Friday, 4 May 2018

Killings: Southerners, Middle Belt, Southwest Leaders Meets, Insist Restructuring Way Out For Nigeria


Leaders of South and Middle Belt Forum (LSMBF) has called for national emergency over the increasing security challenge in Nigeria. The group, comprising elder statesmen and leaders from the Southwest, South south and Middle Belt areas of the country, identified systemic dysfunction as cause of Nigeria’s problem.

Leaders of the forum met with Senate President Bukola Saraki on Thursday and called for a restructured Nigeria where there is a devolution of power. President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, John Nwodo, who spoke on behalf of LSMBF, said the way out of the challenges facing the country was for the National Assembly to effect the devolution of powers through constitution amendments.

"Systemic dysfunction is the worst of all the problems confronting the country, and, in fact, the precursor of most of the crises in the land,” he said.“Our problems emanate from the constitution being presently run in the country as against the ones operated between 1954 and 1966 which gave room for decentralised federation with attendant development driven or healthy rivalries among the federating units.

"We have been kept down by the kinds of constitution we run, which to a large extent, provides for over-centralised federation by way of concentrating powers and resources for running the country at the centre alone to the detriment of the federating units.

"In a nutshell, our system makes the tail wags the dog rather than the dog wagging the tail. Escalation of disunity and wanton killings in the land not in anyway matched with required equal reaction by security forces have only one destination, which can only be salvaged by restructuring the country so as not to end up singing the ‘nunc dimitis’ for the nation.”

He noted that the recent invasion of the Senate by thugs that forcefully snatched the mace and the refusal of the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris to honour the summons of the Senate were clear examples of the Executive’s disregard for the institution of the National Assembly.“We have come to you at a very difficult time in the history of our country. We are visiting the National Assembly because of its unique position in our constitution. The democratic system we run in our country rests on the three organs of government.

"For these three arms, the other two function in accordance with laws made by this arm. This arm characterises democracy because in a military government you will have both the judiciary and the executive.“But it is only in a democratic government that you have the parliament. The parliament is a microcosm of the people because every section of the country has by adult suffrage delegated its voice to this parliament.

"So, we believe that by visiting you today, we are coming to speak to the conscience of the country. We ask that these discussions today be as frank as possible because in situations like this, unless the National Assembly rises like one man, with a conscience, commitment and patriotism, to unveil the facade of partisan politics, partisan advantages and face the real issues, we stand of the edge of a precipice.”

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