By George Okoh
Benue State Governor, Dr. Samuel Ortom, yesterday joined other prominent Nigerians to call on the federal government to urgently restructure the country to save it from collapse.
Ortom stressed that the government must “listen to the views of the people and evolve acceptable ways of addressing the problems confronting the country.”
This was contained in a statement titled, ‘FG Needs Not Dismiss Views of Nigerians on National Issues,’ signed by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase.
The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye, had on Saturday called on the President to restructure the country “as soon as possible”.
Adeboye, who spoke at a symposium alongside the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi; former Governor of Cross River State, Mr. Donald Duke; and a former Minister of Education, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, warned that it was either the country restructured as soon as possible or it broke up. “You don’t have to be a prophet to know that one,” he added.
The Presidency, in a reaction, had described the calls as “recurring threats to the corporate existence of the country” and an “unpatriotic outbursts”.
But Ortom in the statement berated the Presidency for its inability to listen to the views of concerned Nigerians.
The statement partly read, “Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom urges the federal government not to dismiss calls for the restructuring of the country and other views expressed by the people as ‘unpatriotic outbursts’.
“Nigeria is practising democracy which guarantees the freedom of speech to all citizens and not military regime which suppresses the right of the people to voice their opinions about challenges facing their country.
“It is incumbent on the federal government to listen to the views of the people and evolve acceptable ways of addressing the problems confronting the country instead of engaging in a combative style, anyone who dares to suggest alternative approaches to tackling the challenges.
“Great nations of the world got to their enviable status by harnessing and utilising ideas of their citizens, not by discouraging those who made bold submissions on the development of their countries.”