By Chinonso Alozie
Owerri—Following the new year message by President Muhammadu Buhari, stakeholders in Imo State, yesterday, requested for a seaport to be established in the South-East zone.
They made their views known to Vanguard, in Owerri, while reacting to Buhari’s New Year message.
Some argued that the Igbo make up 80 percent of importers of foreign goods in the country and it was wrong for the Federal Government not to consider the zone for a seaport.
They said the neglect of the South-East people has been the reason the zone has remained underdeveloped.
On the issue of restructuring, they asked President Buhari not to shy away from the reality that what the country needed most is total restructuring.
They reasoned that the inability of the Federal Government to listen to Nigerians was the bane of development in the county.
They added that the 2014 confab report could begin a process for a total restructuring of Nigeria, for the betterment of Nigerians.
In his view on President Buhari’s New Year message, a lawyer and human rights activist, Mr. Wisdom Durueke, said: “The New Year message by the government in this country has become an annual ritual. The approach is not organised. When you politicize development, you lose out what you intend to achieve.
“One thing we need to know is that we have been talking about it from the time of Shagari, we have been taking about dredging Oguta, we have talked about Onitsha.
“For me, I do not see any reason why the Federal Government cannot get serious in these areas too. We can have two, three seaports as far as I am concerned. The expected work on Onitsha is abandoned.
“So, I want to say, there is nothing wrong in Mr. President looking at his speech and saying, add Onitsha and Oguta.
“On the issue of restructuring, let me quickly say that there are different school of thoughts on restructuring. Restructuring does not mean balkanization of the country. I think that is where the Federal Government is getting it wrong.
“When you talk of restructuring, you talk of socio-economic and political restructuring of the country. It is to show equity and to promote integration and coexistence. What the federal government should do is to open the door of discussion on the issue of restructuring.”
Speaking also the National President of Igbo National Council, INC, Mr. Chilos Godsent, “We believe that Nigeria should be restructured to be able to have the enabling ground for everything to move in the right direction.
“We are calling for the total restructuring of the polity. A conference of the people, call it National Conference, call it conference of the people.
“Where contributions will emanate from the different continents nations that make up the Nigeria state, we know that the present National Assembly cannot give us an effective constitution that will be all inclusive restructuring.
“Because we know that some of the National Assembly members are not voted by the people, they rigged themselves, they bought the votes through their God-farthers’.
“The President should invoke the 2014 report of the National conference, that was organized by the last regime, that alone can begin a process.
“This stand of the Presidency on the issue of restructuring will affect the Southeast zone, in all ramifications. The present structure of Nigeria does not encourage merit, hard work, it will affect the Southeast because it is the greatest loser in the whole arrangement.
“The Southeast zone needs Seaport more than any part of this country. The Southeast people are the more than 80 percent importers of foreign goods. So, we need a seaport. Let me also, say this the President should make the already established seaports functional before erecting a new one. If not I call it a monumental waste of funds.”
According to Chibike Onyema, “This new year message of a thing ,I am very tired and I want Nigerians to read their own new Year message to their leaders. Nigerians should find a to do away with these crop of politicians. They have brought us more sadness than joy. This what I can say about the new year message of the president.”