Anyaoku, others at book launch, restate call for true federalism

Chief Strategic Planning, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), George Ogboro (right); Chief Economic Strategist, Nextnomics, Dr. Temitope Oshikoya; representative of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, Executive Director, Africa Business Round Table, West Africa Region, Dotun Ajayi; Former Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku; Chairman, Editorial Board of The Guardian, Prof. Wale Omole; Author of the Book, Amb\assador Eloho Otobo; his wife, Esther and Senior Research Fellow, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Prof. Aja Agwu, during the presentation of a book “Africa in Transition, A new way of looking at progress in the region,” in Lagos…yesterday. PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

• Bamanga Tukur canvasses private sector development
• APC chieftain blames past govts for decay of infrastructure in N’Delta

Former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, has restated call for Nigeria to start practising true federalism.He said the country, with its current frustrating circumstances in all sectors, would not achieve political and other aspects of stability if it continues under its present governance structure, which pays only lip service to federalism.

Anyaoku made the call yesterday at the public presentation of a book written by Ambassador Ejeviome Eloho Otobo titled, “Africa in Transition: A New Way Of Looking At Progress In The Region” held at the Institute of International Affairs, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The elder statesman, who identified governance deficits as the greatest impediments to Nigeria’s national development, said that the route to political stability for any nation with diversity is true federalism as recognised and agreed by the founding-fathers in the 1960 and 1963 constitutions.

Anyaoku stated: “My call for restructuring is predicated on the belief that there is no part of Nigeria that does not benefit from belonging to a country of the size and as richly endowed as Nigeria. Restructuring as some critics fear will not lead to disintegration of the country. It will instead create a path to ensuring a united country with an improved chance of progressive development.”

Also, Chairman, Editorial Board of The Guardian, Prof. Wale Omole, decried the country’s lack of organisation capacity, saying when there is talk about stability at all levels, the financial, government and political sectors are nowhere to be found.

According to him, all the agitations and restiveness the country is currently facing would necessarily happen because of these deficits in the Nigeria.He, therefore, cautioned against providing superficial measures to solve the problems. saying it would not work.

“All we need to do is to provide solutions to these matters and we are capable. We can do it.“If you want this country to be one, useful and productive, you must attend to everybody,” he said.

Meanwhile, the book Chief Presenter, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, who stated that the book covers a wide range of public policy issues confronting African countries, including Nigeria, said the book also provided fresh analytical perspectives on many key challenges that African countries are grappling with.

Tukur, represented by Mr. Dotun Ajayi of the Africa Business Roundtable, hailed the book for offering compelling suggestions to tackling these problems.He, therefore, said that as the author rightly noted in his book, the full potentials of private sectors in Nigeria and other African countries would not be realised in the context of organisational, scientific and technology and stability deficits.

Dignitaries at the event included Ambassadors Olusegun Olusanya, Ayoola Olukanni, Wole Coker and Olu Sanu, Chief Economic Strategist, Nextnomics, Dr. Temitope Oshikoya and Mariam Olafuyi.Others were Senior Research Fellow, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Prof. Aja Agwu; Dr. Femi Badejo; Executive Director, The Guardian, Toke Alex-Ibru; Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Chringo Ventures, Ike Ezenwosudo; Dr. Joseph Okpaku and Mr. George Ogboro of the United Nations (UN) Economic Commission for Africa, Addis Ababa.

In another development, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Ede Dafinone, has blamed past administrations in the country for the dilapidation of infrastructure in the Niger Delta region.

He also attributed the prevailing agitation for restructuring in the country to the unequal sharing of the nation’s resources.Dafinone, who assured that Nigerians would begin to enjoy the full benefits in the third and fourth year of President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, said the government had already taken some bold steps to restructure the country.

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Emeka Anyaoku
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