- Igbo Youth Movement in Nigeria held a convention on the future of Nigeria and the Igbo tribe
- The group released a statement asking for Nigerian to restructure and go back to true federalism
- The group believes that true fiscal federalism earlier practiced by Nigeria before the 1963 constitution is the only way to get Nigeria to remain together
The Igbo Youth Movement held a national convention over the weekend at Enugu and came to a conclusion that restructuring Nigeria is the only way to keep the country together.
The group declared that facts have shown that only a truly federal structure anchored on true fiscal federalism can sustain Nigeria.
In the statement signed by IYM founder, Elliot Ugochukwu Uko, the group said Nigeria would continue to drift further apart under the present federal structure, Daily Post reports.
The statement reads: “Convention is of the considered opinion that the rupture of the 1963 constitution which truncated the federalism Nigeria practiced in the first republic is at the root of our misery today.
“That the political crisis of western Nigeria of the early 1960s, which began with the imprisonment of Chief Obafemi Awolowo and the violent elections in the region, which came to a head with the Operation Wetie of 1965 coupled with the Tiv Riots of the same season, inspired the military coup of January 1966.
"Facts have since shown that only a truly federal structure anchored on true fiscal federalism can sustain Nigeria.
“Having struggled fruitlessly for five (5) decades, to sustain the unitary structure, it has become self evident that only an early return to six or eight regions in a new federal constitution fashioned along the lines of the 1963 constitution can save Nigeria now.”
Convention is of the opinion, that the euphoria, fear and misplaced hangover that characterized all the military regimes, from 1966 – 1999, has evaporated suddenly, as we are faced with the stark reality of the attendant fallouts of the faulty unitary structure which has overwhelmed the nation, thereby making an early return to true fiscal federalism inevitable, if Nigeria is to survive.
“Such fallouts such as, fierce struggle for central power, do or die elections, corruption and sleaze, unviable 36 States, regional divisions, ethnic hatred, religious bigotry, impunity, nepotism, militancy, agitation for cessation and absolute loss of faith in Nigeria as presently constituted will only get worse, if we don’t restructure now.
“The convention agreed that the current crisis ravaging the land today (herdsmen rampage, militancy, agitations for cessation, nearly comatose economy, all sorts of militancy, etc) point to the undeniable fact, that the artificial peace built on a faulty unitary structure in January 1970, made possible by the use of Russian Jets, Egyptian Pilots and British Military Advisers has lost its hold on the almost 200 million Nigerians from more than 300 ethnic nationalities.
“Accordingly, convention declares: That only an early restructuring of Nigeria along the lines of true fiscal federalism can save Nigeria now. A national conference of all ethnic nationalities to fashion a new federal constitution, is the only solution to the myriad of problems bedeviling Nigeria.
“Convention hereby recommends an early restructuring and returning Nigeria, by consensus of all the ethnic nationalities comprised in Nigeria, to a sustainable federalism in which unity, peace and progress will reign in Nigeria as a nation state.
“Convention recommends as summarized below: making the federal government a coordinating center of common services rather than a controlling center, but with exclusive responsibility for the common national services such as the armed forces, national police, citizenship, customs, central banking and currency, immigration, foreign affairs including foreign trade, national education standards, national industrial goods standards and national scientific research standards, respectively."
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“Making the federating regions (which should reflect the interests and aspirations of respective various ethnic nationalities, (large and small), and other relevant stakeholders) have primary control and responsibility over their land and natural resources, education institutions (at primary, secondary and tertiary levels), agriculture, industries and economic production, internal (state or regional) security, internal economic supporting development infrastructure of electricity supply (leaving federal with the national electricity grid), internal roads and internal economic development supporting infrastructures among other specific internal infrastructures.
“Sharing national revenue among all the tiers of governments based strictly on mutually agreed ratio of derivation and in proportion to what each federating unit contributes to the sustenance of the Nigerian federation to ensure healthy competition among the federating regions in economic and industrial production activities, organizing an all embracing national dialogue or conference of all the true Representatives, (not individuals on their own merit) of the ethnic nationalities (large and small) comprised in Nigeria and other relevant stake holders.”
Pastor Chris Okafor, the General overseer of Mountain Liberation and Miracle Ministries has called on the federal government to release Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indegenous People of Biafra (IPOB) immediately.
He said it was no coincidence that after his declarations at his church headquarter on Sunday, February 26, things started happening.