State Of the Nation: ‘Why Nigeria might never Move Forward’

State Of the Nation: 'Why Nigeria might never Move Forward'

Group of elder statesmen and leaders, made up of Chief Chris Asoluka, Prof. Pat Utomi, Chief Richard Akinjide; Prof. Ben Nwabueze; Chief Emeka Anyaoku and Chief Ayo Adebanjo yesterday, spoke on the state of the nation and things that needs to be done to move Nigeria forward.

According to Vanguard, the group canvassed urgent and drastic measures to  halt the speady slide into retrogression and put the country on the path of socio-economic recovery and harmonious co-existence.

They spoke in Lagos at the  37th  Centre for Values in Leadership, CVL colloquium held in honour of Professor Nwabueze, 86 and Chief Akinjide, 85.

Professor Pat Utomi, who kick-started the dissection by identifying bad leadership as the major problem of the country, a reason he said the group was focussing on training and empowerment of young people to become effective leaders. To be effective leaders, he said youths must be knowledgeable and have the habit of self-sacrifice and giving.

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Apart of leadership, he said: “The issue before Nigeria now is restructuring. If we don’t restructure Nigeria, we won’t go far’’ and urged the younger generation of Nigerians to take their destinies in their hands and save the country.

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Speaking in like manner, Chief Adebanjo, who went down memory lane, recalling how the founding fathers arrived at the federal system government and how the regions flourished under fiscal federalism in the First Republic with 50 per cent derivation, said the various agitations and restiveness in the country now will be addressed with restructuring.

According to him, injustice, marginalisation and inequitable distribution of the nation’s resources are the root of the agitation for Biafra Republic and restiveness in the Niger-Delta. Instead of condemning the agitators, Adebanjo said Nigerians should ask if their complaints and cries are true, adding that any youth who goes to Abuja and sees the development there will carry arms to protest the squalor in his area where the resources come from.

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He said:”Will anyone from the South-South go to Abuja and see what is happening there and not go back home to carry arms? Let us stop deceiving ourselves, even if I am the one from the region, I will carry arms.”

On his part, Professor Nwabueze said the country has not had good leaders after the founding fathers like Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief  Obafemi Awolowo and Ahmadu Bello, noting the position of the president is not a job for anybody.

He also decried the abandonment of true federalism, saying the power at the centre is too much and ‘’we cannot make progress without restructuring.’’

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He urged those opposed to restructuring not to entertain fears because “restructuring is not breaking up of the country. I don’t think the vast majority of Nigerians want break-up.”

Closing up the event, Professor Babatunde Ogunmola, who is a chemist and chancellor of Lead City University, traced Nigeria’s problem to Lord Lugard’s amalgamation of Northern and Southern protectorates in 1914.

His words: “The problem started with the 1914 amalgamation. As a chemist I know that amalgamation is an imperfect mixture or union. We have never attempted to create a perfect structure from the union since 1914.  So, there is a basis to restructure the country.’’

Source: Vanguard


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