…condemns govt position on shouting youths on site
By Chioma Gabriel
Diaspora Igbo group, the Igbo World Assembly, IWA, is still insisting on the need to restructure Nigeria to ensure true federalism as it was in the 1963 constitution based on regions or zones respectively.
This is even as the group has condemned in the strongest term the Federal Government position of shooting South East youths on site, noting that it was an act of ethnic cleaning and commitment of genocide.
The Chairman of IWA, Dr. Nwachukwu Anakwenze who stated this in his keynote address in Abuja at the just concluded Nigeria’s 2023 Presidential Transition Inter-ethnic peace dialogue told the gathering that true Fiscal federalism was needed in the Nigeria to address issues affecting the country.
Restructuring of Nigeria , according to him, should be a means of tackling the worsening security situation and the agitation for secession
“We need a Nigerian political structure that is based on equity, fair play, balance and equal access to political power for the good of all Nigerians.
“IWA feels that what Nigeria needs on the long run is true Fiscal federalism which is a system of government based upon democratic rules and institutions in which the power to govern is shared between National and Regional/State Governments. The individual federating units need to have more control over their own affairs.
“ The regional government should control their resources and pay a percentage royalty tax to the federal government. The federal government should control issues in the single exclusive list such as military or foreign policy. We should return to agricultural businesses such as was practiced in the sixties by our former leaders.”, Anakwenze who spoke on a number of issues affecting Nigeria told the capacity audience.
According to him, “there is a need to restructure Nigeria to ensure true federalism as it was in the 1963 constitution based on regions or zones. We need a Nigerian political structure that is based on equity, fair play, balance and equal access to political power for the good of all Nigerians”
According to him, a future Nigeria requires respect for our Constitution andrRule of law, respect for human right and civil rights, respect for the federal character commission rules from 1979 constitution, implementation of restructuring, regionalization and devolution of powers, merit based appointment to government positions, firm knowledge and competent management of Nigeria’s economy,, among others.
Detribalized appointments and leadership in all sectors of the government. equal and equitable treatment of all Nigerian regardless of tribes of origins or religion, elimination of ethnic cleansing in the Nigerian political space, free and fair electoral process, a government that unites all Nigerians and not one that is divisive, he noted were needed now.
Without mincing words, he told the listening audience that , if we cannot work this out quickly, a referendum might be needed so that all the major Nigerian groups can go their separate ways.
On the group position about Presidency of Nigeria of South East extraction, he noted that, “ We ask that all political parties should zone Nigerian presidency to South East Nigeria in 2023. And all efforts should be geared to achieving that goal. IWA states that only restructuring can prevent Nigeria from disintegration”
Speaking with deep concern on the Fulani Herdsmen, he said that Ndigbo will no longer tolerate the attack by herdsmen. “We are very concerned about that because the well-being of our people is involved. We will no longer accept this condition and we are going to talk to our people on what to do about this”, he said.
“Everybody needs to prepare to defend themselves and his family against the menacing herdsmen because we are not prepared to cede an inch of Igbo land to anybody because our land is very small.
“Our people must protect their crops always. If any animal comes to eat the crops, it means hunger will be in the land because that is what the people use after harvesting and sales to train their children or pay for hospital bills.
“If the herders kill our people and destroy our things, we have the right to reciprocate. We want peace for us and for everybody, but if somebody comes to fight us on our land, we will fight back”, he warned.
He commended Southern Nigeria Governors on their decision to ban open grazing in the Southern region.
“ Southern Governors made us proud. I commend and salute their courage. This is the first step on the road to freedom, equity and justice.
“Open grazing is no longer feasible in the country due to development and population growth. Nigeria is a great country with great potentials and should, ordinarily, have no business with poverty, if only there was guaranteed security for lives and property and the people allowed to remain stable in their localities, to explore opportunities in farming and other ventures”, he explained.
Speaking on the Nigerian youths, he advised that there was need to empower the Nigerian youths for the challenges ahead.
“. The reality about Nigeria is that, in spite of the cost of formal education, and its attendant difficulties, the prospect of employment is less promising.
“Overall, there is an obvious mismatch between the graduate turnout rate and the graduate employment rate in Nigeria thus reinforcing that sense of hopelessness amongst the youth and increase in criminal activities.
“ This is why youth development is a priority for us. It has been our vision to continue to stress the need for youth development in the areas of character education, building and remolding of the future workforce, he told the gathering.
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