By Obinna Ezugwu
Evangelist Elliot Ugochukwu-Uko, founder of Igbo Youth Movement ( IYM) and Secretary, Eastern Consultative Assembly (ECA), has insisted that Nigeria should be restructured before 2023 election, as according to him, it’s the only way to salvage it and not another election.
Evangelist Uko who gave the advice in a statement on Wednesday, noted that it was regrettable that many have forgotten about restructuring, as all the agitations are now focused on power shift, while noting that power shift alone cannot resolve the contending issues of the Nigerian federation.
“The political class, clearly excited and overjoyed at the great opportunity power shift ushers, are all presently grinning from ear to ear, over the mood of the country, the subtle agreement by powerful and influential members of the international community and the leadership of the land, that the Presidential seat should move away from the North, at this time,” Uko said.
“The need to restore sanity in the land, the imperative of weakening the uncontrolled agitation and the inevitable reality that the Government is clearly overwhelmed by the raging inferno in the land, regrettably and unwittingly enabled and fanned by avoidable high handedness, nauseating nepotism, glaring mediocrity and bad governance, coupled with application of wrong strategy in handling the agitation, all influenced the power shift decision.
“Erroneous tacit support of the horrific brigandage of a favoured nomadic herdsmen, who in their blind attempt to intimidate and subdue aborigines all over the country, unleashed indescribable terror in the country, convincing all that their land grabbing gambit, has powerful backing, further setting the country on the road to Armmegedon, also made it imperative for certain concessions to be made, if the land would be healed.”
He warned politicians intending to play politics as usual to understand that things have changed, and they must now shun greed and face the truth about the country.
“Professional politicians, who are also well-known opportunists and grand exploiters, are now jumping into the fray with their own ideas of power shift. Greed, hubris and conspiracy reign,” he said.
“Opportunists, exploiters and political hustlers of all shades, are now crawling out of their crevices, hibernation and graves like gouls, finally finding their voices and jostling to take advantage of power shift designed to heal the land, enthrone some kind of fairness and restore faith in the country. And now, everybody wants to be President.
“These professional power mongers and specialist opportunists who do not appreciate the real reason power shift became inevitable nor do they care a hoot about how it came about, are about to make a mess of eating boiled eggs, as usual.
“Desperate to exploit and hijack the zoning of the Presidential seat southward, these politicos are warming up to display once again their famed self-centered attitude that defined our political space and fortunes as a people for so long. Greed and hubris is clearly powering their decisions and conspiracies. Non is giving thought to the real issues that made this power shift possible.
“Non of them regrettably, care about the real reason power shift became inevitable.
“Were precious lives lost in the agitation that gave impetus to the inevitability of this power shift? Will power shift ordinarily bring resolution and closure to the agitation? Are those angling and jostling to run for President equipped with the neccesary grit, knowledge and wisdom to heal the land at this time? Does power shift mean automatic end to agitations?” he inquired.
According to him, “The decision to yield to power shift at this time, though very commendable and trite, cannot be substituted for the inevitable reconstruction of the polity along true federalism and devolution of powers.
“Power shift is neccesary and healthy because it is wrong to concentrate Presidential power to one particular region as if others are eternal spectators or second class citizens, but it will be suicidal to pretend that power shift automatically resolves structural deficiencies and inadequacies that gave birth to over 90% of the political, social and economic issues troubling the country today.
“The current excitement amongst the political class should be urgently traded for soberness and deep reflection on how to genuinely revert to a functional structure that will move the country forward and restore trust and confidence in the system, thereby genuinely healing the land.
“Greed for central power and hubris will most definitely lead to unnecessary errors and mistakes that may lead to untoward consequences.
“Conspiracy to outwit, blackmailed and isolate others will lead to unfilled gaps that may eventually bring up unfavourable developments.
“Ungoing unholy conspiracies, greed for central power and unbridled arrogance being displayed by politicos who did not in any way contribute to the pressure that made power shift possible, might cost my region and the entire country the most of this golden opportunity.
“We may wish to remind ourselves that the need and cry for justice, equity, sense of belonging, fairness and level playing field for all, inspired the now-agreed power shift. That lack or absence of equal opportunities and fair treatment for all, resulting to disaffection and loss of faith, led to bitterness and agitations.
“That the unjust unitary structure deliberately skewed against certain people and region, provided ammunition powering lack of interest in the system and then, agitations.
“That the brutal and unkind response and erroneous strategy of containment applied by the authorities, only deepened and convoluted the crisis to the point that the land began to hemorrhage, resulting to economic paralysis and sparks of violence leading to killings, arson and shutdowns.
“That the now-disappeared brutal brigandage of ruthless armed herdsmen, contributed greatly to the apprehension and fears that led to the emergence of armed militias all over the land, that stole peace away from the land, creating sharp divisions and deepening the crisis.
“It is also important for all to remember that the cry for a restructuring of the country has been on for decades. The refusal to restructure the country before now, created over half of our problems.
“That the Patriots, NADECO, eminent citizens, Afenifere and other regional bodies have been consistent in their plea for a peaceful and consensual reorganisation of the country’s unkind and unhealthy unitary structure foisted on the country by military regimes. That this unresolved structural issues will not be resolved by power shift. That from the Aburi accord, the Abacha political conference, the Obasanjo National Conference, to the Jonathan CONFAB, the nation has been yearning for a holistic and wholesome reconstruction to true federalism and devolution of power, consensually agreed in order to move the country forward.
“That the consensual restructuring of the country would enthrone stability, peace and harmony, giving every section a sense of belonging, granting political progress and economic growth.
“The understanding that the task ahead is grave and delicate would help remove self-centered excitement that breeds conspiracy of power, greed and hubris. May this opportunity not be mishandled as usual.
“By allowing greed for power, arrogance and conspiracies to becloud our senses and make the mistake of forgetting the onerous and sensitive task ahead in rejuvenating and rebuilding our country, we may be bungling this unique opportunity.”