Balarabe Musa, Akintoye, others back regionalism
•Ngige tasks leadership, calls for youths cooperation
Former governor of old Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa yesterday in Enugu joined others to support a regional structure of government at the Federal level.
Speaking at the 18th Annual Convention of the Igbo Youth Movement (IYM) in Enugu, themed “How to resolve the crisis of Nigeria as a nation state,” Musa said that the call for regionalism has become pertinent as the present state structure has become untenable because the states are unviable.
He said: “As presently constituted, the states are virtually all unviable entities, which are incapable of continuing to exist as viable constituent units of a true federal structure. Reverting to, say, a six regional federal structure would reduce the competitive pressure for power at the centre and redirect more attention to regional political competencies.”
The minister of labour and productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige, who was represented by Chief Kingsley Ezenwenyi said, “The problem of Nigeria is simply a failure of leadership.
If we had good leadership, regionalism, statism, and other atomization in the nation will be non-existent.”
In his submission, former academician and Afenifere chieftain, Professor Banji Akintoye while lamenting the threats of the continued state structure said, “if we do not create viable states, take away some of the powers available at the centre, the probability of the country breaking up will become a reality sooner than expected.”
He noted further, “there is no country organized like Nigeria. The ethnic nationalities are too big to be grouped together under the control of a very powerful federal government, which controls all the resources of the country.”
Calling for cooperation among the youths from all ethnic groups, Akintoye, a former senator, noted that it would be unwise for Igbo youths to assume that the desires of youths from Arewa are different from theirs.
According to him, “the youths must focus attention and action on the terribly warped federal structure that some leaders have gradually forced upon our country. Let the youths rise and fight until the advocates and supporters of it yield to the demands of restructuring.”
The publicity secretary of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin also called on the youths to insist on the implementation of the report of the 2014 National Conference as the only way to move the nation forward. “If we don’t go back to that report, the country will be in reverse especially on the recent government pronouncements on local government and multiple policing.”
In a different vein, Professor of Physics, Felix N.C. Oragwu challenged the political leadership saying “it will be a big disservice if the nation’s political leadership fail to address the enormity and complexity of the nation’s problems.”
According to him, the nation needs unity and peace to develop its economic potential. He however noted that the sustenance of the progress is “contingent on all ethnic nationalities and other stakeholders to be able to come together to freely agree on how to live together in a sustainable federal structure.”
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