March 6, 2020

Igbo reason for Nigeria’s economic gallantry, says Gowon


General Yakubu Gowon(retd)

Security failing because of Buhari’s leadership style-Nwodo

By Joseph Erunke

Yakubu Gowon, Moghalu, Biafra

Yakubu Gowon

ABUJA–FORMER Head of State,General Yakubu Gowon,yesterday, said the people in the South East geopolitical zone were the major reason Nigeria’s economic potential was at its current state.
Gowon,who said but for the people, the country would be very poor, said the Igbos made the country a complete one.
He spoke just as the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo,Chief Nnia Nwodo attributed the ongoing security problems in the country to President Muhammadu Buhari’s leadership style, saying the security turned for the worst when Buhari turned its headship to a regional and religious affairs.
Both spoke yesterday,at an event in Abuja,titled:”Debate for National Unity: Federal Character, Restructuring and Rotation of Presidential Power in Nigeria”, organised by Igbo Leadership Development Foundation.

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Gowon,speaking through the former Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Obadiah Mailafia,said insisted that absence of Igbo intelligencea and hard work,Nigeria would not be at its current state.
He maintained that God did not make mistake in putting Igbo in Nigeria. 
According to Gowon, in a democracy, there have to be fairness, justice and transparency in the leadership and governance of a country.
He noted: I am not a friend of hate speech, bitterness but a friend of patrotism because Nigeria is dear to my heart and I believes in bright future of Nigeria and Igbo and that together, we can make our country great.”
Nwodo,on his part,said:”Our country is faulty because our constitution has no legal grounding. Most lawyers here know that for the constitution to be valid,it has to be made by the people, there have to be a referendum for the people to say ‘we accept this.’
“But there was nothing like this,the constitution we run today starts was never made by Nigerians. The people who made this constitution were a group of soldiers, who were not elected into office or elected on a representative capacity but only shared local governments and states to their whims and caprices and today,that constitution does not promote unity.
“Look at the appointments in our country today. The head of the executive-the president of Nigeria is from the North,the head of the legislature-the president of the senate is from the North,the head of the judiciary-the Chief Justice of Nigeria is from the North.
“If you go to the security services, the Chief of Army Staff is from the North, the Chief of Air Staff is from the North, the Chief of Police is from the North, the National Security Adviser is from the North, the National Intelligence Agency is headed by an Hausa man,the National Security and Civil Defence Corp  and everything is from the North, how does this engender unity and confidence?
“If have ever served in government, you would know that the first minister to sit in the security council is the Attorney General of the Federation. The man is also an Hausa man. The woman who manages our wealth,that is the Minister of Finance, she also from the North.
“Gentlemen, if you go to the parastatals,the parastatals that are endowed with the capacity to create wealth and to give employment are also headed by northerners,NNPC is headed by northerners. Even yesterday, NIMASA has also been donated to a northerner! Is this a united country?
“And because of this,security has failed. In one swoop in Kaduna State,51 people were massacred! Of course, it happens in Benue State everyday,it happens in Taraba everyday, it happens in Taraba everyday and they want to come to the South and we are ready for them.”
Also speaking for himself,Mailafia decried injustices faced by Ndigbo’s in the country.
Noting that the country was big enough to accommodate everyone irrespective of tribe, Mailafia noted that the constitutional debate on restructuring must address all imbalances for the sake of equity.
 “I believe that a lot of injustice have been done to the Igbo’s and the constitutional debate on restructuring must address all imbalances”
“Nigeria is big enough for all of us and I believe that the Ndigbo, Middle belt and the Yoruba’s are the true Nigerians because if you look round our borders, people came from abroad and are still coming but Ndigbo’s have always been there, middle belt have always been there, even Yoruba’s have always been there”
“People who came in yesterday who have a duty of respect are now the ones talking”
“Going forward we must create a federal democracy that will respond positively to all the aspirations of our people not about East-West but all about working together in equality, bringing in the youths, the women together to build a new Nigeria,” he said.