Nigeria political system unfair —Ohanaeze Ndigbo

THE President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nwodo, on Thursday, observed that the present political system of Nigeria was unfair and exploitative. 

Speaking at a national discourse organised to mark the 90th birthday of one time Federal Commissioner, Chief Edwin Clark, in Abuja, he said the if things remained the way they were, the future of the country would be bleak. 

Noting that the system was not sustainable, he stressed the need for a sincere conversation among the people on the best way for the country to move forward.

He pointed out that there had been a lack of consensus on the best political system for Nigeria since independence, noting that the constitutions which had been operated were simply versions of military decrees.

According to him, the system of law and order comprising the police, the court system and penal system had been marked by impunity, incompetence and indiscipline reflecting the dictatorial character or the military.

Nwodo suggested a timely resolution of the various challenges which have been identified and slowing down the progress of the country.

He said: “Our political system is jaundiced, unfair, exploitative and unsustainable. Since attainment of independence, the civilians have not been able to agree on a political structure. Our present constitution and the previous 1979 constitution were impositions of the military – an unrepresentative and dictatorial corp whose decrees were seriously influenced by the lop-sidedness of their composition. 

“The economic and development data from Nigeria is unencouraging in many sectors. Our law and order system including the police, the court system and the penal system have been characterised by impunity, incompetence and indiscipline.

“We have for too long allowed the bitterness of the war and its lingering feelings to dictate our political relationships. The coalition that fought the war is still in control of Nigeria engaging in rhetoric that fuelled the war in managing renascent Nigeria. The young men and women who were not part of the war are frustrated by this impasse.

“The future is bleak unless Nigerians comes to the table to discuss Nigeria truthfully.”

In a keynote address titled; ‘Restructuring, True Federalism and Resource Control- Panacea for enduring Peace and Sustainable Development,” former Akwa Ibom state governor, Obong Victor Attah, observed that restructuring was not different from the need to diversify.

Therefore, he said nobody needs to the afraid of restructuring.

He stated: “Today, we are talking about diversification what is diversification if not restructuring. So why are we afraid to restructure?

“There is no governor today that will lift a finger or put himself out to diversify when every month he can send to Abuja to collect his share of the booty.

“The only reason he would diversify is if he knows that the survival of his state depends on it.

“A governor who knows that the only means of survival for his state is if oil and gas continue to flow through those pipelines will take every possible measure to protect them.

“But he can only do that with his state police. No governor would allow the tourism potentials of his state to remain unexplored if its revenue depended on it.

“A governor who realizes that the survival of his state depends on putting his vast land area into agricultural production will certainly do so. That is diversification. That is federalism.”

Also speaking, the National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, said that opponents of restructuring were only interested to keep reaping where they did not sew.

He added: “Those who oppose restructuring want to continue to reap where they did not sew; educate your population, employ and task them to make more money, cultivate the landmass you have to get more money rather than running to Abuja; If we restructure, Nigeria has the potential to be a N60 trillion economy.”