Nigeria’s Federal Government Is Overloaded & Incapable of Effective Supervision of Probity – Says Chief Nwodo
This video was an address by the President-General of Ohaneze-Ndiigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, at the 2019 Izunne annual festival organized at Lekki, Lagos on January 26, 2019. Chief Nwodo started by acknowledging and lauding the spectacular accomplishments of Igbo Lagosians who constitute the largest concentration of the Igbo elite corps in the world. Since he came with a message that has immense political implications for Ndiigbo, in particular, and rest of Nigerians, in general, the Ohanaeze leader spared no effort to make it clear that his appearance was not on behalf of any partisan alignment doing business in today’s Nigeria. As leader of the Igbo apex sociocultural group, he is prohibited from engaging in partisan politics while in office. His visit was as a consequence of wide consultations being made with all Igbo stakeholders concerning the current state of the Nigerian nation and the place of Ndiigbo therein.
The preponderance of Igbo youths, particularly those who constitute the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) ranks, strongly believe that the Igbo future must be sought outside the framework of the Nigerian nation. Some believe that the IPOB leadership canvasses for a referendum to enable the Igbo ethnic nationality to exit Nigeria. Chief Nwodo noted that the IPOB’s separatist quest is not unlike what obtains in the Catalan state of Spain, Western Sahara region of Morocco, Quebec province of Canada, Scotland in the UK, Bayern in Germany etc. He posits that despite the attainment of regional autonomy, secessionist bids worldwide are often frowned upon by international bodies, not to mention the stiff resistance by the parent nations affected. He reminded his audience that Ndiigbo had engaged in a secessionist endeavor in the past which not only failed but also was responsible for the immense suffering and loss of lives and properties as well as the total devastation of the Igbo heartland which was turned into a war theater for more than two years. He reiterated his previous pledge to sabotage the efforts of anyone or group that shall enhance the likelihood of a repeat of the civil war horrors on the people he currently leads.
He prefers a geopolitical restructuring of today’s Unitary Nigeria as the best path forward for the Igbo ethnic nationality. To add clarity, the nature of restructuring for which he advocates must aim to restore the regional federalism of the First Republic which was arbitrarily abrogated by the military rulers who intervened in January 1966. He recollects the economic vibrancy of the Eastern Region which was, at the time, easily the fastest developing region in Nigeria in the immediate post-colonial era. He laments the relative decline in the lot of Ndiigbo who became subjected to gut-wrenching marginalization by Unitary Nigeria since the Civil War. His leadership vision in the Ohanaeze is to assure that the Igbo penchant for commerce and voluntary migration into all parts of Nigeria is protected today and for all times.
In lieu of secessionist bid championed by the IPOB, the Ohanaeze chieftain explained the details of what had been done to build cross-ethnic solidarity and alliances which can facilitate and expedite a peaceful geopolitical restructuring of Nigeria. He explained the effort made to restore the rapprochement between Ndiigbo and the Yoruba. Once accomplished, the emergent alliance was rapidly expanded to include ethnic nationalities of the geopolitical Southsouth and Middle Belt zones. The clout engendered by this multiethnic coalition played a major role in persuading the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) in the Arewa North to voluntarily join the coalition. While it is clear what the ethnic nationalities that constitute Nigeria demand restructuring as the preferred way forward, the incumbent administration of President Buhari continues to insist on unitarism as stipulated by the imposed fraudulent 1999 Constitution.
The 2019 general elections are shaping up to be a sort of referendum on restructuring. The incumbent president is against while the leading opposition candidate, Atiku Abubakar of the PDP, is in favor of restructuring. Furthermore, Atiku Abubakar wisely chose Chief Peter Obi as his vice-presidential candidate. He reminded his audience about the many transformative changes that Governor Peter Obi brought to Anambra state in the realms of education, commerce, security and road transportation infrastructure during his eight-year tenure at State House, Awka. Chief Nnia Nwodo observed that vice-presidential candidate, Obi, shall not be the one who would allow himself to be sidelined by the presidency when decisions of national import are being made.
The Ohanaeze boss concluded that the Atiku/Obi ticket is the best political deal that the Igbo ethnic nationality can get today. With the rationale for the Ohanaeze endorsement fully explained, Chief Nwodo may have effectively pushed back on critics against the apparent immersion of the Ohanaeze Ndiigbo into partisan politics contrary to the apex group’s constitutional stipulations.