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Bayelsa Flag, Ogoni Independence Declaration Illegal – NBA - Politics - Nairaland

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Bayelsa Flag, Ogoni Independence Declaration Illegal – NBA by Pukkah: 7:24am On Aug 15, 2012
The Nigerian Bar Association on Tuesday said the adoption of an autonomous flag, coat of arms and anthem by Bayelsa State, and some other states in the country, was illegal.

Equally condemned as unconstitutional by the NBA was the recent declaration of independence by Ogoniland.

Outgoing NBA National President, Mr. Joseph Daudu, SAN, stated the association’s position on the developments while addressing journalists in Abuja, ahead of the 2012 NBA Annual General Conference, which comes up between August 26 and 31.

The recent moves by Bayelsa State and the people of Ogoni have been interpreted in some quarters as acts of secession.

The NBA President said, “It is unconstitutional for any section of this country to break away or take any action that suggests that it wishes to secede from the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“There is no constitutional provision that allows for a flag other than the Nigerian flag, or any anthem other than the national anthem.”

He quickly clarified that there was nothing wrong with a state adopting a slogan or jingle to promote its unique qualities but stressed that when such a move suggests self determination, then it becomes illegal.

Daudu said, “What I have in mind is when you go ahead to declare that you have a right to self determination. When you have a jingle extolling the virtues of your state there is no problem with that.

“When it is promoting the culture and traditions of the state, that is permissible.

“But when the language used is self determination, that is secessionist.

“We must draw a clear line between the things that extol the virtues of a state and actions that promote self determination.”

Bayelsa State, the home state of President Goodluck Jonathan, recently announced that it would roll out its flag, coat of arms and an anthem.

Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson, in a statement by his Press Secretary, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, also said the flag, coat of arms and flag would forge a common identity for the Ijaws.

The governor said nine other states include Lagos, Oyo, Osun, Ondo, Ogun, Ekiti, Kwara, Cross River and Rivers – had taken similar steps.

The introduction of a new anthem, coat of arms, new school uniform and other emblems by governor Rauf Aregbesola of the Action Congress of Nigeria in Osun State led to a face-off between state government and the Federal Government.

The Federal Government accused the governor of attempting to effect the secession of the state from the country.

It will also be recalled that the people of Ogoni in Rivers State, had, on August 2, 2012, declared political autonomy.

Daudu at the news conference also dismissed the allegations of electoral fraud made by a presidential candidate in the recent NBA national elections, Chief Emeka Ngige, SAN.

Re: Bayelsa Flag, Ogoni Independence Declaration Illegal – NBA by Pukkah: 7:40am On Aug 15, 2012
I have a few questions for the NBA President:

1. He should please be specific about the parts of the Constitution which disallows the adoption of a flag, coat of arms and anthem by a federation unit within Nigeria. His statement on a matter as important as this should not be based on his opinion.

2. Even if it is based on his opinion or specific parts of the Constitution, is the Constitution in any way superior to what the majority of the people want in a democracy? Shouldn't be the right of self-determination be constitutionally guaranteed? Why should the intention of the Constitution be to force groups of people to stay together?

3. Is he not aware of the way things are going on in Nigeria? The country has become heated and is getting more polarized by the day. Does he want people to resolve the matter peacefully or violently? Since my adult years, the only time I have seen this kind of fractiousness in the country was during the June 12 period.

3. Is he aware of the UN Charter on Human Rights?

4. How is federalism practiced in other places like the United States, Australia, Canada, Mexico, etc?

5. What is his solution to the Nigerian debacle?

By the way, I think Seriake Dickson is actually spending too much time to come up with Bayelsa's anthem, coat of arms and flag. He should release them without further delay.

People should be free provided the rights of others are not breached.
Re: Bayelsa Flag, Ogoni Independence Declaration Illegal – NBA by Pukkah: 7:57am On Aug 15, 2012
I had noted this on another thread:

Pukkah: What's this lawyer talking about? I don't see anything wrong in what the Bayelsa state government has done (new flag and anthem). Is Nigeria not a Federation? Is a state within the Federation not entitled to its seal, flag and anthem?

I think more states should begin to demand for what they are entitled to under this federal arrangement, from true political federalism to true fiscal federalism.

Also, if we must take it further, shouldn't a state or part of a state have the right to leave a country and stand alone or join another country? Shouldn't this be the ultimate expression of the fundamental human right of freedom of association?

Shouldn't a democratic constitution spell out the conditions to be met for part of a country that wants to leave or for another state in another country that wants to join the country? Why can't there be a constitutional right of secession?

These are some of the fundamental questions which are beginning to stare us all in the face.

Every part of Nigeria is complaining of marginalization or one thing or the other. Is any part of Nigeria fulfilled or happy with the union? Is it not high time we addressed the basis of togetherness or express that ultimate freedom of association?

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