Nigerians, like caged lions under 1999 constitution – Ohanaeze
The President General of Igbo apex group Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Prof. George Obiozor has said that the 1999 constitution had trapped Nigerians like lions inside a cage.
Obiozor said this in an address presented to the members of the Senate committee of the review of the 1999 constitution at Owerri on Thursday.
According him, the 1999 constitution had left Nigerians and some regions in the country with feelings like a caged lion over their relative capacities to develop their individual potentials, states and zones.
He said that the restructuring of Nigeria will be equivalent to releasing Nigerians and some regions from the cage to defend itself.
The Ohanaeze President’s statement came amidst several calls from different quarters of the country for restructuring to enable regions take more responsibility and not rely on tapping from the fortunes of the government at the center.
He said that the lasting solution to problems bedeviling the nation can only be corrected if the country can adopt a true federal system with characteristics of decentralization and devolution of power among the federating units.
“We Ndigbo are of the view that the federation of Nigeria must be a union of equals and the composite units must have the ability to stand without begging the centre for survival. That is a federal system of government and with it characteristics of decentralization and devolution of power among the federating units.
“Therefore, in the context of the imperatives and urgency of restructuring Nigeria, we should focus on getting the right things done for the right reasons, and at the right levels of government.
“Indeed, what must be done and no longer what to do is to recognize that history has an iron law of seriality of which no country including Nigeria can ask for exemption or exceptionalism.
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“In fact, some countries are born with political tragedies waiting to happen. And our history shows that Nigeria is one of them. All signs of national tragedies foretold are present today in full force in Nigeria. In fact, it would require a restructured Nigeria to contain the present forces and tendencies towards a synchronized national crises and even a possibility of national disintegration.
By Lawrence Nwimo