President General of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisatioon, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Chief John Nnia Nwodo, has likened Nigeria to a jungle facing imminent collapse under the current government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to him, Nigeria currently does not represent the wishes and aspirations of the people.
Nwodo told newsmen that the country must be restructured, saying that the Council of State has arrogated to itself the power of the legislature.
“Now, this is our plight; does it mean that our security forces cannot infiltrate the Boko Haram? All over the world, that is the essence of intelligence. Enter the organisation with your own informant within the organisation”, he said.
“Does it mean they don’t? Does it mean the $1 billion is going nowhere? Now, the Council of State has arrogated to itself the legislative organ. The other day, they budgeted $1 billion to give to states that are prepared to give grazing colonies. This is the rule of the jungle and the country is collapsing.”
Nwodo also bemoaned the poor security situation of the country, which led to the recent abduction of some girls from Dapchi, Yobe State.
“The porosity of the security in Nigeria leaves one with a lot of disgust that I am beginning to wonder whether there is not something behind all of this.
“Boko Haram has sought for ransom before and they were given ransom; so soon after the children have been kidnapped, somebody who calls herself Mama Boko Haram said she was now being contacted.
“When you give them this money, they will use it to re-arm themselves and they will use it, come back and kill more of our troops. Is government part of Boko Haram?”, Nwodo quipped rhetorically.
Meanwhile, leaders from the three geopolitical zones in the Southern part of the country and the North-Central, last Saturday, vowed to remain resolute over their demand for the restructuring of the country.
At a mega rally held in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, they declared that no amount of intimidation blackmail and killings could deter them in their quest for a country that is based on equity, fairness and justice.
Host Governor, Seriake Dickson, joined the coalition of leaders to reiterate his call on the Federal Government to restructure the country before the 2019 general election.
Dickson, who spoke at the South-South mega rally with the theme: “Restructuring the Nigerian Federation, noted that, only restructuring would guarantee the development, unity and peaceful coexistence of the country.
Dickson, who emphasised the need for consensus building to foster better understanding on the issue and convince opponents of restructuring, pointed out that no amount of military intimidation, blackmail and wanton killings would suppress the agitations for resource control, environmental justice, equity and proper federalism generally.
While commending the All Progressives Congress (APC) for setting up the el-Rufai Committee on restructuring, Dickson, however, called for sincerity of purpose by synchronising areas of divergent views, push President Muhammadu Buhari to sponsor executive bill to the National Assembly for debate and passage by the National Assembly.
In his remarks, the special guest of honour and former President Goodluck Jonathan, urged Nigerians to closely study the recommendations of the 2014 National Conference, with a view to finding a common ground in resolving issues agitating the people.
Represented by Senator Nimi Barigha Amange, Jonathan said the call for restructuring was not misplaced, as it would go a long way in addressing the structural challenges of the country and ensure equal rights to all Nigerians.
Chairman on the occasion, Chief Albert Horsfall, urged the people to be positive and united in the struggle for resource control.
Also, the co-chairman of the Central Planning Committee, Professor Godini Darah, who described the event as a festival of unity and restoration of federalism in Nigeria, said the rally was a follow-up to an earlier one organised by the South-West in Ibadan last year.
On his part, the national leader of Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Chief Edwin Clark, posited that the constituent parts of the federation would do better in terms of development, if they were empowered to control and manage their resources.
Going down memory lane, leader of the Afenifere delegation, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, noted that what is today known as, the struggle for resource control was started by the sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, who made a strong case for the Minorities in the 1954 London Constitutional Conference.
Presenting the position of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nwodo, said the mass movement for restructuring was aimed at restoring the stolen sovereignty of the people from oppressive and undemocratic forces for the common good of the country.
Dr. Bala Takaya, of the Middle-Belt, also called on youths and the womenfolk to join in the task of taking back the country from the precipice.
While stressing that the Middle Belt was in the vanguard for the call for true federalism through restructuring, he said only true federalism would give a sense of belonging to all ethnic nationalities in the country and stop the ongoing ethnic cleansing across the country.
Others at the rally were a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Olu Falae; former Governor of Plateau State, Senator Jonah Jang, former Ijaw Youth Council President, Chief Asari Dokubo, Senator Stella Omu and representatives of the governors of Delta and Akwa Ibom states.
They insisted that true federalism of Nigeria remained the ace to the nation’s stability and economic prosperity, stressing that, recent developments in the country have given credence to the fact that there is no better time to restructure than now.
Nigeria To Observe Low Key Independence Day Anniversary -FG
Unlike those before it, Nigeria’s 63rd Independence Day observance will not feature a ceremony at the Eagle Square, Abuja, but will be held “low-key,” the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume, has disclosed.
Akume revealed this to State House Correspondents after he emerged from a closed-door meeting with Vice President Kashim Shettima, at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja, on Wednesday.
He said October 1 would be “a time for reflections…to think very deeply as a people and the journey forward.”
The former Minister of Special Duties, who was reluctant to reveal details of the issues discussed, said it bordered on plans for the Independence Day.
“Independence is a historic event for any country and we Nigerians are no exemptions. c
“We are fully prepared for celebrations and for obvious reasons, it is going to be low-key and we are wishing Nigerians the best of luck and I want to assure them that better days are coming and pretty soon too,” he noted. c
On the modalities of this year’s edition, Akume said, “This is going to be low key; we are not going on fantastic jamboree at the Eagle Square and other locations.
“It’s a time for reflections…to think very deeply as a people. This journey is being charted by the captain of the ship.”
On what the government would do concerning the Labour Unions’ 21-day ultimatum that ended yesterday, he said, “Labour leaders are very patriotic Nigerians and we want to believe correctly that nobody will want to cause a strike.
“It’s not in the interest of the workers; it’s not in the interest of anybody because this government is very determined to ensure a good standard of living for Nigerians and to create prosperity for all.
“It’s not something that can be done overnight. This government came into being on May 29 and we have a tenure of four years. So, it will be inappropriate for us to begin to judge based on the few months we have spent in the office.”
The organised labour had on September 1 issued a 21-day ultimatum to the Federal Government over the delay in sharing palliatives, saying it might be compelled to declare an indefinite labour action if its demands were not met.
It said all is set for a total shutdown of the economy, which would start at the expiration of the ultimatum on Friday.
Among other demands, the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress are asking for wage awards, implementation of palliatives, tax exemptions and allowances for the public sector workers and a review of the minimum wage.
Though the Federal Government committed to restructuring the framework for engagement with organised labour on palliatives, the eight-week timeframe set for the conclusion of the process expired in August with no action.
Work Begins On Eleme-Onne Road As FG Releases N33bn
Minister of Works, Senator David Umahi, has said that the Federal Government has committed N33billion to a giant construction company, RCC, to commence work on the Eleme-Onne section of the East-West Road in Rivers State.
Umahi, revealed this information during his inspection of the project and various other Federal Government initiatives within the state, yesterday.
Speaking from the Eleme-Onne road construction site, Umahi pointed out that President Bola Tinubu had tasked him with a working visit to evaluate the ongoing work.
He pointed out that this project gained significance after the president’s discussions with Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, and the Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Chief Nyesom Wike.
“This road from Eleme to Onne Port, the Rivers State people led by Governor Siminalayi Fubara and former governor Nyesom Wike led delegation to come and see the president.
“The president directed that I should immediately come here and ensure that work has started.
“The President has released N33billion for this project to RCC for them to start,” he said.
Justice Mary Odili Institute Trains Magistrates In Rivers
The Justice Mary Odili Institute has organised a training programme for the newly appointed magistrates in the Rivers State Judiciary for effective service delivery and enhanced performance.
The Institute was established by the State government in conjunction with the state Judiciary for the training and capacity-building of Judiciary workers across the state.
Speaking while declaring open the two-day capacity-building workshop /training with the theme “The Magistrates: Navigating The Path Of Justice,”the Chief Judge of Rivers State, Justice Simeon Chibuzor Amadi charged the newly appointed magistrates of Rivers State Judiciary to brace up to the challenges of their responsibilities and ensure that justice was served for all irrespective of their societal status .
He urged them to abide by the principles and doctrines of impartiality in law, stressing that respect for the law forms the bedrock on which the judicial system stands.
He stressed on the importance of training and capacity-building in job performance and urged them to take the two-day training seriously in order to deliver on their mandates.
Amadi described the roles performed by the magistrates in the administration of justice as pivotal and urged them to remain resolute in the discharge of their duties.
The CJ urged them to be committed to justice delivery and assured them that the newly built Magistrates Court would be put to use by next month.
The number one State Judicial officer further expressed optimism that the workshop would expose the newly appointed magistrates to divers perspectives and innovative approaches that would enhance their job delivery .
Earlier in her opening speech, the Administrator of Justice Mary Odili Judicial Institute, Justice Anwuri Ken-Chikwere emphasized the need to regularly train and empower the new magistrates on the rules of legal practice, even as she encouraged them to be committed to their job.
By: Akujobi Amadi
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