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Igbo presidency: Ekweremadu calls for negotiation with north

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Former Deputy Senate President, Dr. Ike Ekweremadu, has urged Igbo political leaders to engage their counterparts from the north in dialogue towards accepting the call for ceding the presidential tickets of the major political parties to the South East in 2023.

Ekweremadu also tasked the federal government on the need to devolve power to the states, for effective tackling of increasing wave of insecurity and socio-economic challenges affecting the country.

The senator representing Enugu West Senatorial zone at the national assembly, who made the call on Wednesday, in Abuja, during a book presentation titled: ‘Pitch: Debunking Marketing’s Strongest Myths’, authored by brands strategist, Ikem Okuhu, stressed that Igbo presidency “can only be realised if we engaged ourselves in conversation with northern Nigeria to buy into our initiative.”

The lawmaker decried the escalating insecurity and other challenges plaguing the country, urging the government to take proactive measures to pull the country from the brink.

He said: “Today, Nigeria is in the full grip of widespread insecurity- insurgency, banditry, abductions, armed robbery, and all manner of violent crimes. Nigerians have been offering solutions towards taming the rising wave of criminality.

“These include calls for decentralised policing, which I am a proponent of and also have a Bill to that effect currently before the Senate.

“Unfortunately, it appears the government is bent on doing the same thing over and over, but ironically hoping to get a different result.

“In the same manner, many Nigerians, including yours sincerely, have been shouting it on the rooftops long before the current economic downturn occasioned by drastic and protracted decline in oil revenues, that the days of high oil revenues were numbered.

“The West and other developed nations are setting targets to move away from oil. Yet, we are not even close to activating other abundant sources of income because, our federalism is wired for wealth sharing rather than wealth creation.

“Even in the 7th national assembly, when we listened to the yearnings of Nigerians to amend the constitution to devolve aviation, power, railway, etc. from the Exclusive List to the Concurrent List, it was never assented to by the presidency.

Ekwerenmadu insisted that the efforts by the federal government to micromanage the country had failed, hence, the need to devolve power to the states.

“Now that the chicken has come home to roost, let us hope that the federal government will listen to the voices of reason, devolve powers, and not continue with the micromanagement of the nation’s resources”, he stated.

On building national cohesion, Ekweremadu said: “Nigeria is now divided as never before. The chasms are increasing by the day. Elder statesmen and women, writers, and other well-meaning Nigerians have continued to raise the alarm that the nation is drifting.

“They have equally continued to proffer suggestions on how we can engender national cohesion, justice, and equity. We will continue to pray that the government heeds their patriotic calls and suggestions.”

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