1 An elderly statesman, Dr Nnamdi Onochie, has once again called on the federal government to come up with a plan for true federalism, in order to address the disturbing fault lines that keep Nigeria divided.
2 Speaking to reporters in Abuja on Wednesday, Onochie lamented that Nigeria continues to wallow in problems until political leaders have the courage to tackle the endemic problems that keep the country on the ground.
3 Former colonial masters, Britain merged Nigeria in 1914, to give birth to Africa’s largest nation, but 107 years later the country was plunged into various problems, preventing the country from realizing its full potential. .
4 According to Onochie, the solution is for the government to implement true federalism as an article of faith to ensure fairness, fair play, justice and equality of all ethnic nationalities in the country.
5 “Unless the path to equality of all states, as it stands today, is unchallenged, Nigeria will continue to struggle against divisive tendencies and the center will never stand to build. an indivisible and united nation.
6 He reiterated that the recurring problems in the country had highlighted the inevitability of a real federalism to be implemented by the government, to make Nigeria really big to achieve the goals set by its founding fathers.
7 “I suggested earlier that the government convene a conference for peace and reconciliation of all shades and beliefs in Nigeria by October 2021, to chart the course for a stable devolution of all functions of the exclusive list. of the 1999 Constitution.
9 Onochie, who was a former Nigerian envoy to Algeria and the Philippines, argued that true federalism would solve some endemic problems tearing Nigeria apart, including banditry and unrest in parts of the country.
10 He criticized what he described as parochial tendencies displayed in the National Assembly during the passage of the Oil Industry Bill and the Election Law Amendment Bill, claiming that showing partisanship on critical issues would never promote national unity and integration.
11 The political pillar reiterated that he is running for one Nigeria and will continue to campaign for Nigeria not to disintegrate as it prepares to run for the top political office in the next few years. general elections.
12 Regarding the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) directive to news houses not to report kidnappings, murders, mutilations and other nefarious activities of terrorists, bandits and insurgents freely and openly, Onochie described the directive as draconian. and totally at odds with global democratic principles.
13 “Nothing should be done to alter freedom of expression as enshrined in the constitution to deny Nigerians their freedom of expression, expression, association and other rights of Nigerians as they are are enshrined in the 1999 Constitution (as amended). ”
14 He described press freedom as the foundation of democracy, saying Nigeria should copy values that promote development and support nation-building “so that the nation is respected in the courtesy of nations.”
15 “Nigerians and the international community need to be fully aware of the benefits of a free press, rather than allowing NBC to gag civilian space and ban the media from performing their duties as the kingdom’s fourth estate. “
16 Onochie, a polyglot who was a former special functions commissioner in Delta campaigned for Nigerian unity and for separatists in parts of the country to drop their agitations and say goodbye to disintegration. (NAA)