The President General of the Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, has said the current Nigeria’s political structure is unfair, exploitative and unsustainable.
Nwodo said Nigeria’s future was bleak and could only be salvaged by sincere deliberations among the people.
The Ohanaeze leader made the comment at a national discourse to mark the 90th birthday of the Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark, in Abuja on Thursday.
He stated, “Our political system is jaundiced, unfair, exploitative and unsustainable. Since attainment of independence, the civilians have not been able to agree on a political structure. Our present constitution and the previous 1979 constitution were impositions of the military – an unrepresentative and dictatorial corps whose decrees were seriously influenced by the lop-sidedness of their composition.
“The economic and development data from Nigeria is not encouraging in many sectors. Our law and order system including the police, the court system and the penal system have been characterised by impunity, incompetence and indiscipline.”
Nwodo said bad leadership, corruption, law and order, resource control and true federalism deserved a timely attention and should even be more worrisome to the younger ones who must realise that the next 50 years could be more challenging.
He believed the best way to manage the structure of the country rest on dialogue.
“We have, for too long, allowed the bitterness of the war and its lingering feelings to dictate our political relationships. The coalition that fought the war is still in control of Nigeria, engaging in rhetorics that fuelled the war in managing renascent Nigeria. The young men and women who were not part of the war are frustrated by this impasse.
“The future is bleak unless Nigerians come to the table to discuss Nigeria truthfully,” Nwodo stated.
In his contribution, the National Publicity Secretary of Pan Yoruba group, Afenifere, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, said opponents of restructuring of the country were only out to continue reaping where they did not sow.
He explained that the constituent parts had the opportunity of embarking on mass education, creating more employment opportunities, exploit the opportunity of the vast land available to them to create wealth rather than the dependence on the Federal Government.
“Those who oppose restructuring want to continue to reap where they did not sow; educate your population, employ and task them to make more money, cultivate the landmass you have to get more money rather than running to Abuja. If we restructure, Nigeria has the potential to be a N60tn economy,” he added.
A former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Victor Attah, who presented the main paper, said the call for restructuring was in consonance with the terms of the negotiation of independence.