…Advises NASS to revisit it
By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA—PRESIDING Bishop of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission, TREM, Dr Mike Okonkwo, yesterday, said those opposed to restructuring in the country were the real enemies of Nigeria, insisting that time was ripe for the issue to be laid to rest in line with the agitation of majority of the Nigerian populace.
He warned the National Assembly not to take Nigerians for granted in the treatment of restructuring in the ongoing constitution alteration bill before it.
This was even as he advised the Federal Government to immediately seek dialogue with the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, with a view to dousing ongoing tension arising from his secessionist agitation.
Speaking to a select journalists in Abuja, after presiding over a programme tagged: “Leading Edge Conference,” organised by Abuja branch of his church, the cleric regretted that the leadership of the country was paying little or no attention to the issue of restructuring of the country, even when majority of the citizens were asking for it.
But he said going by the ongoing clarion call by the people for it, the country could not run away from fulfilling the people’s wish.
To this end, he asked the National Assembly, which recently rejected areas relating to restructuring in the ongoing constitution amendment, to revisit them in order not to incur the wrath of the people.
“I think whenever a season for something is ripe, you can’t hold back the season. There have never been agitations for restructuring as it is now, even those who had hitherto been indifferent to it and who would never touch it, are now beginning to touch it and that is an indication that the hour has come,” he said.
Okonkwo said indolence and unnecessary dependence of states on Federal Government for allocations will be a thing of the past, while healthy competitions among states resulting in unprecedented creation of ideas will take centre stage in the country if it was restructured.
He said: “I believe with all my heart that if this nation is restructured, it would help us to be creative more than we expect.
“It will make those who are supposed to be in politics to be more creative than what they are doing now because most of them run to Abuja, collect money and squander and nothing is happening.”
“If I am seeing result in Kebbi State and I am seeing result in Sokoto State and if I go to Niger State and there’s no result there, I would ask my governor that what’s that person doing differently that I am not doing.
‘’Same thing applies to the East, so it will bring real competition, healthy competition for development in different parts of this country.
Looking back at the slow pace of development in the country in spite of its endowed natural resources, he regretted to identify with the country.
“To be honest with you, I am ashamed of myself,I feel ashamed of answering Nigeria in the sense that this nation is highly endowed in terms of human, material and economic resources.
“We have all it takes to be giant among committee of nations not just in Africa but amount nations of the world. But look at where we are, other nations have moved on and we are still busy buying.’’