A pro-restructuring organisation, The Core Federalists, has called on 2023 Presidential candidates to put the restructuring of the country atop their priorities as the campaign for the general elections draws closer.
While reiterating the need to urgently restructure the country, the group insisted that all presidential candidates must make the issue a fundamental objective of their campaigns to assure Nigerians that the next president will restructure Nigeria in a way beneficial to all zones of the country.
This, the group, which was founded by the late Afenifere spokesman, Yinka Odumakin and a few others, believes will go a long way to ensure equity, justice, peace and the elusive development in Nigeria.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, signed by Ambassador Humphrey Orjiako, Chief Handel Okoli and Comrade Mark Adebayo, the Core Federalists stated that, “As the 2023 general elections knock on our doors, the Core Federalists as an organisation, has noticed with serious concern that the issue of restructuring Nigeria has not gotten the kind of attention it deserves in the conversations around the elections.
“We, in the CF, believe that there is no issue more important and urgent than restructuring in present-day Nigeria due to the fact that almost all the challenges the country is battling with – insecurity, underdevelopment, economic backwardness, massive corruption and inter-ethnic distrust, religious violence and allied crises – are not unconnected with the warped structure of the country that is not only unsustainable but also unworkable. Obviously, it has not worked for us judging by Nigeria’s recent and not-so-recent history.
“We like to remind Nigerians in general, those in power today and those who aspire to be in power in a short while that Nigeria’s only golden era was the period it ran a system of true federalism from 1958 to 1966 before military putsch truncated the first republic and the federal structure that sustained it up to that point. Nigeria functioned far better under real federalism than it has under a unitary system that has drawn it backwards by several decades and rendered it incapable of competing with the same league of nations like Singapore, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Brazil and others”.
“Restructuring Nigeria to make it function optimally as a country of a multiplicity of language, culture and religion is an urgent imperative. We believe strongly that development and peace will continue to elude Nigeria if the federating units – geopolitical zones, states and local government areas – are considered mere appendages to the so-called Federal Government to which the former must kowtow for monthly handouts without the capacity to determine the direction they want their communities to proceed and the development templates they wish to apply as relevant to their environments. There is no gainsaying the fact that this type of system discourages productivity and kills creativity and consequently stifles development.
“It is even worse that the federating units are denied the authority and plans of how they can effectively defend themselves against internal aggressors that terrorise their communities. Nigeria is today at war with itself, yet the federating units are denied the authority to protect themselves by a Federal Government that has woefully failed to secure the territorial integrity of the country.
“One reality that we cannot run away from is that, considering the current state of the country’s insecurity, even the seat of government at the center is threatened by terrorists and that Nigeria is a rapidly failing country that must be urgently rescued. The recent easy access and attack on the Kuje prison protected by the military, the Police and other security agencies points exactly to that reality.
“We demand that each of the presidential candidates running for office in the 2023 presidential election make public their restructuring plans for Nigeria.
“This is informed by the indubitable fact that there is no manifesto or leadership capacity, no matter how good on paper and in practice, that can deliver the required results in a unitary system that currently subsists in Nigeria. A perfect policy thrust will be frustrated by a faulty, badly engineered structure that Nigeria currently operates.
“More than promises, we demand assurances from the presidential candidates that whoever wins will make restructuring Nigeria a distinct priority. We call on all Nigerians to see restructuring as the irreducible minimum agenda that we require to save the country and should make it a point of critical action to support and vote for a presidential candidate who is unequivocally committed to restructuring Nigeria. That is our saving grace that must be embraced by all,” the statement read.
Jubilation As GDI Takes PVC Collection Sensitisation Rally To Oyigbo
It was an ecstatic scene in Afam, headquarters of Oyigbo Local Government Area, last Sunday, as the Grassroots Development Initiative, GDI, took its PVC Collection Sensitisation rally to the area.
The tumultuous crowd that attended the event from the ten electoral wards of Oyigbo was a bold statement that Oyigbo people have embraced the message which GDI had come to deliver: ‘Operation Go and Collect your PVC’ .
Speaker after speaker at the occasion underscored the importance of the PVC to the electoral process .
Chairman, Inter Party Advisory Council, IPAC, in Rivers State, Ambassador Desmond Akawor, highlighted the need for eligible voters to consider it as their duty to collect all unclaimed PVCs still at the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, offices across the state.
Ambassador Akawor who is also the State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, thanked the people of Oyigbo for the massive turnout, noting that it was an indication that they were well aware of their civic responsibilities.
Ambassador Akawor who thanked GDI for initiating the sensitisation program, described it as timely, instructive and worth the while.
Gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Rivers State, Amaopusenibo Siminialayi Fubara, who spoke in Ndoki language, said he was happy to be home, explaining that the people of Oyigbo, Opobo and Bonny are one and the same people.
Amaopusenibo Fubara expressed delight at the level of mobilisation of the people but advised them to ensure they collected their PVCs and be ready to make good use of it at the appropriate time.
The well attended rally featured procession by the ten wards of the LGA who defied the rain to showcase their level of enthusiasm and sensitisation.
Present at the event were the Deputy Governorship candidate, Prof. (Mrs) Ngozi Ordu; Chairmen of local government councils; members of National and State assemblies; PDP and GDI members and stakeholders, including the President-General of GDI, High Chief Bright Amaewhule; Deputy Chairman of PDP in the state, Hon Chukwuemeka Aaron and the State Secretary, Dr Benibo George.
There were also solidarity speeches from stakeholders of Oyigbo LGA.
Politicians Paid N5m To Destroy Me, PDP Nat Sec Cries Out
Crisis is brewing in the Imo state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, following the alarm raised by the National Secretary of the PDP, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, on Monday alleging that the sum of five hundred thousand naira has been paid each to 10 persons to churn out damaging information about him (Senator Anyanwu) ahead of 2023 elections in the state.
The Senator disclosed this to newsmen in Owerri, through his Special Adviser on Media, Ikenna Onuoha.
Anyanwu who accused some of his party members in the state of being behind the plot of destroying him also said they were the same party members who were not happy with his emergence as the National Secretary of the PDP.
According to him, “We have uncovered a plot by desperate politicians to blackmail and impugn the National Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Samuel Nnaemeka Anyanwu. Information at our disposal showed that these desperate politicians otherwise known as “Internally Displaced Politicians – IDPs” are recruiting online media hatchet writers to assist in running down the image of the PDP National Scribe.
“Available information also has it that these politicians have stationed ten (10) known “cash and carry” online media writers and paid N500, 000 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira) to each of the recruited writers.
“We also gathered that they have selected eight (8) newspapers in the state and promised to pay N100, 000 (One Hundred Thousand Naira) on monthly basis to each of the newspapers all in a bid to assist in discrediting Senator Anyanwu. No doubt, these Internally Displaced Politicians are furious over their dwindling and diminishing political relevance since the majority of our members have come to know their true colour.
“We are aware that these politicians resorting to self-help are angry that an Imo son, Senator Anyanwu emerged the National Secretary of the main opposition party in Nigeria against their failed plot to foist two Anambra sons on our party as National Secretary.
“We also uncovered that these politicians championing the fake news against Senator Anyanwu are afraid that the ongoing rebranding in our party, the PDP might affect their selfish political hegemony against their desperate bid to grab power. We have noted their fears since the leadership of the Divine Mandate Movement (DMM) was rejigged and we can only tell them sorry for their failed ambition.
“It is worthy of note that since his inauguration as PDP National Scribe, these mischief makers have continued in their avowed plot to distract Senator Anyanwu using unsubstantial stories with the colouration of falsehood aimed at blackmailing him.”
“Recently, in their desperate bid to blackmail our National Secretary, these mischief makers conjured another fake news that Senator Anyanwu gave a stern warning to IPOB and cautioned Igbo Youths against Biafra agitations. This was immediately refuted thereby destabilizing their target.
“Similarly, just recently, as usual, the confused politicians also criminally forged the signature of Senator Anyanwu’s Media Aide alleging that he ordered members of IPOB to account for Killings in Imo State while using the massacre of 14 Otulu Youths in Awo Omamma as a pointer. Recall, they had used a known online media merchant to accuse our National Secretary of hijacking the just concluded PDP 3-man ad-hoc delegates and primaries respectively, unknown to them that our party members are aware of those that wanted to deny the party candidates in the primaries,” he said.
LG Boss Set To Commence Community Hall Project For Udekama Kingdom
In continuation of the fulfillment of his social contract with people of Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State, the Chairman of the council, Hon. Michael John Williams, has concluded plans to commence the construction of a befitting Town Hall for the people of Udekama Kingdom in Ward 12 of the local government.
Speaking during a consultative meeting with stakeholders of the community, comprising chiefs, Community Development Committee (CDC), youth and women representatives, at the Council Secretariat in Degema, Monday, the Chairman apprised that the meeting was convened in order to seek the consent and approval of the community, before its commencement, inline with his administration’s policy of consulting and involving community members in development projects and programmes of government.
He commended the community for their patience and steadfastness with his administration while projects were being sited in other communities, maintaining that his administration was committed to fulfilling its campaign promise of executing projects in all communities of the LGA.
He however took a swipe at some misguided persons who rush to the social media to lampoon and abuse government for allegedly not embarking on projects in all communities of the LGA simultaneously, describing it as unrealistic, as no administration could achieve that, considering the paucity of funds.
The Council Chairman stated that his love for the Communities and people of the LGA motivates him to do what he is doing for them, adding that governments were expected to work for the betterment of society.
“People often say, even to my hearing, that this chairman will leave office broke with a waterproof bag. But I tell them in all honesty that I am comfortable with my monthly take-home.
“We are not here to enrich ourselves, but to make Degema LGA better than we met it and that is partly why we are investing heavily in infrastructures in our various Communities,” he stated.
The Council Boss, who informed the community of his plan for the community, however, asked them to nominate projects of their choice for consideration, if they preferred something else.
After the community representatives gave a nod for the construction of the Town Hall, the Council Chairman unveiled the prototype and asked them to provide a piece of land that is not a subject of litigation for the commencement of the project.
Responding, the Onu-Onyan Ekein of Udekama Kingdom, King (Dr.) Reuben Zachariah Amos, Peika 7, thanked the Council Chairman for his kind gesture to the people of the area.
Represented by Chief Oho-Oswo Francis, the traditional ruler commended the Chairman for changing the past narrative of the LGA, noting that he has done better than all past Chairmen of the Council.
While particularly thanking the Chairman for appointing their sons and daughters into his administration, the traditional ruler promised that his people would continue to be of good conduct to engender peace in the LGA.
“We want to thank the Chairman for honouring his promise to us such as siting this project in our community, appointing our sons and daughters into his cabinet, amongst others, which has never happened in the previous regimes. ”So our chairman has started on a very good footing by siting this Town Hall in our community and we accept it in good faith and we say a big thanks to our chairman.
“We wish to promise our Chairman that we shall continue to be of good behavior, we will continue to conduct ourselves creditably and there will be no breach of the peace,” he assured.
The community representatives later led the Council Chairman into the community, where a piece of land was shown to him to site the Town Hall project.
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