By Dennis Agbo
ENUGU – Nigeria’s former Ambassador to the United States of America, USA, Professor George Obiozor, has asked the Federal Government to make haste by heeding the clamour for restructuring of the country to prevent eventual break up.
Obiozor speaking at the “Big Ideas Podium,” at the African Heritage Institute, Enugu and moderated by former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, cautioned that political goodwill was needed to ensure decisive action which would guarantee the rights of all the citizens regardless of ethnic, regional or religious affiliation.
Obiozor said: “It is clear that unless the leaders learn the lesson of history and act soon, the call for restructuring will be followed by calls for national referendum (on the way forward).
“Indeed, the referendum option is already here with us and looms high as national and international agenda to settle the Nigeria national question.
“And those who think they can stop it must take a second look at the present international system. All over, the world is rejecting unity without justice and peace without justice.
“I know for instance that majority of Igbo prefer a united Nigeria but not unity of slaves and masters and also want peace but not peace of the grave yard. Nigeria is in Jeopardy but the problems are not insurmountable.”
The Moderator, Prof Soludo said that the podium series was started to help transform the country.
He said: “Ideas rule the world. Ideas constitute about 60 or 70 percent of the input needed to get any project done…
“Nigeria is a project, it is work in progress. African continent is a project and only big ideas; ideas work.
“It is through ideas that any nation, any continent has been built; any economy has been built, any political structure has been built and transformed.
“Nigeria is at a cross road. We’ve been ranked one of the most fragile states in the world and there are nationalities’ questions. Nigeria as of today has never been more divided than any time in our history and so the search for the big ideas is to help in the transformation process that will really get Nigeria moving from point A to point B and also, leap forward and claim its rights in the comity of nations…
“It is only big and transformative ideas that can do so. And so in this Big ideas podium of the African Heritage Institute, we are looking for the out of ordinary ideas, the missing links and the new thing that we need to put in place.”
Others who spoke in similar vein included Secretary of Igbo Leaders of Though, Prof Elochukwu Amucheazi, former Minister of Finance, Kalu Idika Kalu and Director, Joint Universities Preliminary Examination Board, UNN, Prof Aloysius Okolie.