By Ugochukwu Alaribe, Umuahia
National Coordinator, Concerned Advocates for Good Governance, CAGG, Barr. Olusegun Bamgbose has said that the increasing agitations by ethnic groups and insecurity are being fuelled by a lack of good governance in the country.
According to him, to check the agitations and insecurity, the country must be restructured to address the marginalization and injustice meted on some sections of the country.
Bamgbose, in an interview with Vanguard in Umuahia, explained that it has become necessary to overhaul the Nigerian constitution to address issues of agitation for secession and enthrone justice and equity.
He added that all sections of the country must be made to find greater accommodation in national affairs rather than the prevailing system where some sections are treated as second class citizens.
The activist blamed the agitation for secession on the marginalization of some parts of the country and bad leadership and warned that Nigeria is doomed if such anomalies are not addressed.
In his words; “The truth of the matter is that what the government is trying to do is basically what we have been talking about; restructuring. There is no better way to embrace restructuring more than what the government is now requesting from the agitators.
“The entire system must be totally overhauled; we want equity and federal character. There must be justice and no ethnic discrimination in Nigeria. The Constitution should be amended to accommodate restructuring. With the level of marginalization and agitation, restructuring has become inevitable that Nigeria can’t survive with it.
“If there is no restructuring, Nigeria can’t make progress because we have the problem of bad leadership and weak institutions. Our institutions are not working; we need a total overhauling of the system. We need to rework the 1999 constitution as amended;
He condemned the exclusion of the Igbo from the security architecture, stressing that no ethnic group should be promoted above the other.
“There must be fairness in appointments; no ethnic group should be promoted above the other. A situation where a major tribe like the Igbo is missing in the security architecture is unacceptable and must not continue. There should be a constitutional provision not to exclude any group like the Igbo in security appointments. Rotation of the presidential position must be inserted into the Constitution. We must avoid a situation where one ethnic group will dominate the presidency because they have the numbers. These are some of the key areas we should restructure.
“We can only check agitation if there is good leadership that accommodates every group. I remind you that there was no agitation during the Gen. Ibrahim Babangida era because almost every part of Nigeria was represented in the leadership. It was the same thing with President Yar’dua.
“The problem we have today is bad leadership and it is increasing the tempo of agitation in the country. I’m not an Igbo, but the Igbo have not been treated fairly in Nigeria. If the Igbo are taken care of in appointments and other areas, do you think there will be agitation for Biafra? No, Biafra would have died a natural death. It is the feeling of discrimination and non-accommodation that feeds agitation. You can’t mistreat people and expect them to keep quiet. It can never happen. Nobody is happy with the present structure and bad leadership in the country. The Yoruba are agitating because they are not happy with a stranger taking over their land, killing them and raping their women.”