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Senate ignores calls for change

By Duno Kogbara

The Senate has just disappointed me and millions of Nigerians by rejecting four bills, including one relating to a proposed devolution of legislative powers to states and another relating to proposed deletion of the Land Use Act from the Constitution.

I’ve discussed this development with a lawyer who knows a lot about National Assembly matters and he says that the devolution bill failed  because any form of restructuring will make National Assembly members less important and minimise their ability to enjoy bloated salaries and undeserved allowances.

Meanwhile, I’m told that the Land Use bill failed because of strong opposition from Northern Senators, who fear resource control “through the back door”. Which basically means that they want to withhold justice from oil-producing states.

Senate chamber

Last week, I expressed frustration about overbearing Northerners, also criticized Southerners who mess up, contradicted those who keep insisting that the unity of Nigeria is non-negotiable and listed a few advantages associated with breaking a huge unwieldy country up into smaller nations.

Some of my Northern friends contacted me to grumble about my “divisive” comments about the relationship between the North and the South; but some totally understood my frustration and agreed that change is necessary.

In case the Senate thinks that it’s position is acceptable, 95 per cent of the Vanguard readers who contacted me to comment on last week’s column shared my view that the status quo is unacceptable. Here are some of the responses I received.

I don’t agree with everything readers say below. But you can see that there is a lot of profound bitterness that needs to be addressed as soon as possible; and I urge the Senate to abandon complacency and act and at least support restructuring.

 Re:  Separatist Perspective

2348068582370 Mike Nnaji

As the threats of war and quit notice [to Igbos in the North] continue to vibrate and re- echo across the country who will be used as a buffer zone. Is it the Middle Belt or the Mid Westerners? Also who will fire the first shots? At what point of contact will hostility comm-ence?  We are at the edge of a precipice and it appears that the government has no remedy to the dooms day.  I am using this medium to appeal to the United Nations to set up a special task force for Nigeria to prevent any eventuality. The United Nations will continue to pretend that it is not aware of the looming human tragedy in Nigeria

2347065438977 Rev Fr Evaristus Offor

Sister Donu, happy Sunday and hope you are okay. Like reading your graceful writings. Keep it up. Your bit on the negotiability of Nigeria is great. Bless you

2348033309919 Anonymous

Thanks so much on your write-up. I like seeing bold and blunt writers like you. Monkey dey work baboon dey chop. Keep it up

2349033559328 Ojoh OO

God did not create North and South together as one country. It is artificial creation by Lord Lugard of Britain in 1914 and having stayed for 100 years without any meaningful progress, we should end it now. The hausa-Fulani have cheated us enough; it is time for everybody to answer his father’s name. Thanks

 2349033559328 Ojoh OO

Due to irreparable breakdown of the Nigerian “marriage”, divorce is the only solution. We are deceiving ourselves by thinking we are one. We are not one and we cannot be one. Here in the South we are one. We don’t hate one another and we don’t kill ourselves. The Hausa-Fulani people should go and have their country.

2348034110131 Comrade Sanda

SOCIALISM must   follow after geographic, functional allocation and fiscal restructuring. The British capitalist/colonialists threw a spanner against smooth operation of true federalism in Nigeria by grouping the non-Hausa Fulani Middle belt (Tiv and Jukun) and others with the Northern region. The Tarka-led United Middle belt Congress struggled against the injustice in an alliance with the Awolowo led action group that also backed COR movement of the present Cross Rivers Akwa Ibom Bayelsa and Rivers states. We can now see the hidden agenda why some people banned HISTORY as a subject in secondary school.

2348132990025 Lt Col Peter Egbe(rtd)

Madam, the journey to Biafra started on a wrong footing, effectively in Jan 1966. The legitimacy of the events that led to Biafran civil war are dismayed that IPOB and MASSOB are repeating the same preposterous assumptions that drove the Igbos into a geopolitical corner before and after the civil war. The Igbos like other Nigerians have a right to self-determination but for God’s sake let it have nothing to do with Biafra. In my view anyone who supports IPOB or MASSOB is patently unpatriotic and inflicts further injury to an already bad geopolitical situation of the Igbos. Your column in vanguard of Friday 21st refers. Thank you

 2349033559328 Ojoh O O

Dear Kogbara, I thank you for the wonderful piece in the Vanguard of 21st July on SEPARATIST PERSPECTIVE. As a fact, most Southerners don’t know Hausa-Fulani people very well. I lived with them. They are intolerant of their tribes; they hate Christianity and Christians with passion. They kill their fellow human beings at the slightest provocation, especially fellow Nigerians of other religions and tribes. They have no respect for other Nigerians and their culture and tradition. Maybe you don’t know, they started killing Southerners, especially Igbos in their domain in 1945 and 1953 in Jos and Kano

2348160563356 Chris Jekwu

On Separatist Perspective, I want to say that NO kind of restructuring will keep this country together. Years of injustice unleashed on the Biafrans in general and the Igbos in particular made the people to cry out to God. And God has heard them. This is spiritual. When God decided to liberate the Biafrans, he raised up PMB against the people. The breakup of Nigerians has already been decreed in heaven. Thank you

2348066239893 Barr Arinze Obidozie

Dear Donu Kogbara. Your Vanguard newspaper article is a master piece; it speaks volumes of intellectual versatility. You are really on ground. Please keep it up and may God bless you.

2349031305234 Austine Ndubisi

Thank you Donu for your blunt write-up of July 21st you have said it all. The unity of this country called Nigeria is negotiable and it’s time to do the negotiation

2348032793490 Odirachinma Ezeobi

Thanks for this piece. It takes the few benefactors of the Nigerian system to claim that her unity is not negotiable. A system in which unity is by force. There is definitely a master and a slave relationship.

2347030976413 Timothy

Dear Kogbara our leaders are all liars. Nigeria will soon fall apart and everybody will go their way.


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