By Prince Oki Churchill
ON Monday, June 19, 2017, I read the interview conducted with Chief OIu Falae.
I am a very regular reader of the Vanguard Newspaper because it has some of the best writers and contributors in the world. To me Vanguard is the best Paper in the three world.
The day I read Olu Falae, on pages 42 to 43 Vanguard Monday, June l9, 2017 on the above topic, I strongly believe it was a masterpiece; the Writing or interview was so elegant, excellent, classic, most important talk on what is happening in/to Nigeria /Nigerians recently.
It is a pity that great men like Olu Falae, are not given space by some leaders in Nigeria to speak, so I thank Amuka.
Before I give my contribution, I want to thank my brother SAM AMUKA- SAD SAM of yesteryears and now owner of Vanguard Newspapers for making Nigerians read good great writers, politicians, leaders, like Olu Falae, Afe Babalola (SAN) Chief E.K. Clark, Nnanna Ochereome, Azu Ishiekwene and others . SAD SAM,God bless you.
Quickly, I want to plead with you and Olu Falae not to sit and watch Nigerians perish. You are providing jobs for millions of Nigerians yet you look so simple and ordinary a Nigerian. I know the reason you belong to a micro-minority tribe in Nigeria, called Itsekiri.
Please, I like to suggest to you and Olu Falae to quickly publish in cheap book form the out come of the 2014 CONFAB, for all Nigerians to read, study and understand. This is important.
Again I advise Olu Falae to put into booklet, the interview “FUTURE OF NIGERIA IS IN 2014 CONFAB REPORT”. SAM AMUKA you can do, and do it quickly.
Personally, I sent my memorandum to the 2014 Confab as requested, and I am very proud to say that most of the states I suggested that should be created in Yorubaland, Hausa land, Igboland, Cross River area, old Midwest were recommended for creation of 18 new states by the CONFAB.
Creation of states is not for economic reasons alone, people of near or same culture language and history will always be happy people put in a state.
Again, the present six geo political zones are fake and not proper, particularly the South South geo-political zone.
The six geo-political zones are not a legal or constitutional arrangement. They were created by selfish politicians and the military.
If we want geo-political zones, we must have 12 geo-political zones, or we go back to the old 25 provinces we had in Nigeria during the colonial period.
We had FOUR Regions before the Republic was born. Why is it that the old Midwest Region is not a zone?
- Northern Region.
How now do we have only three geo-political zones from very large North; with large land mass, one from West, one from East, and none from Midwest Region? Bad blood to humiliate the Edo, Urhobo, Itsekiri people.
Instead some parts of old Eastern Region and the whole Midwest Region, were grouped into a geo- political zone, called South south.
People who are not culturally, politically, linguistically, or historically common were grouped as South south.
And so what happens? There are constant crises, militancy, and hatred. The governors do not talk to each other, they hate each other, the leaders of a tribe will want to swallow the other. President Goodluck Jonathan refused to appoint any minister from Urhobo and Itsekiri ethnic groups despite the fact that the two tribes are from Nigcr Delta. Urhobo nation that is almost the largest in South south had no minister. Our dear E.K. Clark will put so many people from his own Ethnic group into PANDEF and other groups he leads, leaving out Itsekiri.
However, the man is the greatest. He loves all the tribes in Niger Delta. A situation where Warri Province is not a state and not a capital is one of those things Olu Falae said; unfortunately, he only mentioned Lagos/ Kano.
The truth is that original people of Lagos, Warri, Jos, Port-Harcourt and few others in Nigeria are suffering serious deprivation, neglect discrimination, which Confab 2014 has
The old Midwest should be a geo-political zone excluding Igbo speaking areas in present Delta state. But they can stay if they so wish. They are good people. Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Bayelsa, Rivers to form a geo-political zone.
In the North, Middle Belt, and North- North geo-political zone, should be created. We do not need the six geo-political zone.
Think about it, how marginalisation has become the monopoly slogan of Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, Ijaw only? 2014 Confab will solve it.
In the old good years, Itsekiri person was the finance minister-Chief Festus Okotie Eboh, Communication and Aviation minister-Chief Arthur Prest, Ambassador from Western Region of Nigeria in the UK- Chief Michacl Okurodudu-minister without portfolio- Olu of Warri, Oba Erejuwa. Can all these happen again now? Will the big tribes permit it? Confab 2014 will do it for us.
Nnamdi Azikiwe, Governor- General of the Federation of Nigeria, formerly president of the Nigeria Senate, formerly Premier of the Eastern Region of Nigeria, and non-executive president of Nigeria, told the Igbo at the Igbo State Assembly held at Aba on Saturday, June 25, 1949, and I quote “The keynote in this address is self-determination for the lgbo. Let us establish an lgbo state based on linguistic and ethnic factors enabling us to take our place side by side with the other linguistic and ethnic groups which make up Nigeria, and Cameroons with the Hausa, Fulani, Kanuri, Yoruba, Ibibio (Iboku), Angas (Birom) Tiv, Ijaw, Edo, Urhobo, Itsekiri, Nupe, Igalla, Ogoja, Gwari Duala, Bali, and other nationalities asserting their right to self-determination each as separate as the fingers but united ‘with others as a part of the same hand, we can reclaim Nigeria and the Cameroons from this degradation which it has pleased the forces of European imperialism to impose on us. (CONFAB 2014 has done this)
Something very bad that we do as Nigerians is that we deceive ourselves a lot and we are never truthful and honest with ourselves.
Maybe we fear a lot.
Many Nigerians including Igbo hate the lgbo. These Nigerians condemn what some people in the North have done. Many Nigerians old and young love it. Confab 2014 can solve this problem of HATE and Deceit very well.
The Igbo are most friendly people in Nigeria, but they are people who come to your land to prosper, and want to replace you in your land. Obi of Lagos, Akure, Ibadan. Hatred for the Igbo person did not begin today. But hear deceit of arrest, by governors and pnliticians.
The Igbo person has to change his attitude, they know this poor attitude of keeping what they own and not sharing it with others particularly land, and coming to take, and preventing you from coming to get anything from his land. Confab 2014 can solve this. Hear what the great Zik told the Igbo in 1947 and 1954-He said that the Igbo people though numerous are friendly in their disposition, charitable in their relation with others. I strongly believe what Zik said. Igbo were my teachers in my primary school days.
As principal of colleges, my Igbo vice principal helped me to build the only house I now own, after working for government for 35 years.
Granting that in any nation there are some undesirable characters,the Igbo nation should not be marked down for wholesale victimisation as we now do in Nigeria. Advice of Zik to the Igbo in the year 1950:
I.Your reputation is most precious possession. You must not allow it to be tarnished.
- Do not seek to dominate others and do not allow others to dominate you. (CONFAB 2014 Report took care of this).
- Obey the laws of those with whom you share blessings of life, if fortune steers you to unknown lands for the earning of your livelihood. (Igbo in other parts of Nigeria take note.)
- Respect the traditions of those in whose homeland you sojourn.
Igbo telling Lagosians that Lagos is no man’s land and creating Igbo kings all over Nigeria is the very opposite of his advice.
All Members of the National Assembly -the Senate, House of
Representative should unite, rise up and join hands with Olu Falae, Sam Amuka, Justice Kutigi, Saraki, Chief E.K. Clark the great leader, Jonathan, Professor Akinyemi, Dogara Ekweremadu, Professor Nwabueze, Professor G.G Darah and all good, well meaning people so that we take CONFAB 2014 as our precious Document, No doctoring of Confab.
Let us take one very good beautiful decision taken by Confab 2014 as an example.
It decided that Nigeria should do away with present national
Anthem and take the old one.
THE OLD ANTHEM 1960-1978.
Let us take these few lines from the anthem.
1.Though tribe and tongue may differ, in brotherhood we stand
- Help us build a nation where no man is oppressed.
- And so with peace and plenty Nigeria may be blessed.
Indeed the above old anthem was sung by Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi, traditional leaders, professors, politicians, farmers, women, Army, Generals, serving and retired, lawyers, SANS, medical doctors, indeed every component of Nigeria, everybody at the 2014 conference, as the closing song to close and end the 2014 Confab.
So, quickly, the old Anthem should be sent to schools, colleges, Houses of Assembly, churches, societies, universities, broadcasting television houses for implementation.
Another important decision was the creation of 18 additional states.
If General Gowon alone can influence creation of 12 states, General Mohammed created seven states, General Babangida alone created nine states, General Abacha created six states.
If four Nigerians alone saw wisdom in creating 36 states, I do not see anything wrong in the 18 states recommended by 2014 Confab.
ljebu, Ibadan, Anioma, and other states proposed for other parts of
Nigeria is verv much in order. States are created not because of
money but for closeness and oneness of a people rich or poor state is not the issue.
In conclusion, let the Senate and the House of Representatives work hard quickly and print out the 2014 Confab. It is the hope of Nigerians.
*Mr. Churchill, a public affairs commentator, Warri, Delta State