Ekwueme, Adebanjo, Gana, others call for immediate restructuring of Nigeria


alex_ekwuemeFormer Vice President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme and for­mer Minister of Informa­tion, Professor Jerry Gana are among eminent Nige­rians calling for immediate restructuring of the coun­try in line with the princi­ples of true federalism.

They made the call yes­terday at Nike Lake Resort Hotel, Enugu, during the 17th Annual Convention of the Igbo Youth Movement (IYM) headed by Evange­list Elliot Ukoh.

Others prominent fig­ures who joined in the request for restructuring include Yoruba leader, Ayo Adebanjo, former Anam­bra governor, Dr. Chuk­wuemeka Ezeife; resource control protagonist, Ankio Briggs; and immediate past former governor of the state, Mr. Peter Obi.

They advised President Muhammadu Buhari to begin the immediate im­plementation of the 2014 National Conference re­port as a first step towards restructuring the country.

The leaders, who spoke on the theme of the con­vention, “Still in search of true federalism”, noted that the current protests and demands for separa­tion by various groups in the country, as well as oth­er socio-economic crises could be reduced by half if the national confab report was implemented.

Ekwueme stated that ev­ery disappointment was a blessing and noted that his incarceration in 1984 at Kirikiri prison by the mili­tary afforded him the op­portunity to reflect deeply on Nigeria’s problems.

The former vice presi­dent said he came out with the idea of six geo-political zonal structures, which he pushed for in a national conference much later and it became a convention, which has taken care of mi­norities in the South and North.

Ekwueme stated that what Nigeria negotiated for and agreed with colo­nial masters before inde­pendence was a regional government where each state would have a con­stitution annexed to the Republican Constitution of 1963. According to him, the republican con­stitution then provided 50 percent revenue sharing formula for the regions, 30 percent to a distribut­able pool, and 20 percent to centre.

“There is need for us to return to the basics from what we inherited from our founding fathers,” he said.

On his part, Adebanjo who went down the mem­ory lane to trace the origin of federalism in Nigeria to various pre-and post colo­nial constitutional confer­ences, insisted that Nige­ria must be restructured to correct the humongous damage done to the na­tion’s constitution by the military and to put a stop to various acts of upris­ing in the country today, including those of Niger Delta Avengers, MASSOB, and IPOB.

On his part Prof. Jerry Gana noted that the na­tion’s founding fathers were right by agreeing to a federal structure, which he described as the best governance structure to guarantee peace, equity and justice.

Ankio Briggs, who re­ceived the award of “Ama­zon of Truth” by IYM, stated that true and fiscal federalism must be truth­ful and justifiable, adding that she believes in re­source control and that as much as she doesn’t believe that Nigeria must break, she believes that if the na­tion continues on the cur­rent path, then disintegra­tion would be inevitable.

On his part, Obi stressed that he supports restruc­turing the country on the basis of fiscal federalism, but, while that was being addressed, there was need to urgently address the high cost of governance in the country, insisting that any governor who said he can’t pay salary should give way for other persons with better ideas.

Dr. Ezeife, who also re­ceived award of “Igbo Peo­ple’s General” stated that the 2014 national confer­ence report recommended additional 18 states to make for 48 state-structure in order to address some inequalities created by the military. (Daily Sun)

Leave a comment