Cleric Calls for Reformation of Polity

  • …As lecture holds March 14

Mary Nnah

Ahead of his birthday lecture schedule for March this year, Rt. Rev. Monseigneur John Aniagwu, Vicar General, catholic Archdiocese of Lagos and Parish Priest, St Leo’s Catholic Church, Ikeja, has lent his voice to the call for the reformation of Nigeria and devolution of powers to the regions to give room for competitive economic advantage.

Aniagwu faulted the current constitution saying it is flawed and not good for us today, insisting that restructuring is the only viable way for Nigeria’s development and stable polity otherwise Nigeria will continue to go round and round.

“The current constitution was made for the elite and not for the ordinary Nigerians. It is a constitution that made the political class a master class and the citizens as subservient servants. That is where we should start. It is a constitution that vests too much power at the center and render the states beggars; they call it restructuring, I am all for it.”

He said that in the past when a lot of powers were vested in the regions, the region did many things for themselves, there was healthy competition. He said: “That was before the military intruded unto the political scene to take over power, noting that the way things are now only very few states in Nigeria are viable. Let me tell you, if they do not receive subvention from Abuja, making the state to look like beggars, the states are as good gone.”

Aniagwu who will be 75 on March 15, this year, has programmes lined up by the committee of friends to honour him for his selfless service to God and humanity. Part of the birthday celebration would be a public lecture titled ‘Tunk Et Nus” (What was and What Is Now in Nigeria), to be delivered by Rev. Father (Prof) Anthony Akinwale, the Vice Chancellor of St. Dominic University.

The lecture, which is to explore the changing values of the Nigerian society, has been billed for March 14 at the St Leo Catholic Church, Toyin Street, Ikeja, Lagos.

Speaking further on the public lecture, Barr Eugene Ossai, chairman of the public lecture, said the committee of friends of father John who have been observing his good deeds over the years have decided to come together to mark his birthday with a public lecture.

Extolling the virtues of Aniagwu, Mr. Sule Ozenua, chairman of the committee of friends said Father John’s first love is the welfare of the people; to see that there is justice for all in the society, the necessary condition for peace and development.

“He has always campaigned for social justice and equity in the society. This is the reason the topic was chosen.”

Ozenua who described him as a widely read and travelled man of God with several international awards said the public lecture would explore the changing values of the Nigerian society and the role of church in restoring societal values for human development.