By Emmanuel Elebeke
A Civil Society organization operating under the aegis of To Build Nation, TBAN has called for a constitutional restructuring of the country for better service delivery to all citizens.
TBAN made the call on Thursday at a world press conference tagged The Citizens and Nigeria Nation Building held in Abuja.
Addressing the press, the convener of TBAN, Prof. Kingsley Moghalu contended that since there is nearly a national consensus on the restructuring, the country should be returned to a true federal structure that will reduce the tensions among Nigeria’s ethnic nationalities, especially the major ones, and accelerate economic productivity.
Prof. Moghalu also advocated for electoral reform to ensure free and fair elections. In this regard, the organisation is pressing for electronic and diaspora voting.
TBANsaid it had already taken its petition for this to the leaderships of the Senate and the House of Representatives and is also collecting signatures from the public for the petition to popularize our demand for electoral reform.
It therefore called on all Citizens to take responsibility for Nigeria’s Nation-Building support every move geared towards returning the nation to a true federation.
“Nigeria has continued to struggle with nation-building. A combination of political and economic challenges, including ethnic and religious polarization and the worsening rate of extreme poverty among the population, has continued to prevent the country from becoming a united and prosperous nation.
“This dire situation has created very few winners and too many losers. The established career politicians, in or out of government, have been benefiting from the bad situation they created and are maintaining.
“On the other hand, the citizens, in their generality, are the losers. Either as students, the unemployed, wage earners and owners of small businesses, the citizens bear the brunt of the inability or unwillingness of the government to provide favourable conditions for a decent quality of life in the country.
“Worse still, most citizens believe they lack the power to change the situation that so badly affects them.
“Those who have the awareness and the resources to contribute to positive change are unwilling to come out of their comfort zone. But as we have seen, the major and minor economic crises since 2008 have continued to have long-lasting impacts on the Nigerian middle class,” the group said.
“As citizens, we cannot continue to leave the democratic process to the politicians, who seem to care far more about their political interests than the welfare of the people and our national stability – at least until after electioneering,” said Umma Getso, a member of the Board of Trustees of TBAN and a vice presidential candidate in the 2019 general election. “As citizens, we have to organise ourselves,” Moghalu posited.
TBAN asserts that the power for democratic change that would give priority attention to the welfare of the people lies with Nigerians and they need to come together to press for a progressive change agenda.
TBAN was convened in 2018 in an effort by the convener, Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, a former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and presidential candidate in the 2019 general election to awaken Nigerian citizens to their responsibility for Nigeria’s nation-building.