Revisiting 2014 Confab document more important than 2023 poll, says Olabode George

Former Deputy National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olabode George, has noted that giving the numerous challenges facing the country currently, the real task before every Nigerian is to call for revisit of the 2014 Constitutional Conference documents.

George said this became imperative in order to allow for redesign of the nation along a true, fair, equitable and civilized federation, declaring that such was even more important than the 2023 presidential election.

George made this call on Friday in a statement titled: “A New Year, A New Beginning,” while identifying cankerworm of banditry, kidnappings, the #EndSARS protests that triggered ruin and bloodletting in the country alongside the “terrible” COVID-19 pandemic from which no nation was spared and whose scourge still festers across the globe.

The elder statesman, who is also the Atona Odua of Yoruba land, while describing the year 2020 as indeed Annus Horribilis and at once Annus Miserabillis as well as a very terrible year on all fronts, lamented that it was amid all this that the country was still challenged with the burden of inequitable obviousness in the machineries of the state.

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This was just as he further lamented that Nigeria as a republic was still much skewed, imbalance, distorted by a constitutional arrangement that does not augur for national cohesion and growth.

“Let us revisit the document of the 2014 Constitutional Conference which in totality is quite enlightening about how this nation can be redesigned along a true, fair, equitable, civilized federation. 

“This is the real task before us all now. It is even more important than the 2023 presidential election,” he said.

“The year 2020 was indeed Annus Horribilis and at once Annus Miserabillis. It was a very terrible year on all fronts. No nation was spared from the terrible pandemic whose scourge still festers across the globe with increasing venom.

“Here at home we equally confronted the cankerworm of banditry, kidnappings, the Endsars protests that triggered ruin and bloodletting. 

“Our nation is still challenged  with the burden of inequitable obviousness in the machineries of the state. Our Republic is still much skewed, imbalance, distorted by a constitutional arrangement that does not augur for national cohesion and growth,” he lamented.

George posited that the composition of power must ultimately yield to a true and genuine structural equity where everyone would have a sense of belonging and where every state can develop along its own natural path with the resources on its ground.

The politician, while declaring that he did not seek a dismemberment of Nigeria, but was resolved like millions of compatriots that the stronghold of the center must be loosened for a decentralization that favors state autonomy as operated in the United States (US), said it was interesting and equally gladdening that from the North to the South, voices were now coalescing that the country needed a new constitutional arrangement. 

“It is interesting that from the North to the South, voices are now coalescing that Nigeria needs a new constitutional arrangement. This is gladdening. 

“I do not seek a dismemberment of our nation. But I am resolved, just like millions of our compatriots, that the stronghold of the center must be loosened for a decentralization that favors state autonomy along  the line of a United States of Nigeria where the states are allowed comprehensive sovereign powers as reflected in the very constitution of the United States of America which we copied without thorough tidiness,” Chief George said. 

Speaking further, the Atona Odua of Yoruba land, declared that the present constitutional arrangement in the country as wobbly and unjust as well as unfair, saying it had to give way for a  new structural vision without which the continuity of the Nigerian Union would be fraught with  festering maladies. 

The elder statesman posited that there was need to start on a clean slate where justice, representative evenness define the nation’s democratic space, while wishing the country well as it grappled with a new, progressive idealism in its journey towards a new democratic nation.

“This present platform is wobbly. It is unjust. It is unfair. It has to give way for a new structural vision without which the continuity of the Nigerian Union will be fraught with  festering maladies. 

“Let us start on a clean slate where justice, representative evenness define our democratic space . I wish our nation well as we grapple with a  new, progressive idealism  in the journey towards a new democratic nation,” George admonished.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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