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Obi of Onitsha advocates restructuring of Nigeria

By Pamela Eboh, Awka on 04/10/2016

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The Obi Onitsha and chairman of Anambra State Council of Traditional Rulers, Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe, on Monday said that the prevailing situations and challenges across board in Nigeria have called for a review of the governance structure of the country.

Delivering a lecture in Awka as part of activities lined up to mark the 25th anniversary of the creation of the “Light of the Nation” state. Igwe Achebe observed that the present political arrangement in Nigeria had proved to be unworkable.
With the lecture titled, “Think Nigeria, Invest in Anambra”, Achebe also advised that Ndigbo should urgently address their readiness to survive under any arrangement in Nigeria by investing at home, rather than concentrating their investments and developing other parts of the country to the detriment of their area.
He harped on the need to pursue collective interest by emulating the people of the South-West and the North saying that whatever happens, one would always return to his area.
In his words, “We are individually successful, but collectively, we are very much divided. Other ethnic nationalities that share Nigeria with us are seriously maximising their collective interests.”
The Royal Father noted that going by the support for the restructuring among Nigeria’s ethnic nationalities and prominent individuals, there was need to embark on it as it would give everybody a sense of belonging.
He said:  “On 1st June, 2016, former vice president, Alhaji Atiku Abubarkar, said the restructuring would make governance less centralised, less suffocating and less dictatorial.
“The former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Alhaji Dahiru Musdafar, had also advocated that the 2015 presidential election further divided the country along ethnic, religious, regional and partisan lines, as he argued that after the election, Nigerians seemed as divided as ever.”
Igwe Achebe noted that many ethnic agitators, including those in the Niger Delta, as well as the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), and the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) were demanding cessation over the existing imbalances in the country.
He added that the youths in the South-East feel that they have been constitutionally marginalized compared to their counterparts in other regions. They feel that the present configuration perpetually puts them at great disadvantage, hence their demand to opt out of Nigeria.
“MEND in the Niger Delta also argues that the resources from their area are controlled by a very strong Federal Government in Abuja, while their area which produces the resources is left with virtually nothing.”
Furthermore, the monarch recalled that the South-West leaders sometime ago approved a memorandum, saying that there is need for Nigeria to be restructured in a way that no ethnic group should feel marginalised.
He stressed that with all the agitations, the way out was to restructure in a way that the various interest groups would have a sense of belonging in the nation.
According to him, Igbo should not fold their hands until the restructuring materialized, advising that they should try their best under the present circumstances to maximize their efforts to benefit their area.
Dignitaries at the event include former Vice President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, former President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dr. Dozie Ikedife, former Governor of Anambra State, Dame Virgy Etiaba, Senator Joy Emeodi and Speaker of the state House of Assembly and the representative of the State Governor, Willie Obiano, Mrs. Rita Maduagwu.
Others are prominent business moguls, including Dr. Cosmas Maduka of Coscharis, Dr. Eric Okoye of the Juhel Group, as well as traditional rulers and members of Governor Obiano’s cabinet were also present at the lecture.
•Photo shows Igwe Achebe.

Source News Express

Posted 04/10/2016 12:31:25 PM





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