BY CLIFFORD NDUJIHE
…As Kanu, Chukwumerije, Ozobu, others speak
DISTURBED by the parlous state of affairs in the country, some eminent Igbo leaders have proffered suggestions on how to get the country back on the track of socio-economic and political development.
The suggestions ranged from convening national dialogue to restructuring the country into true federalism, combating corruption and insecurity aggressively and ensuring equity and transparency in governance.
Notable Igbo leaders, who shared their thoughts on the way forward for the country, include Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu (rtd), former Ohanaeze Ndigbo presidents-general, Justice Eze Ozobu and Dr Dozie Ikedife, Senator Chukwumerije and Prince Emeka Onyesoh.
They spoke at the 2012 end-of-the-year colloquium of the Igbo Youth Movement, IYM held at the Nike Lake Resort Enugu, under the theme: “Nigeria: In search of true federalism.”
The Guest Speaker, Senator Uche Chukwumerije (PDP, Abia North) opened up the conference with a thesis on the possibility of a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction in 2015, if Igbo elite close ranks and sink their differences.
Only national dialogue‘ll save Nigeria from implosion – Kanu
Speaking at the forum where some prominent Igbo sons such literary giant, Professor Chinua Achebe, Dr Okechukwu Ikejiani, Senator Chukwumerije and Prince Emeka Onyesoh were honoured for distinguishing themselves and making Ndigbo and Nigeria proud, Rear Admiral Kanu, who was also honoured stressed the need for a national conference to save the country from imploding.
Kanu, who was the special guest of honour, insisted that only a National Dialogue of ethnic nationalities and stakeholders to discuss Nigeria would save the country at the moment. He said the only road to salvation was to enthrone true federalism, where the federating units would be semi-autonomous, in order to engender economic growth and stable polity. He said the country’s potential was being stifled by the present unitary structure.
Nigeria must be restructured into true federalism – Ikedife
Also speaking at the event, former Ohanaeze President-General, Dr Dozie Ikedife insisted that the structure of the country was lopsided and demanded restructuring along the lines of true federalism. He noted that Nigeria would not go far unless equity was enthroned and corrupted was fought head on.
Let’s fight graft, insecurity frontally – Ozobu
Justice Eze Ozobu, who chaired the occasion, thanked the IYM for its yearly colloquium in pursuit of a more perfect union. He also demanded the enthronement of true federalism in the polity and agreed that corruption and insecurity must be addressed frontally.
Onyesoh urges return to transparency in govt
On his part, Prince Emeka Onyesoh canvassed a return to the old path of truth and transparency in governance. He insisted that Nigerians must engage in soul searching in order to tell themselves the truth, that all is not well with Nigeria.
Nigeria joking without equity – Ucheya
Rev. Ukandu Ucheya, who prayed to God to help Nigeria survive these turbulent periods, maintained that only equity would engender growth and development in Nigeria. Speaker after speaker at the colloquium demanded the enthronement of true federalism just as the Convener of the conference and IYM president, Evang. Elliot Uko said the people of the South-East were not excited about piece-meal amendment of the constitution. He canvassed a fundamental restructuring of the country into six regions.