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Yakubu Gowon Urges FG To Listen To Calls For Restructuring, Other Agitations |RN

Yakubu-Gowon

Former military head of state, Gen. Yakubu Gowon

…Says, ‘Poverty, corruption greatest enemies of Nigeria’s democracy’

From: Noah Ebije, Kaduna

Former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd), has urged the Federal Government to listen to the agitations of the people, particularly regarding restructuring, and create a true and fiscal federalism that would enable Nigerians enjoy durable peace and stability.

Gen. Gowon noted that true federalism thrives in a multiplicity society like Nigeria, adding that power has been over-concentrated at the center, while calling for devolution of power to the federation’s units leaving Federal Government with vital aspects like defence, foreign affairs e.t.c.

He said the biggest enemy of democracy is poverty, while calling for massive job creation across board for the teeming unemployed Nigerians to reduce  poverty.

This was also as he said that poverty and corruption were the greatest enemies of the nation’s democracy.

Delivering a keynote address at the 2017 House of Justice Annual Summit at Murtala Square, Kaduna, with the theme ‘Building a Nation of Justice and Peace’, General Gowon, who was represented by former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana, said Nigerians should resolve to live together in peace through consultation, just as he called for a system of government designed to eliminate corruption and indiscipline on all facets of Nigerians’ lives.

According to him, “Federal Government should listen to the agitations of the people to arrive at a kind of structure that would enable Nigerians have stability and peace.

“There are important reasons to look at fiscal federalism, who gets what, it is becoming a conscientious issue that we cannot wish away, we need to take decisions in the interest of all Nigerians.

“We need good leadership, good governance to produce genuine development. Our democracy must produce good leaders to lead to good policy, good programmes and good development. We must ensure security and welfare of the people.”

“If we are to build a nation of peace and justice, we must agree on object of tolerance. We need a system designed to eliminate corruption and indiscipline in all facets of our lives. We must cultivate integrity, rebuild trust, implore honesty, reward hard work, promote justice, create jobs, trust in younger generations. We must develop zero tolerance for corruption.

“We must eliminate poverty, the biggest enemy of democracy is poverty. We must generate jobs for the teeming youths so that poverty can be eliminated from the society.

“We have no business being poor because GOD endowed Nigeria with tremendous resources that can make Nigerians rich. We need to build a nation of Justice and peace for Nigerians to live together in peace.

“We must create a suitable federal system in a multicultural, multiethnic and multi religious country like Nigeria only federal system can work.

“The best form of cooperation to live together is federalism. Federalism thrives best in a multiplicity of units as we have in Nigeria.

Earlier, Chairman of the occasion, Dr. Usman Bugaje, in his address, said there was need to salvage the values of the society, even as he called for new features that Nigerians should look for in their leaders to ensure good governance. “The decomposition of our societal values have been so undermined, the society is so loose, we need to come together to salvage our society.

In the words of Bugaje, “We can discuss about what needs to be done but the most important thing is the will to do it. We need to look for character, competence and capacity in our leadership especially in political parties because what we see in most political parties now is that when we want to choose a leader, we look at what the person have, quality leadership will bring justice and peace.”

For CEO House of Justice, Gloria Ballason said the event was aimed at discussing the biggest National problem of the year with a view to find solution to it, adding that law is no law until it ends in social justice. (The Sun)

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Igbo Online Referendum On Nigeria In The Offing |The Republican News

 

By Sunday Ani (sunnyani2013@gmail.com)

An association of Igbo in the Diaspora, the Global Igbo Alliance (GIA), has said that the structure of Nigeria is not working.

The group is conducting opinion poll among the Igbo all over the world to know what they actually want in the Nigeria federation.

Speaking exclusively to the Daily Sun, the vice president of the group, Rev. Luke Iwunze explained what informed the poll, what they intend to do with its outcome and how they would achieve result.

What are the details of the GIA opinion poll among the Igbo all over the world?

The poll is aimed at sampling the opinion of the Igbo to know what they want. Do they want Biafra? Are they in support of restructuring Nigeria along regionalism? Or are they comfortable with the status quo; that is remaining one indivisible Nigeria as it is today? That is what the poll is all about and we are inviting all Igbo sons and daughters to follow the linkhttps://s.surveytown.com/survey/ and express their views.

 

What informed your organisation’s decision to embark on this?

The decision to conduct such poll became imperative following divergent views from the Igbo nation regarding their existence in Nigeria. Right now, the Igbo are divided between those who want Biafra and those who want regionalism fashioned in line with the 1963 Constitution, with no significant number in support of Nigeria as it is today. So, there is need to ascertain the position of Igbo people on this subject

What do you intend to achieve with the poll?

The poll will assist us to know the minds of our people. Already, there is disagreement on what the majority of Igbo want for their future. The poll would help to settle that. As there is no evidence-based proof on the subject, the poll will certainly provide us with a degree of statistical evidence on it, which would then become the basis for our next line of advocacy for the Igbo.

 

How do you intend to achieve your desired aim with the poll considering that you are not on ground at home to push for the realisation of the poll outcome, probably through legislation or other possible means?

The world of today is global village. We don’t have to be in Abuja or in Nigeria to make a change. When the opinion poll ends, we will have the results analysed. Once that is done, we will work in conjunction with other progressive Igbo groups and leaders to marshal out strategies for its implementation. In other words, when we get to the bridge, we shall cross it. How to make the outcome of the poll have impact won’t be a problem at all. We have our plans but we would rather keep it to our chest pending the conclusion of the poll.

Why is GIA passionate about the current state of the Nigerian federation?

GIA believes Nigeria is a democratic state and people should not be ruled against their will. If majority of the Igbo say they want Biafra, we will put the message across to our people. If they say they want regional government fashioned after the 1963 Republican Constitution, we will definitely follow the same process. GIA believes strongly that either of the two alternatives needs to occur to achieve peace in Igbo land. This is 21st century and things ought to be done according to the will of the people.

Nigeria right now is not working and having been like this for decades with things getting worse by the day, there is need to sit down and re-evaluate ourselves as a country. If Nigeria is not working, let us go back to the drawing table to re-negotiate, not just for the Igbo alone but also for the future of all Nigerians, including our unborn children.     (The Sun)

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Ethnic Agitations: Federalism Non-negotiable, Says Ijaw Youths Congress Leader

Roland-Oweilaemi-Pereotubo-the-IYC-President

Barr. Roland Oweilaemi Pereotubo

From: Ben Dunno, Warri

The President Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) worldwide, Comrade Roland Oweilaemi Pereotubo, has reiterated the need for a constitutional review that would accommodate the interest of the minorities by enforcing strict adherence to fiscal federalism based on resource control and devolution of power as panacea for peace and sustainable development.

Making this submission in a paper presented at the ’National Conference On The Future of Nigeria’, held in Washington D.C, USA, last weekend, Peretuobo, attributed the growing ethnic agitations in the country to the fundamental lapses in the constitution that was foisted on the people by successive military governments who ruled by decrees and barrels of guns.

He noted that there was never a time that the Nigerian people sat together to adopt both the 1979 and 1999 constitution as the constitutional conferences that reviewed them prior to adoption were the creation of military rulers then to fulfilled all righteousness as the input made were never taken into cognisance by the dictators in power.

He stated that until the Nigerian people were made to come to a round table and deliberate on how they choose to be govern themselves  with reference to the principle of fiscal federalism that would guaranty the rights and privileges of the   minority ethnic groups in resource control, devolution of power and restructuring, there would continue to be ethnic nationalities agitations.

According to him, “The 1979 and 1999 Constitutions are military decrees wearing a constitutional gown. The military rulers enacted them only to satisfy their dictatorial urge. Since after the 1957/8 constitutional conferences, none of the Constitutional conferences held so far by successive governments have produced any Constitution”.

“The 1995 Constitutional conference held by Late Gen. Sani Abacha, the Constitutional Reforms Conference by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in 2005, the Pro-National Conference (PRONACO) by PA Anthony Enaharo and Prof. Wole Soyinka in 2006 as well as the 2014 National Dialogue by Dr. Goodluck Jonathan did not resulted in the enactment of any Constitution”.

“The 1999 Constitution which is a creation of Gen. Abubakar Abdusalami’s military junta cannot be said to be representing Nigerians interests”.

“The only way that consensus can come in is when Nigerians sit together to enact law for ourselves. It is my humble view that some of the above mentioned constitutional conferences have wider acceptance by Nigerians”.

“If the Government of the day can implement the recommendations of the PRONACO Constitution or the 2014 National Dialogue, the constitutional crisis in the country would be addressed”.

“My suggestion therefore to the solution of the Nigeria’s future is for the government to address the constitutional crisis in the country, vis-a-vis the popular demands for restructuring, devolution of power to the region/States, resource control and true federalism”.

“To us in the Niger Delta region, our demands are in addition to the above are self-determination and political autonomy. We want to be free citizens in our fatherland. The present political structure of Nigeria treated Niger Deltans as outcasts”, he concluded. (The Sun)

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Nigeria Remains Better As One, Says Osinbajo |The Republican News

yemi-osinbajo1

Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo

From: Obinna Odogwu, Abakaliki

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on Saturday, said that Nigeria’s unity remains non-negotiable. According to the Osinbajo, the country is and would remain better of as one nation than divided. He insisted that dividing the country into different entities across ethnic lines would serve no one any good.

Osinbajo spoke in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capiral, during the solemnisation of his Chief Detail, Ekene Nelson Nwokoro and his wife, Ngozi, at the Pastoral Centre of the Catholic Diocese of Abakaliki.

The Vice President noted that the country was a great country and has everything in it to provide for the people. It was also a wedding involving another couple, Stella Awoke and her hubby, Peter Nwenyi.

Osinbajo also opined that the country is better together, stronger together than separating but identified corruption as its only problem.

“This country is better together, stronger together than separating. There is nothing that we will gain by being separated. The countries around us are all tiny countries, very tiny countries. Rwanda which is celebrated in Africa, Lagos state alone is six times the economy of Rwanda. So, we are a great country and anybody who wants to separate us, we must reject the person because this country can provide for every one of us, it can carter for all of us.

“Our problem is corruption. If we check corruption in this country, there is more than enough for all of, more than enough. We should just bear it in mind that this country must remain a united country, we must stand together and as we go along, where there are difficulties, we must sit down and look at those difficulties, resolve them and move along as brothers. That is the way great countries developed. Let us come together, stay together and I want to thank his Excellency the Governor for his stand on the unity of the country” he said.

On the request by Governor Umahi for the Federal Government to construct railway that will pass through the South East, the Vice President said, “the Port Harcourt–Maidugari end of the road has been approved by President Muhammadu Buhari and that will pass thorough Enugu, Abakaliki and Awka, the capital of Anambra State.”

“So, there is no question at that the railway will pass through Enugu, Abakaliki and Awka. So, there is no need to make that request because it has already been granted by Mr. President. The budget has been approved,” he said.

Osinbajo also lauded the agricultural policy of the Ebonyi State Government which he described as phenomenal and therefore promised that the federal government would support the state to realize its full agricultural potentials. This is even as he described Gov. Umahi as one of the bridge builders of federal government administration.

“We will do our best to support Ebonyi State. The progress Ebonyi State has made is phenomenal and it is what everyone in the country has the knowledge about. I listened to all that His Excellency has said about what Ebonyi state required and I want to say that there is very little we will not do for Ebonyi state” said he.

Earlier, Governor Umahi commended the Federal Government for support of the state. Present at the ceremony is the former Governor of the state, Chief Martin Elechi; Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi; Mrs. Rachel Umahi; Sen. Sam Egwu and wife, Ukamaka; among others.  (The Sun)

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Igbo Presidency In 2023 Will End Agitation – Amaechi (Ohanaeze Nidgbo) |RN

Biafra1
PRESIDENT of Ohanaeze Ndigbo of the 19 Northern states, Augustine Amaechi has said an Igbo presidency in 2023 will end various agitations in the South East.

Amaechi also alleged high level injustice, marginalisation and lack of fair play against the South East.

Speaking in Minna, Niger State, yesterday, after a one-day meeting of the group, Amaechi said the region has suffered marginalisation and neglect for too long.

“Nigerians should support Igbo presidency in 2023, as the only way to douse growing tension in the South East.”

He insisted that agitations by the banned Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) were borne out of injustice and continued marginalisation of the region.

“Virtually every Nigerian agrees that there is injustice in the country, especially against the South East, but what every Nigerian has not agreed is what to do to address the injustice.

“Some have called for restructuring, some for devolution of power, all these still boil down to restructuring and the reason for this is that one region has not been recognised as belonging to Nigeria,”

He pointed out that what they are seeking is equitable distribution of power and resources in Nigeria.

“We want every Nigerian to be happy, I want to say that injustice to a Nigerian is injustice to all irrespective of tribe or creed. It does not matter where the person comes from, once a Nigerian suffers injustice, it should be a concern to all,” he added.

Amaechi explained that the leadership of Ndigbo from the 19 Northern states was in Minna, not only to address issues that concern Igbo, but to also get feedback from all the northern states on the recent quit notice issued to Igbo, although the tension has died down.

In addition to this, “the meeting will enhance a better relationship among the Igbo and their host communities.

“This meeting will help us advise one another on a better understanding of the host community culture and give due respect to the community that has accommodated us. Igbo in the North are wealthy. As a result of the conducive environment we enjoy, we have prospered and we are bound to appreciate some of their cultures.”

“We are here to deliberate on issues as it concerns Ndigbo particularly and to point out areas where we feel the state has not treated us well.

“I want to tell you here that our national head quarters has spoken in favour of restructuring and we are bound to follow the fact that this country should be restructured,” he said.

Amaechi said politics would not be ruled out of the meeting in Minna “because when leaders are taking political and economic decisions, ‎it is necessary to weigh the effects of such decisions.

He said Igbo would do everything to secure the unity of the country as they aspire to produce an Igbo president in 2023‎.

“We want to produce the president of Federal Republic of Nigeria and not Biafra and this reminds everybody that we are not talking of Biafra this time,” he said.

Amaechi said with such ambition, the Igbo has to build bridges of friendship between Igbo and their various communities.

“At the end of this meeting, I can assure you of ‎the Igbo presidency in 2023,” he said.

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My Agenda For Yoruba: Achieving True Federalism An Urgent Objective – Gani Adams

Gani-Adams

Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba, Otunba Gani Adams

By MUSA jibril

The new Aare Ona Kakanfo-designate  of Yoruba land, Otunba Gani Adams has said that achieving true federalism is the urgent objective before the leaders and people of Southwest Nigeria. He stated this in an interview with Saturday Sun during the grand finale of the annual Olokun festival held at the Suntan Beach, Badagry, Lagos.

“We are talking about restructuring––what politicians call true federalism––which in a proper arrangement, is called federal system of government, not the system we are running now that is completely a unitary system of government,” he said.

Adams, who observed that true federalism was the foundation of Nigeria’s independence in 1960 and the basis of the republic constitution in 1963, argued that it is the pragmatic system that affords each geographical zone the luxury to develop at their own pace. He said “without restructuring this country there is no way Nigeria can move forward.” He noted how the lack of it has been inimical to the development of the country. “We have been over-dependent on allocations coming from the centre and we have not been creative in our government levels, and at the same time, private initiatives have not thrived,” he said.

Adams, who is also the national coordinator, Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) and convener, Oodua Progressive Union (OPU), gave a hint on how his new position as Aare Ona Kakanfo, proclaimed by the Alaafin of Oyo on October 15, will impact on his leadership of the pro-Yoruba organisations he has been leading for many years.

“Being Aare Ona Kakanfo will energise me to foster unity in Yoruba land and to project the Yoruba culture more; it will assist me to defend the interests of Yoruba land better, and also to defend the interest of Nigeria in general on the basis of justice and equity,” he declared.

In the same breath, he dispelled the notion that he would be pursuing a narrow agenda of ethnic prerogatives. “My cause is not only about Yoruba; it is about justice in the whole world,” he avowed. “I do not support the Yoruba people doing wrong against other people, and vice versa. Every human being comes from God, therefore, anything I do will be on the basis of justice so I can enjoy the happiness and prosperity of God.”   ( The Sun)

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Poverty Rate In The North Alarming, Says Emir Sanusi |The Republican News

sanusilamido

Emir Muhammad Sanusi II

Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II, has said the poverty rate in the North is alarming and added that it is just as alarming all over the country.

The monarch has also urged the political class not to clothe restructuring in religion and in ethnicity.

Emir Sanusi this at the 100th anniversary of Union Bank in Lagos, on Wednesday, where he also said there is a need to reduce the cost of governance.

He blamed the inability to pay salaries of workers on the amount spent on public servants.

Sanusi said restructuring, in the real sense, should be  about but how to reduce the cost of governance.

“We are surprised that we are spending 80 to 90 percent of our revenue on public servants? That is the system we designed.

“We have a Constitution that says we must have a governor and a deputy governor, and a state House of Assembly in each of the 36 states.

“You have a president and a vice-president and a minister from every state; you have 109 senators, over 300 members of the House of Representatives.

“You have 774 local government chairmen and, in each local government, you have 10 chancellors and a speaker, a regime of special advisers and assistants and you are surprised that you cannot pay salaries?

“So, you want to have a discussion on restructuring? How do you reduce the cost of governance without amending this structure? Do we need 30, 40 legislators in every state? Do we need 100 legislators in Abuja? Must we have 36 ministers or more?

“This is a constitutional conversation. You don’t have education, public health. We have seen the numbers; infant mortality, maternal death by childbirth and yet, the states and local governments, which are supposed to provide education and healthcare do not have the naira share of government revenue.

“Let’s have that conversation.

“It can be an intelligent conversation. You don’t need to shout Biafra or Boko Haram. Let’s sit at a table and talk about what works for Nigeria. At the end of the day, devolution is not about ethnicity or devolution; devolution is all about bringing development to the grassroot.

“When we clothe this in gender, ethnicity or religion, we lose the opportunity to make progress and our constitutional rights.”

He recounted the story of a woman whose child died while waiting to see him, to ask for N3,000 for medicine. The monarch said the poverty rate in the North and the country, in general, is alarming.

“My one disclaimer to all politicians is that if I do not call you by name, I am not talking to you,” he said.

“A famous politician, who is unnamed, said a mark of the prosperity of this country was the number of private jets we had. It is the elite mindset.

“I came face to face for, maybe the first time in my life, what it means when we say X percent of Nigerians are living on less than one dollar; 75 percent of adolescent girls in the North West are married. In Lagos State, the poverty rate is 8.5 percent, in Zamfara, it is 91 percent, in Kano it is 77 percent, in Yobe, it is over 90 percent.

“Now, put human beings behind those numbers and ask yourself, how many of the 170 million Nigerians are living on less than one dollar per day? Where do they live and is there likely to be peace and stability in those areas in the nearest future?

“You ask if there can be prosperity without peace, I say to you; there is no peace without prosperity.

“Nigeria is a country with 170 to180 million people and the medium age is 19. In the next 20 years, you will have at least 85 million Nigerians within the ages of 20 and 40.

“That is the population of Germany; the third largest economy in the world.

“And, till we begin to think of economics, not in terms of inflation, Gross Domestic Product, reserves, but how many human beings are able to eat three square meals a day, how many young people have an education and how many people have a chance in life, we can never have peace.”  (The Sun)

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