THE FUTILITY OF ATTEMPTING TO RESTORE BIAFRA BY ENGAGING IN NIGERIAN PARTY POLITICS
In recent times, some people who are uninformed and misguided have been deceived into thinking that by getting involved in the political process in the British-created country called Nigeria, they will bring into fruition the restoration of the nation of Biafra.
Nothing can be further from the truth, reality, and legality. From individual involvement in party politics through INEC regulations to Constitutional provisions, it is not possible to realize the restoration of Biafra by being involved in party politics in Nigeria.
INDIVIDUAL INVOLVEMENT IN PARTY POLITICS
Section-222(b) of Nigeria’s Constitution requires that political party members must be Nigerian citizens and they must pay allegiance to the Constitution.
Section-1(1) states that the Constitution is binding on all citizens, meaning that you must pay your allegiance to Nigeria as long as you are party member.
Therefore, you cannot have a divided loyalty and cannot be talking about another nation while you are involved in Nigerian politics.
Doing so is in contravention of the Constitutional provision and is a ground for prosecution for treason or treasonable felony.
Secondly, if you win an election or if you are given a political appointment, you must subscribe to Schedule-7 of the Constitution.
This Schedule deals with two oaths, namely; “Oath of Allegiance” and “Oath of Office.”
In both oaths, you pledge your allegiance to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and swears to maintain the territorial integrity of Nigeria as it is defined in Section-2 and Section-3 of the Constitution as well as contained in Part-1 of Schedule-5 of same Constitution.
If the office holder contravenes Schedule-7, it shall result to impeachment on grounds of perjury. Contravention will also lead to criminal prosecution on a charge of treasonable felony.
INEC POWERS, REGULATIONS & ELECTORAL LAWS
Section-153(1f) of the Constitution establishes the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as one of the fourteen Federal Executive Bodies.
The INEC is empowered by Part-III Supplemental-D (Section-221 to Section-226) of the Constitution. INEC powers include party registrations, monitoring, sanctioning, and deregistration.
Section-228(a) of the Constitution provides punishment for contravening Section-221 through Section-227. In particular, Section-222(e) prohibits any attempt to give a political party an ethnic coloration in action, words and deeds.
Also, Section-224 stipulates that every political party shall conform with the provisions of Chapter-II of the constitution.
Chapter-II of the Constitution spans from Section-13 to Section-24 and deals with the issue of national unity and non-alteration of the territorial integrity of Nigeria in addition to maintaining Federal Character in all appointments and dealings.
The Electoral Act of 2010 as amended in 2015, gave INEC powers to register and deregister political parties in Section-78 as well as powers to make rules and regulations.
The power to deregister a political party for grounds of breach of INEC requirements is explicitly stated in Section-78(7i) of the Act.
These INEC requirements include the aforementioned conditions in Sections221 to Sections-226 of the Constitution.
Even for associations intending to register as a political party, INEC’s guidelines for registration as a new party stipulates in Section-3(e-v) that the party’s Constitution and Manifesto must conform with the provisions of Nigeria’s Constitution as well as the Electoral Act.
We must keep in mind that Nigeria%EWe must keep in mind that Nigeria’s Constitution and the Electoral Act do not have provisions that allow a political party to include self-determination in their manifesto.
Finally, the Constitution mandates all political parties in Section-222(d) to update INEC if any part of its party constitution is altered.
Failure to do so will activate Section-228 of the Constitution as well as Section-78(7i) of Electoral Act 2010 as amended in 2015.
Section-2(1) of Nigeria’s Constitution states that “Nigeria is one indivisible and indissoluble sovereign state to be known by the name of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Furthermore, Section-2(2) and Section-3 give details of what consist of Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Keep in mind that the oath of allegiance and the oath of office both require the individual to abide, in absolute terms, with all the provisions of the Constitution including Section-2(1) and Section-3.
Political parties are also mandated to comply with the above-mentioned sections of the Constitution in addition to complying with the Electoral Act.