â€¢Presidency: Ordinary Nigerians need Food to eat not restructuring
By Onyebuchi Ezigbo andÂ Adedayo AkinwaleÂ in Abuja
The President General of apex Igbo organisation the Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo has warned that Nigeria may be heading for a serious crisis if the clamour for the restructuring of the country was not given a deserved and urgent attention.
However, reacting to the clamour by ethnic nationalities in the country, the presidency on FridayÂ kicked against calls for restructuring, saying ordinary Nigerians needed food to eat and not constitution review or restructuring.
The Ohanaze boss whoÂ spoke in Abuja on Friday at a live political program on African Independent Television AIT said, “Unless we restructure this country, we will slide into an uncontrollable crisis”
Nwodo said that Nigeria had all the potentials of a world power given its growing population but stood to lose out if the right administrative structure was not given to her.
“Nigeria is a world power, but if it continues to be wrongly administered, it will continue to be a laughing stock”
Â The President General reiterated his earlier stand that Ndigbo remained the most marginalised in the country despite their commitment to the nation.
Nwodo lamented that the country’s body politic was insensitive to the plight of Ndigbo despite their overwhelming contributions to the socio- political and economic development of the country.
Nwodo regretted that the Nigeria system as currently constituted killed endeavor and discouraged productivity.
Speaking on how best to go about the restructuring, the Ohaneze boss suggested a revisit to the 2014 National Conference which had Nigerians from all sectors and headed by a former Chief Justice of Nigeria.
He said thatÂ resources used in the conference should not be wasted just because some people did not like the administration that set up the conference.
On the advantages of restructuring, Nwodo examined the declining importance of oil as a major source of revenue.Â
He gave examples of the Netherlands and California both of which built their strong economies out of agriculture and human capital development and maintained that restructuring was the surest way to attain fastest economic growth for Nigeria.
Countering the position, Special Assistant to the President on Media, Garba Sheu stated in Abuja while addressing the Northern Inter-faith and Religious Organisation for Peace, who marched to the Villa in support of the armed forces who had been battlingÂ the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-east for the past eight years.
He said that God had answered the prayers of Nigerians by healing the president and for bringing the country’s economyÂ out of recession.
Â Sheu noted that, “every day we are reading one resolution or communique from one group or the other asking government to give us a new constitution orÂ do restructuring.
“First of all, we need peace, without peace there cannot be any development. Ordinary Nigerians want peace so that they can go about their lawful activities. Ordinary Nigerians want food to eat. It is not constitution or restructuring that will put food on the table, it is better economy and this is what the president is doing to ensure that the resources of the country are well managed.
Â “Situation in which a few people in the past had pocketed our resources and shared among themselves that period is over now.Â
The president will make sure that whatever is available to the people of this country goes around the country and is equally distributed by,” he added.
Bearing his mind on the military activities in the North-east, he stressed that, “our armed forces are on top of the situation as it is. What is left to do is just the finishing job and by God’s grace all terrorist activities in the country will be a thing of the past under the leadership of president Buhari.”
Earlier, the Convener of the group, Bishop Edward Chanami said the rally was held to commend the president for his foresight and vision to tackle the insecurity situation which he inherited and his quest to rebuild Nigeria and unite citizens across ethnic and religious divides.Â
He stated that, “we are grateful to God for the progress being made by our troops in the fight against Boko Haram. The troops whom we also prayed for have recorded unprecedented achievements like never before in the history of their campaign against Boko Haram terrorists and other threats to the nation. We commend the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen. Tukur Buratai and his fellow Service Chiefs for their unique and decisive leadership. We acknowledge and commend every single gallant person in Operation Lafiya Dole.”
The group however declared Friday September 8 and Sunday September 10 as days of celebration and more prayers across all religious places of worship in Nigeria.Â