Elder-statesman, Chief Richard Akinjide (SAN) was effusive after reading the 2016 Independence Day publication of Saturday Vanguard, “Your Saturday Vanguard made other newspapers look small, it made them look ordinary.”
In that publication, the newspaper engaged some of the country’s leading personalities who traced the country’s progress and pitfalls since the Union Jack was lowered on October 1, 1960.
Among them was former Vice President Alex Ekwueme who hardly grants interviews but had to break his silence only to us. Mbazulike Amaechi, Edwin Clark, Tanko Yakassai, Paul Unongo and Akinjide were among the statesmen who laid bare their hearts to us. There were also interviews with Kalu Idika Kalu, Pat Utomi and a special story on the unending attempts to restructure Nigeria.
On the occasion of the 57th anniversary, Vanguard has decided to up the ante with a different narrative from some of the country’s leading personalities in the profession summing up their perspectives on HOW NIGERIA CAN BE GREAT AGAIN.
We begin our special independence publication today. The stories and perspectives of the country’s leading personalities will make your day.
In this edition, we also have an interesting account of what happened on the eve of October 1, 1960 And as we mark 57 years of nationhood what future does the country hold for our children? Taiwo Akinlami, a social expert, thrills you with an engaging piece. Junaid Mohammed, Philip Asiodu, Prof. Ben Nwabueze, Senator Stella Omu, Yinka Odumakin and First Republic politician Maria Okwor all share their thoughts on how to make Nigeria work again. The package begins with a cover by our erudite Dr. Ugoji Egbujo. It is not only profound but also fascinating. Take these appetisers:
- The northern regions could be the greatest beneficiaries of a restructured federation and President Mohammadu Buhari could end up the most successful Nigerian President if he . . .
- The truth is that a Nigeria where equity and fairness reign will be more attractive to all regions than secession into tiny countries.
- Government’s poor handling of the massacres by some Fulani herdsmen helped fuel antagonism and agitations for secession.
- Our economic plans would remain mere fantasy until the billions of dollars we have committed to the power sector count in regular power supply
- If restructuring happens, regions that show judicious application of resources would harness more taxes, develop infrastructure and attract economical useful migration from other regions.
- In the interview Junaid Mohammed granted us, he said this to the Igbo: “
“They plotted a coup, carried it out and they believed they could go on and win a civil war, but they failed woefully, and if they want to try it again, they will fail. Before the civil war, the Igbo had key positions; they had chief of army staff in Ironsi, they had Nwokedi as the Secretary to the Federal Government who ran the Army and the Civil Service as if they were Igbo extension.
After the counter-coup, and throughout the civil war, we thought they had learnt some lesson. And now with the performance of Anyim as the Secretary to the Federal Government and the performance of Ihejirika, we now know that the Igbo did not learn anything and did not forget anything.”
- The Southwest controls the nation’s wealth, yet they want Fiscal Federalism”.
It’s a bombshell from Junaid Mohammed and we serve it fresh.
The Independence Day package starting today runs through our sister publications on Sunday and Monday.
Outside the independence anniversary package we have other stories that will interest you.
Remember Evans, the notorious kidnap kingpin who collected millions of dollars as ransom from his victims? What did he do with some of his money? Check out our crime pages and you will read something entrepreneurial about the criminal.
Sule Lamido hits the road running for the 2019 Presidential election. He is the first candidate to set up an office in the Southeast. The November election in Anambra State is fast approaching. Follow our update.
Stay with your refreshingly different newspaper in the drive for a better life for the people. —Onochie Anibeze, Editor, Saturday Vanguard.