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Group Harps On Need To Return Nigeria To True Federalism

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – A pressure group, Eastern Intelligentsia Coalition (EIC) has stressed the need for Nigeria to return to true federalism, saying the nation as presently constituted “is a subject of great worry to all men of good conscience.

It noted that a “nation that not only promotes injustice, but perpetuates ethnic bigotry, is only counting

her days of existence. No injustice can last in perpetuity.

“The Nigerian state, with her current constitutional architectonic, cannot achieve her potentials or divine mandate as the biggest black nation on earth.

” Hence, Nigeria must be renegotiated, considering that the present putative federal system has failed, and cannot stand the test of time.

The group in a statement jointly signed by its Chairman, Prince Okey- Joe Onuakakusi, Secretary, Dr. Kenneth Nwankwo and its Patron, Professor Obasi Igwe, expressed worry over the current state of things in the country.

“Nigeria ab initio was meant to be a nation constituted by semi- independent states. The British who birthed this country from start operated it as a polity made up of semi -independent and functional parts.

It noted that “although Nigeria has been christened a federal state, every element of growth and development as well as individual promotion has apparently been stifled.

According to the group, “Nigeria is sadly a nation where the least cognitively endowed call the shots. No nation can achieve her potentials under the present circumstances.

“The likes of Mr Elombah gloat over the alleged “fall of Nnamdi Kanu,” leaving one to question his contribution to efforts aimed at remedying the present quagmire in which we find ourselves as Nigerians.

“Biafra is a metaphor for political consciousness, an awakening to a sad history for which closure has yet to be found.

“It’s about a sad history that opened in 1967 with a fratricidal civil war that lasted for 30 months and claimed no less than 3million lives of Ndigbo. It however ended with the hypocritical refrain, “No Victor, no vanquish.”

“In this connection, it suffices to reiterate that Nigeria as currently constituted cannot be sustained without a return to true federalism in which the component parts are organised as semi- independent regions.

“For this was indeed what was originally agreed upon and established by the founding fathers as the constitutional order at independence in 1960.

“The constitutional order at independence was to a fair degree characterized by justice and equity.

“The point is that there cannot be a united Nigeria until there is a veritable demonstration of the entrenchment of true federalism, by way of restructuring and devolution, into the Nigerian system, as is the case in the US.

“Nigeria can only become  the  country of our dreams when the North ceases to pay lip service to the call for restructuring. There are thus questions that  demand honest answers from Northern leaders:

“Why the deliberate and premeditated connivance with other nationals to have porous borders between Nigeria and Niger Republic Chad and Cameroon through which belligerents and gangs of criminals come into Nigeria, murder and commit  atrocities of all sorts on  Nigerians.

“What explanation does the northern leadership have for the fact that Boko Haram, in the last 10 years, as Al-Jazeera Tv in their report about the crisis in North East revealed, has slaughtered no less than 30,000 innocent civilians, excluding officers of the Nigerian Army? Indeed more than 300 INNOCENT civilians are murdered daily in cold blood by the Islamist insurgents.

“That farmlands are now grave yards, as over 3 million innocent Nigerians have been forcibly dislodged therefrom into Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps right in their own motherland on account of the dastardly activities of Fulani herdsmen.

“Apparently, the Federal Government under General Muhammadu Buhari prefers to rehabilitate members of the armed militias group than their victims who are ordinary Nigerians. In view of their unrelenting acts of terror on innocent Nigerians, the Eastern intelligentsia coalition (EIC) is demanding for the immediate prescription of Boko Haram as a terrorist organisation.

“We insist that Nigeria is a secular state pursuant to section 10 of the 1999 Constitution.

” However, in the last 10 years, Nigeria’s constitutional secularism has come under deliberate attacks  by the Sharia-mongering of northern leaders. For example, Hisbah police in Kano and Kastina States, as well as other Northern states, have continued to destroy the economic wellbeing of non-Sharia compliant Nigerians in the name of Sharia.

“It is however surprising  that these sharia states have refused to reject revenue from VAT which partly accrues from sale of alcoholic drinks from non-Sharia states.

“According to  11th November, 2020 edition of the Guardian newspaper, Kano State, in particular, has earned in the last ten years, N40.6bn from VAT.

“Yet, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where Sharia law is also practiced, the consumption and sale of alcoholic beverages are permitted.

“It goes without saying that the North under-develops their region with their preference for religion over pragmatic economic engagement.

“Former President Goodluck Jonathan built schools in northern Nigeria for vagrant Almajiri youths to provide them inclusion in the educational loop.

” But  Northern governors reportedly rejected the scheme, and vowing not to continue with it. Yet, according to an Ethiopian proverb,

“Every child is a light to the world.” But we must be quick to add that a child is light only to the extent that he or she has been cultivated educationally.


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