According to Prof Ekweremmadu, he opined that “restructuring is not an emotional issue, but a political imperative for Nigeria to make the desired progress” and I agree with him. For us to have a better nation, we must change the way this country is run.
I disagree totally with those who see the calls for restructuring as tantamount to call for disintegration; I also refuse to accept that a call for referendum is a call for war. For all I know, the referendum is a call for a general vote by the electorate on a unique political question. In this case, I believe it is a conscious call for all Nigerians to evaluate this fruitless union that have existed more than 57 years and then consciously agree or disagree to continue the union. Unless there is something some people know that we don’t know that everybody that kick against this restructuring debate evokes war and disintegration as if restructuring is synonymous with war ..if not, let’s stop equating all these legitimate calls to mean war or disintegration.
To be candid, the Biafran agitation and the call for referendum is actually the perpetuation of marginalisation, exclusion, imbalances, injustice and induced poverty that comes with a dysfunctional federal arrangement like ours that is capable of bending a nation towards restiveness and implosion”.
If this country should work towards inclusion, justice, liberty, and allowing every component state considerable autonomy to utilise its resources and its potentials to develop at its own pace, promotes unity as well as speedy and competitive development among state…I believe the agitation will naturally fade away. But is it possible?
The current President, Mr Buhari, is a tribalist and very unforgiving. After the election he promises to deal with those that didn’t vote him in…..and he followed his threat.
If not tell me, apart from the constitutional guarantee that at least one Minister must be appointed from each state of the Federation, other federal appointments and provision of infrastructural amenities are expected to be handled in such a way that every section of the country will have a sense of belonging and recognition no matter their political choice and behaviours. The Igbo nation, from the evidence available, is marginalised in the country, especially by the current Buhari regime, and this should not be so. Few examples could serve here. No Igbo man could be found at the head of any serious Federal establishment either in the military, police, para-military, the Presidency or first-grade Departments and Agencies.
The roads in the South-Eastern part of the country is perhaps the worst in the whole Federation. Even though the state of the roads cannot totally be blamed on Buhari regime, this government is close to two years in the saddle now, and this is enough time for the President to have taken distinctive actions on the sorry state of infrastructure in the South-East. This could have assured the people that the current government cares. The rail network which the current government of President Buhari has voted over N500 billion in the 2016 budget to tackle which connects South-South and South-West zones, Igbo areas were deftly dodged, even Aba, Nnewi and Onitsha which was said to have been part of the initial design have been jettisoned. Also, Enugu Airport which was approved by former President Obasanjo as International Airport but did nothing to actualize that dream until President Goodluck Jonathan came to power to take it to the level where it is now, has not received any attention from the Buhari administration to make it truly international.
The current social intervention programmes of this administration have not changed the cry of the Igbo that they are being marginalized. In its Economic Empowerment and Poverty Alleviation Programme, the Federal Government recently disbursed loans of N100,000 each to 23,400 beneficiaries in 13 states of the country, none of which is South-Eastern state. It could be recalled that when the Federal Government sometime last year, unveiled the plan to acquire a foreign loan of $29.96 billion for provision of infrastructure in some parts of the country, only the Igbo states of South-East were not listed as beneficiaries. Also, the recently released N5,000 monthly stipend to the very poor and vulnerable in the country, which is regarded as the pilot phase of the Buhari Poverty Eradication Programme, none of the Igbo states was amongst the beneficiaries. Many other examples could be cited which invariably justify the cry of marginalisation by the Igbo ethnic group. It seems that the President has lent credence to the statement credited to him when he was on a trip to the United States of America early in his administration that those who gave him only 5 per cent votes will get only 5 per cent of his attention unlike those who gave him 97 per cent votes.
Until Nigeria gets a president “who sees every part of the country as his or her constituency and is committed to reuniting a highly polarized nation and reawakening the giant in all parts thereof; and so long as people are mistreated on grounds of their electoral choices or where they come from, the quest for president of the various ethnic extractions will continue”. And the more this government become repressive and refuses to engage these agitators on a round table…..a much bigger national political and structural earthquake will shake this nation soon. Those who have the ear of the “King of the weaker animals” should get to him on time.