Nigerians abroad seek international support to rejig nation
• Women canvass restructuring for peaceful coexistence
• ‘President has powers to tinker with federation’
Nigerians in the United Kingdom have formed a common front to garner the support of the international community for the crusade on restructuring. The groups, at a meeting in London at the weekend, lamented that only two per cent of the population corner the commonwealth in Nigeria.
Comprising the South-East/South-South Network, Yoruba Ronu, Bendel Federation, Igbo Ekunie Initiative and the Movement for National Reformation, the groups submitted that the present structure was not working, adding the lasting solution to the nation’s age-long under-development remains true federalism.
In a communiqué at the weekend by its spokespersons, Felix Adejumo and Maazi Tochukwu Ezeoke, the group resolved to create an international platform to pursue their common goal, urging all citizens to see the crusade as pan-Nigeria.
They said: “For how long will the country continue with the current arrangement which is not working and cannot work? The only solution to the nation’s problem is true federalism which will enhance development across the federation.”
The communiqué observed that the present structure is not working, has never worked and will not work. “There is need for all southern ethnic nationalities to work together to break the northern hegemony which is an obstacle to the progress of the country,” they declared.
However, the Women Organisation of the Diocese of Lagos West, Anglican Communion, has sought a political restructuring to guarantee peaceful coexistence among the citizenry.
It noted that the agitation would guarantee equitable distribution of resources and political powers among the diverse ethnic groups.
The president, Mrs. Lydia Odedeji, who made the appeal yesterday during the organisation’s 18th yearly conference in Lagos, said the raging agitation in the land calls for a review of Nigeria’s nationhood.
Also yesterday, a Warri, Delta State-based human rights lawyer, Oghenejabor Ikimi, criticised the recent statement by the Presidency that President Muhammadu Buhari cannot force restructure through fiat.
He maintained that the President had unfettered constitutional powers and fiat as the Head of State, Chief Executive of the Federation and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federation under Sections 5(1)(a) and 130(1) and (2) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) to initiate any national discourse on the social contract that could bind us together as a nation, including the “restructuring of our nation along the lines of true fiscal federalism within our present democratic framework in a bid to ensure unity, peace and progress in our country.”
Ikimi said the opinion of the Presidency that it was only the National Assembly and the Council of State that can handle agitations for restructuring and other constitutional changes in the country was faulty.
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