The hue and cry over the socio-economic and political conditions of this country is pervasive. It manifests in the various agitations stemming from the various political blocks in the country. Nigeria as at present is in need of a solution that works. It appears to have reached a dead end where various options are bandied as possible ways out depending on who is canvassing it.
The political class has failed the citizens, things have fallen apart and the centre can no longer hold. While the South of the country appears terribly inconvenienced in what they have described as a marriage of inconvenience orchestrated by colonialism, the North appears comfortable with the situation and is never agitated.
It has been expressed in varied quarters that the North is the greatest beneficiary of the contraption called Nigeria; it is also rated to be the worst in terms of development indices. The states in the South comprising of two major ethnic groups are canvassing for the balkanization of the nation into other independent states while yet others are gunning for restructuring.
In the week the six South South state governors and other leaders rising from a meeting held in Port Harcourt with the representatives of the federal government demanded clearly without mincing words for the restructuring of Nigeria. The meeting which was earlier scheduled to hold November 19 was convened by the group to express their angst against the federal government’s discriminatory policies of the exploitation of solid minerals in the country.
Among other requests the group called for true federalism, resource control, fair revenue sharing and state police, which they described as the best ingredients to achieving a better a Nigeria. It must be recalled that the region has been in the forefront all the while championing for resource control popularized by the late Bayelsa governor Alamieseigha.
The demand by the South South region is significant and News Echo wishes to align itself to the agitation. The significance is underscored by the fact that political leaders within this area who hitherto had been identified to be on the same page with the federal authorities because of their respective political interest are now bent on speaking out boldly against calculated injustice.
The region could be likened to the goose that lays the golden egg but sadly has remained at the short end of the transaction with their resources aiding development in other areas while they suffer degradation, ecological disasters, and underdevelopment. Their position should serve as eye opener for the pussy footing South East governors who are more like political stooges of the northern oligarchs.
We subscribe to a greater Nigeria entity and would not yield to the dismemberment of the country. We subscribe entirely to the unity of the country under an equitable and just system. Restructuring as it appears under the circumstance is the only way out. We need to restructure in order to remain together and savour the unity in our diversity.
If the country is restructured the various states and regions can optimize their potentials and resources. The monthly trips to the federal capital going cap in hand to collect which has made states lazy will cease. It would be recalled that this was the setting in the past when the economy thrived with groundnut, cocoa, palm produce, rubber etc and the South East was rated one of the fastest growing economies of the world.
Restructuring would make the states creative and more of the country’s untapped huge natural resources would be explored. The healthy competitions that would be engendered would lift the nation to a greater height. Some of our social ills arising from unemployment would be controlled and reduced.
The present system promotes injustice, inequity and unfairness and breeds corruption. It is the recipe for the catalogue of woes we are going through as a nation. Under the present dispensation, there is no way we can have peace and progress which are necessary ingredients for sustainable development. The experience of injustice can hardly bring all on the same page.
The Goodluck Jonathan midwifed national conference of 2014 had voted for restructuring which has been widely adjudged as a panacea to some of our challenges but the present federal government would not have it. The country had since tottered on the brink of collapse while the agitation to restructure keeps soaring.
The South East region trough the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) are asking for the actualization of the Biafra nation which led to the civil unrest. That such agitation persists fifty years after the war speaks volume. The South West region is at the same time calling for an Oduduwa nation and not leaving any stone unturned in its realization.
Now that the South South region has intensified their demand we urge the federal government to cease sitting on the desires and aspirations of the people. There is overwhelming evidence as captured in the Endsars protest that there is loss of confidence in the governance of this country. The earlier the issues are resolved the better for everybody.