By Clifford Ndujihe
Second Republic Politician, Chief Guy Ikokwu and founder of the Igbo Youth Movement, IYM, Evangelist Elliot Uko, have justified the ever increasing clamour for the restructuring of the country, saying it is the only measure that can save Nigeria from looming disintegration.
Implementing the 2014 National Conference recommendations will enable each of the six zones of the country to tackle unemployment, insecurity, poor power supply and infrastructure. It will also engender healthy competition among the zones, which help Nigeria to achieve 12 per cent growth rate.”
He continued: “If Nigeria will have the courage to implement the national conference resolutions giving political and legislative powers to the six geo political zones and allowing zones to move according to their pace with the centre not as powerful as it is now, things will be better. The question of states running to the Centre for bail out will not arise. Each zone will bite the much it can chew. Each Zone will determine the number of local Councils it can cope with.
“Without restructuring, the country will continue on this perilous path that will lead to disintegration. With insecurity crises all over the country – Boko Haram in the North-East, Niger Delta militants in the South-South and Biafra struggles in the South-East, no good government can close its eyes to restructuring. The South as a bloc should wake up. If the oil had been in the North, no southerner will share in the ownership of the oil blocs.”
On his part, Uko, who is also the deputy secretary of Igbo Leaders of Thought, ILT, said “it’s absolutely difficult to comprehend how any sensible person hopes to save Nigeria without restructuring. An early restructuring of Nigeria is the only viable option facing us today, the alternative is frightening. It is now impossible to continue the pretence. We have run into a cul de sac.
Indeed, this view was shared by a host of leaders across the country, who attended the 17th IYM annual convention in Enugu, recently.
In a communique issued after the the convention, the leaders said that ‘’the political, economic and social realities on ground today, have made it impossible for Nigeria to move forward without an early return to true fiscal federalism, in other words, a political restructuring along the lines of true federalism has become inevitable.
The resolutions of the 2014 National Conference should serve as a road map to the adoption of a new constitution built on real federalism.
The communique read in part: “Nigerians are surprised at determined effort by fellow Nigerians to continue the unhelpful pretence that all is well with the present structure of Nigeria. This pretence which only serves the interest of those who erroneously believe, that the 36 state structure created by the military, helps them hold down and dominate other regions, politically, remains the source of over 90 per cent of the agitations going on in the country today.”