…Keep quiet if you don’t know what to say
By Anayo Okoli, Peter Okutu, Chimaobi Nwaiwu, Chinonso Alozie & Steve Oko
SENATE President, Dr. Ahmed Lawan has come under serious criticism over his attack on Southern Governors over their call for restructuring and ban on open grazing, with elder statesman and first Republic Aviation Minister, Chief Mbazulike Amechi telling him to keep quiet if he has no meaningful thing to say about the meeting, adding that Northern Governors have more unsolved problems facing them than their southern counterparts.
The former Senate President, Dr. Adolphus Wabara also advised him to stop talking loosely and the Chidi Ibeh -led Ohanaeze Ndigbo described him as “a rubber stamp of the presidency and biased umpire”, calling for his impeachment without delay.
Chief Amechi while speaking on Ahmed Lawan’s opposition to the outcome of the meeting of Southern Governors at Asaba, said that Northern Governors have more trouble facing them and the Senate President has kept sealed leaps on the Northern Governors nonchalant attitude in solving them thereby allowing the troubles to escalate on daily basis and spread to other parts of the country.
“His attack on Southern Governors is unwarranted, unjustified and immaterial because he should have started from his Northern Governors who first sat and came up with more selfish and divisive resolutions.
“Remember in my interview with you after the meeting of Northern Governors where they talked about only what benefits the North and their cattle and cows. I told the Southern Governors that the meeting of the Northern Governors was a challenge to them and I’m happy that they took up the challenge and came up with resolution that benefits all Nigerians and those that can guarantee peace in the country, not selfish and divisive resolutions like their northern counterparts.”
Wabara in his reaction said he did not see anything wrong with the decision of Southern Governors to ban open grazing in the region and to demand immediate restructuring of the country as well as convocation of national dialogue, which warranted an attack from Lawan.
He said that Lawan has no right to caution the governors and advised him to mind his utterances on boiling national issues.
“I have a lot of respect for Lawan but unfortunately he has derailed. He didn’t get it right this time. He shouldn’t be seen as his master’s voice against southern governors who are expressing the voice of their people.
“He is the President of Nigeria and not the President of the North or Fulani. He should be more objective. When the Senate President is talking loosely, it then means there is no hope for Nigeria”, Wabara said.
“Lawan got it all wrong. Even the unborn babies know that Nigeria needs to be quickly restructured if we must continue to co-exist. The issue here is not secession. Nobody is talking of secession. We need to sit down and talk.
“It is in the interest of the North for Nigeria to restructure because they stand to benefit more if Nigeria continues as one. They should stop calling the bluff of the South.
“If Nigeria scatters, they will lose more. They will have nothing to Fulanise. The North should know that the South is not their slaves. Other nationalities are now beginning to wake up to the realities of what Ndigbo saw before the civil war”, Wabara noted, adding that “Nigeria is yet to learn from the lessons of the war”.
Ibeh-led Ohanaeze Ndigbo said that by his utterances, Lawan has shown that he is not a true leader but somebody procured by a section of the North and the Presidency to do whatever the Presidency wants, even if it means destroying Nigeria.
“Ahmed Lawan’s inflammatory comments on restructuring has single-handedly made him the most unpopular and rubber stamp Senate President in the history of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. How can a leader stand against the collective liberties and yearnings of Nigerians to re-address the faulty system and structural imbalance of the country?
“Perhaps Lawan and his co-travelers were caught unawares by the call for change of status quo which the North had benefited from for too long to the detriment of the South.
“The call for restructuring and ban of open grazing was bitter pills for the North to swallow; and opposition against the southern governors resolutions reinforced our belief and suspicion that the North, like the manner they destroyed the reports of 2014 Constitutional conference, will leave no stone unturned to frustrate the move to restructure Nigeria due to their sinister economic reasons, unhealthy dominance and parochial policies against the south”, Ohanaeze said.
Similarly, former Nigerian Ambassador to Argentina, Empire Kanu, expressed disappointment over the attack of Lawan on southern governor, saying his action was provocative and tantamount to querying the authorities of the governors as the chief executives of their respective states.
“Nigeria cannot be stable without restructuring”, Kanu said and urged the Senate President and his fellow northern leaders to stop thinking that they could intimidate the south into giving up in the quest to restructure the country.
“Why will they be disturbing Nigeria with cows. In Argentina where I served as Ambassador, nobody roams the street with cattle. That is primitive!
“In Argentina and some other developed countries like Denmark and Brazil, cows are kept in ranches and they produce better milk and beef.”
Their hides and skin are also processed for industrial use.
“What is in vogue now is Cattle breeding by artificial insemination. I brought the technology home while I was the Ambassador then but Government was not willing to adopt it. Some governors are now showing interest and that’s the way to go”, Kanu said
He commended that southern governors, saying that they are “now beginning to see what Biafra agitators saw years back”.