocide, ethnic cleansing and other such unethical means would have acquired sovereign power over the people by force. Subsequently, because of the human nature that seems to forget quickly everything that happened in the past, the people are led by the palace courtiers under a collective infectious amnesia to establish the custom and tradition that now bestow a divine reverence to the king/queen as ruler. This is how the monarchical institutions built around the personality of a fallible mankind called the sovereign ruler is maintained.

The military regimes of Abacha and Babangida are examples of military monarchs and sovereign power. When these two military prodigal sons ruled over Nigeria, they exhibited all the traits of tyrannical monarchs to the letter. They were rulers by forceful acquisition of power and every Nigerian automatically became a subject or slave. We were obliged, through the instrument of coercive force, to become beholding to their wicked graces and benevolences. And those that refused to be subjected to the tyrannical rule were terrorised into submission by any means necessary including murder and assassination.

On the other hand, in republic and democratic states, sovereignty is based on an established constitutional political state. The sovereign state derives its onerous power from the collective spirit and from the collective will of the people of the polity that willingly and voluntarily gave their individual sovereign powers to the state. It means, first and foremost, a republican state acknowledges each citizen as a sovereign in his/her natural right.

At the instance when the state is deliberately established with the full participation of every member of the polity and with an understanding that the state which is being set up shall be geared towards the welfare and happiness of the citizens, each member voluntarily transferred his/her sovereign right and power to the state on the belief and trust that the state will protect them without fear or favour or nepotism or corruption.

But when a republican state falls foul of the ideals of democratic principles, when nepotism and corruption have become the norm, and when the general welfare, happiness and the security of life of citizens are in peril, then the onus falls on the free and sovereign citizens to find a creative way to do away with the moribund state. This is where Nigeria is consigned at the moment.

The Nigerian state is sick and in a comatose state of unconsciousness. It is so ill that it needs twenty-four hour nursing care and attention. And so its constitutional duty of safeguarding the welfare and happiness of the citizens is in serious jeopardy.

In such a dire situation, unthinkable and drastic actions need to be taken and quickly too before the state infects everyone in the polity with its deadly ailments.

The Imperative Need for Restructuring the Political and Economic Space of Nigeria

Therefore, in such a deplorable state of anomie as Nigerians have found themselves, the goal of those calling for a Sovereign National Conference or for Restructuring of the Political and Economic Space, to my humble understanding is:

• not to intensify and sustain the current political structure and edifice but to weaken and minimise it.

• not to amplify the power and the perks in politics but to abolish them.

• not to expand the sphere of governmental power but to roll it back from people’s life.

• not to curtail people’s freedom but to expand its sphere of conception and practice.

• not to stifle the creativity of the people in the management of the affairs of their lives but to give it more room to blossom.

• not to buttress the spurious claims of political leadership ideology but to eradicate such master-slave ideology.

• not to promote the spirit and practice of inequality by sustaining political institutions that specialise in ruler-subject relationship but to encourage the spirit of equality by spontaneous voluntary partnership amongst a free people in free societies.

• And finally the call for a Sovereign Conference/Restructuring is definitely not to strengthen the archaic ruthless unaccountable anything-goes governmental apparatuses in Nigeria but to do away with them as we build and strengthen new creative, dynamic and progressive civil societies.

It is quite clear that what sincere Nigerians who have devoted their lives to the cause of restructuring of Nigeria since 1993 are asking for is the complete opposite of the present dystopia in the political, social and economic environments of Nigeria.

Impediments Against Restructuring

There is a need to ask again, what do the host of Nigerians really want? We are not asking what the ‘selected/elected political leaders’ or the vocal, non-elected, self-interest-driven group and the so-called Very Important Personalities of Nigeria want.

Thank goodness, Nigerians are gradually learning to withdraw the trust and faith they have naively invested in these two groups. Well, it is about time too. Nigerians must put a stop to the travesty of politicians and godfathers that play political gamesmanship with the lives and the political, social and economic destiny of Nigerians.

The few that know about this silly game of seizing and exercising political power over others need to help Nigerians to understand what is at stake and to urge them to begin to ask the right critical questions from their so-called leaders. However, a cross-sectional survey of the comments and analysis in the press since the inception of the ‘nascent’ democratic government have not given much joy as to what exactly the chattering class of Nigerians really want for the indigenous people of Nigeria.

The issue of holding Sovereign Conferences for the Restructuring of Nigeria has been on the burner since June 12, 1993. After almost three decades, it is natural that the fire of this intention and desire for justice have started to wane. And this is more than obvious judging by the sign of deference shown to those who are presently in government. Even those who were among the top protagonist of the Sovereign Conference/Restructuring movement are now serving under an oppressive government.

It is not uncommon to find among the strong canvassers of this noble idea those who feel they can still be drawn into making recommendation to the present incongruous government with respect to their performance or non-performance; with respect to policy matters; with respect to legislative matters; with respect to managerial and administrative styles etc.

This is a grave error that professional negotiators will definitely advise those engaged in negotiation not to commit.

A wise negotiator is taught to have clearly defined and mapped out strategies in stages before the start of a negotiation. If strategy A fails to yield the dividend demanded, B follows. If B fails C follows and so on until the cleverly hidden core objective at the centre of the various disguised steps that were designed to wear down the opponents’ resolve is achieved.

Let us be more specific. Imagine how the issue of resource control that is fundamental to the principle of federalism and central to the economic self-sufficiency, decentralisation of power and political autonomy of the states was trivialised. In the same breath that the agitators submitted a case on this important issue, they allowed themselves to be manoeuvred into resource allocation debates; into calculation of percentages by derivative and non-derivative criteria from oil revenue; and into legislative bills for a toothless resource allocation institution.

Again, lets look at the case where a state government blows hot and cold air over resource control but it is forced to kow-tow to Abuja to queue, to beg and to bribe for monthly and quarterly federal allocations before the state budget and plans could be funded.

What about those who allowed themselves to be lured to court to table onshore/offshore resource control matters under a constitution they have acknowledged to be fraudulent, fudged as well as fundamentally hostile and unjust to the interests of the generality of the citizens?

What about the knowledge of the kind of characters in charge of our political affairs that we all know are overwhelmingly composed of those who are morally bankrupt – the community thugs, rogues, swindlers, white-collar robbers, etc.?

Yet, our celebrated commentators are still very optimistic that honourable performances in the affairs of governance are possible from these dishonourable class of people. And more tellingly, columnists and social, political and economic analysts are fond of offering advice on how Nigerians can obtain a fair outcome in the distribution of resources and in the management of electioneering processes under the present dysfunctional set up.

Apart from thugs, robbers, rogues, and charlatans, can any sensible, morally upright and disciplined person dive into the present murky swamp, shark infested, and polluted political waters to swim or contest with the calibre of shameless characters in our politics?

Why do Nigerians refuse to make use of all these shoddy experiences and pertinent evidence that are known to everyone? Is it not an indication that fundamentally Nigerians do not understand what they are doing or should not be doing with respect to issues of existential problems.

• Philosophically, Nigerians have no idea about the deep meaning of the problems which have befallen them and what they should be doing about it.

• Sociologically, Nigerians have refused to utilise the facts and figures of the political deficiencies that surround us to inform and to direct comments, supports and actions for change.

• Historically, Nigerians are neglecting the lessons of the recent and past historical experiences to guide our collective thinking and to make relevant judgement to tackle salient contemporary problems.

• Psychologically, Nigerians are in self-denial of the things they know and so they are foolishly aiming for the dreamland where fairies abound and magical ‘open sesame’ are the two key words needed for success.

For the umpteenth time, the political and economic structures on which Nigeria is erected is fundamentally faulty. The foundation is rotten to the core. The cracks in the walls of Nigeria nation are getting bigger and more profoundly dangerous. The danger it poses is now imminent because no repair work has been done since our illustrious social engineers with conscience first pointed our attention to the structural defects.

We need to ask, What more can the experts do to wake up our political actors and to nudge them to heed the alarms and warnings of imminent disasters?

Why must the Powers-That-Should-Not-Have-Been in Nigeria wait until the rickety and tilting political structure of Nigeria collapses on our heads with a possible loss of millions of lives before they act and do what is right?

Can the Type of Politics Practiced in Nigeria Resolve the Constitutional Problems?

The foregoing narratives are the realities that informed the suggestion that the indigenous people of Nigeria, not the Nigerian Governments, must deliberately and creatively find a way to organise the forum and conferences that can bring the present political and socioeconomic nonsense to an end with minimum injury to the indigenous peoples of the country.

The suggestion made in the first letter is still valid. Let every Nigerian make effort to unravel what is at stake not the cliché, sound bites, legalese and rhetoric of the political sophists and professional commentators.

Nigerians must be advised to find a way to boycott the political gangsters playing ‘kalokalo‘ (slot-machine gambling) with the lives of innocent indigenous people. Sensible Nigerians must be advised not to venture anymore to compete with the political vagabonds in their murky swamp, which fortunately, is their natural home.

Politics have always been the preserve of the bullies, the never-do-wells, the incorrigible liars, the morally depraved, the pretenders, the histrionics and the psychopaths of the human race. Why should any sane society keep strengthening the structure that creates and supports this group of despicable Homo sapiens?

Modern politics have never been for the good people of the world. It is an institution populated by the most heinous of mankind in every nation since it was hijacked by those with fat and deep moneybags.

Unfortunately for the majority of mankind, these detestable people are great pretenders, they are master of camouflage, experts in deceptions and adept at playing the double-faced Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde personalities. Hence, the politicians have succeeded time and times again to fool the world with fake charms and superficial concerns for the poor and vulnerable.

This is what a columnist in a British newspaper says about politicians: “Politicians are despicable beings, cowards, hypocrites, liars, lack conviction or faith, lack ideals or principle; merciless and selfish in the drive for power, ready to play God, full of righteous pretences, expert of double-speak and sophistry; shallow in ideas and short-sighted in plans and delivery, powered and motivated by a ruthless believe and love for power.”

Please, Fellow Nigerians let us leave the politicians to their fatal devices. What goes up must eventually comes down. The loads of Naira arsenal they have amassed and are amassing in their war chest for the next election shall surely come to nought.

In their stupidities, each of these psychopaths believes that with loads of cash at his/her behest, the election into any of the national or state assemblies is a forgone conclusion. However, as long as Nigerians joined them by legitimising the outrageous atrocities through participation in fraudulent democratic elections, then these idiots in politics shall always be winners.

This is a time when each Nigerian should go down the memory lane and recall the character of the so-called Honourable Rabiu, Honourable Sina, Honourable Tom, Honourable Obi, etc. who is currently strutting about in Abuja or in any of the cities as a politician and leader of the people.

Was this so-called Honourable Fellow Nigerian ever known to be a respectful child/adult to his/her parents or elders in the family?

Was he ever known to be respectful to his/her teachers or of the school regulations while in school?

Did he ever operate within the laid down rules and guidelines of the companies/agencies he worked for?

Has he ever been a reliable business partner that can be trusted to see a deal through without dubiously cornering his associates?

Has he ever been a pleasant neighbour or a neighbour from hell?

Has he ever been known as a loving husband and devoted father or a molester of wife and abuser of children?

Isn’t it pathetic that these are the type of nefarious characters found among the men and women in politics. Yet, the whole nations of Nigeria are rooting for them to pilot the indigenous people of Nigeria to the Promised Land flowing with milk and honey.

Indeed, if Nigerians still insist on placing their trust and faith in the politicians yet again, then there is no reason why the indigenous population of Nigeria cannot but be categorised as either imbecile jokers or gumptionless suckers.

By now, we ought to accept the reality that these people called politicians cannot suddenly change, just because they are now addressed as Mr Honourables. Noble title does not make a man noble if he has failed to cultivate noble qualities within his being. Hence, our politicians are still the same incorrigible Rabiu, the same unteachable Sina, the same disrespectful Tom and the same indolent Obi that they have always been.

How could we have forgotten so soon that the majority of these people in politics were Sani Abacha’s errand boys and Babangida-made moneymen?

What do we think would have changed them from natural turncoats and unrepentant enemies of the common man to noble men and women and friends of the common man?

What magic or miracle would have transmogrified, in a twinkle of an eye, these shameless lots from apologists of tyrannical military rule into believers and practitioners of democracy who can selflessly uphold, defend and support the civil and human rights of the indigenous people of Nigeria?

Fellow Indigenous People of Nigeria, let’s get serious with the business of redefining and reclaiming our social and political space from these hoodlums. We cannot and we should no longer believe or rely on these despicable fools to take us out of the woods of mental, political, economic and cultural enslavement.

After gaining the right knowledge and becoming fully aware of the degree of injustices, inequalities and lack of freedom in our societies, it becomes very unfortunate when supposedly enlightened Nigerians allow themselves to be drawn into puerile debates of who should run or should not run for the 2023 elections. It is a waste of valuable time and a subterfuge to cover up the real issue of finding answer to the Nigerian Question.

Sovereignty and Federalism: The Sacred Issue in Nigeria

The real issue, as at today, is true Sovereignty and Federalism that are guided and hinged on the unassailable principles of freedom, equality, and justice for all. These sacred principles should not only apply to the elites or the politicians but each and everyone of the indigenous people and nations in Nigeria should equally be a beneficiary. It should not matter one jot if the said Nigerian is literate or illiterate, rural or urban, man or woman, child or adult, half-educated or full-educated. These are the sacred issues desperately calling for our urgent attention and we must address them with all “our heart and might”.

This sacred issue of establishing a nation based on the right of everyone to have unrestrained access to freedom, equality and justice cannot be achieved under the present political structure. It is no longer relevant whether the present political and socioeconomic structures of Nigeria are reformed, refashioned, reframed, recycled, rephrased, retouched, or whatever those who are clever-by-half do to the present constitution on which the ill-fated structures are erected. It cannot yield the dividend of equality, freedom and justice for all.

The Constitution of Nigeria and the institutional structures that arose out of it are fraudulent, illegal and unjust from the very beginning of their conception. The spirit that fashioned the Constitution is the spirit of conquest, of empire ownership, of exploitation, of greed, of supremacist belief, of domination and that of an unrepentant believer in slavery and slave ownership. We must overcome this lying spirit of evil before we can begin to design a New Nigeria of our dream under the spirit of truth, love, freedom, equality and justice.

The Christian Bible clearly and unmistakably advised humanity not to put new wine into old wineskins or else both shall be ruined. When the clever-by-half among us built legal institutions of governance on a foundation of illegal Constitution, this is the height of hypocrisy or foolishness. It is hypocrisy if the builder is aware of the truth of the matter and it is foolishness if the builder is a crass ignoramus of the facts of history.

Dear Fellow Indigenous People of Nigeria, mediocrity has no place in the New Nigeria of our dream. The popular responses to intellectual matters that hide under ‘I don’t know’ or ‘a no sabi book’ are no longer tenable excuses.

The literacy rate of Nigeria as at today is higher than that of the United States of America in 1776 when it fought and won the war against the British imperialist. We have more literate people in Nigeria than when the Americans crafted together living political ideas and drafted the crucial elements of their constitution. And Nigeria has more literate people than when USA established the formidable institutions of governance that are still standing and have equally stood the test of time.

Therefore, Indigenous People of Nigeria should no longer plead ‘I-don’t-know’ to cover up for mental laziness and a careless habit or lifestyle. Every Nigerian is supposed to know because each of us is endowed by nature with salient faculties designed principally for the art of knowing things. This is the time when each of us should forget and put aside our fanciful but worthless certificates. Please for goodness sake, let us get back to the school of seekers of knowledge and truth.

It was Thomas Paine in Age of Reason who says,

“As for the learning that any person gains from school education, it serves only, like a small capital, to put him in the way of beginning learning for himself afterwards.”

He goes on to add,

“Every person of learning is finally his own teacher, the reason of which is that principles … cannot be impressed on memory; their place of residence is the understanding, and they are never so lasting as when they begin by conception.”

Meaning, ability to cultivate the faculty of thinking is an important prerequisite to the acquisition of true knowledge and proper understanding. And this ability and capability can only come through rigorous self-education.

The End of Politics in Nigeria

What we should all be aiming for in Nigeria is the end of politics. By now, we should understand that there is something fishy going on in politics when fools rush in where angels fear to tread.

The Abuja/Aso Rock Trophies and the State House Gold Medals are potential goldmines to the seekers of political offices. There is no other reason why there is a do-or-die scramble for political power and offices by the politicians. The do-or-die struggle for political power is about money, about fraudulent acquisitions of properties and about stealing from the commonwealth what does not belong to them.

The politicians, in their vaulting pursuit of political power, have been found to bend and break every law in the fudged constitution and to use every cunning intelligence found in the nature of the scumbags. Our contemporary and historical experiences have shown that when politicians obtained, by hook and by crook, the political power in Nigeria, it is like giving them an unlimited licence to print the money currency of the country for mere personal aggrandisement.

Knowing that everything stated above is not scurrilous tales but fact-based truth behind why the country has failed woefully to meet our needs, let us shame the fools in politics by turning our backs on them. We know who they are in every family, in every village and in every community. We know the antecedents and we understand the deadly games of politicians in our clime. Heaven has been so kind to put them on the pedestal for all of us to see them clearly in the last sixty years. We do not have excuses anymore to continue to put our trust in them. This is the time to put a fence around the politicians and to scar them with indelible colours as social pariahs.

Fellow Indigenous People of Nigeria, let us boycott the politicians in our midst. In the family or village or community, let us stop taking money from them. Money given to curry our silence and support is called “bribery and corruption”. These people are hoarding stolen money tainted with human blood.

Now that we know who they are, let us ostracise them in our societies. No one should fellowship or socialise with them. They are destroyers of our lives and saboteurs of our collective destiny. They wine and dine on our blood. This sickening behaviour of politicians occurs because Nigerians have been too gullible, at least up till now. Our unparalleled ignorance and gullibility are the only reasons why these cruel and the never-do-well politicians among us have so far succeeded in their vile blood-sucking political games.

Dear Fellow Indigenous People of Nigeria, the battle for the soul of Nigeria has been going on since 1993. Let everyone who has been redeemed by knowledge and truth stand up and be counted.

“Please remember it is a bloodless, ‘machinegun-less’, ‘bullet-less’, ‘bomb-less’ and ‘tank-less’ battle. It will not require any of the stupid technology the wicked powers of this world have devised for war of man against man.

“Ours is a battle of peace and love for freedom, equality and justice. It is both a spiritual and an intellectual battle. It is a battle of true deliverance and total freedom. It is a battle against self. It is a battle designed to destroy the insatiable and irrepressible human nature in each of us and to awaken the soul of everyone to its true divine state.

“Dear Fellow Nigerian, until each of us has won the important battle of deliverance against oneself, none of us has any business fighting for the liberation of other Indigenous People of Nigeria.” – SAM ABBD ISRAEL

The only weapon at our disposal shall be the sword of truth and knowledge. Let the rallying cry from each awakened soul to another as from today be simply and emphatically, ‘Enough is enough’ of the political nonsense that was deliberately set up to cripple and to oppress the indigenous people of Nigeria.

Conclusion

Dear Fellow Indigenous People of Nigeria, let us get down to the real business of Sovereign Conferences/Restructuring. Let it be the only talk in town. Each family, each community, each local area, each ethnic group, each state should be able to have a draft constitution of her own before the end of the year 2020.

The Sovereign Conferences/Restructuring that we are canvassing for is not the type that shall be organised by the so-called eminent Nigerians but by the host of Common Nigerians.

We are now more than aware that the eminences and excellences of our so-called eminent Nigerians were built on educational and financial frauds, on false pretences and inglorious deceptions.

The only eminent Nigerians in our dictionary should be the long-suffering Common People of Nigeria. These are the true noble men and women who, when fully awakened, will be able to fashion relevant constitutions for the various levels of the civil societies of a New Nigeria. Our cardinal objective should be to transfer political power to the civil societies where it duly belongs.

As we put our minds and heads together for these onerous tasks, please endeavour not to go for highfaluting legal jargons. Let us concentrate on the essential issues necessary for a decent and honourable life that shall have great potentials to contribute to a more meaningful human existence.

Let us document these issues in a language that every member of the polity can understand. We should focus on issues that would make political relationships, built on mutual respect between equals and friendly partners, work without suspicion, mistrust, and fear.

Where it is possible let the constitution be drafted in the vernacular language for the common use and easy access of all concerned.

It is going to be a laborious route but it is a safer route.

This route will definitely take us to our final destination of peace, freedom, equality and justice for all. That it has never been travelled before anywhere in the world is not an excuse not to try.

May the spirit of truth be our guide and our light at this darkest hour of Nigeria.

In The Spirit of Truth

SAM ABBD ISRAEL

(This edited essay was first published in 2002 as one of the series of letters written to Nigerians on the need to organise a Sovereign National Conference)