Constitution Review: Ohaneze Storm Abia/Imo Center, Insist on Restructuring, Power Devolution KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt


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Thursday, May 27, 2021

Constitution Review: Ohaneze Storm Abia/Imo Center, Insist on Restructuring, Power Devolution

OWERRI | The leadership of Ohaneze Ndigbo worldwide, led by its President General, Ambassador Professor George A. Obiozor on Thursday renewed the demands for restructuring, devolution of power and true federalism as panacea for the crisis bedevilling the nation, Kossyderrickent reports.

George leader of the Apex Igbo social cultural organisation made the submission in Owerri at the Abia/Imo public hearing for the amendment of the 1999 constitution chaired by the former Governor of Abia State and current Chief Whip of the 9th Senate, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu.

Arriving at the Owerri venue accompanied by his executives, Amb. George in his submission insisted that the demands of Southeasterners in Nigeria hinged on internal autonomy based on a restructured Nigeria, he stressed that the clamour of Ndigbo (Igbo people) centred on equity, decentralization and separation of powers.

Making a case for resource control Amb. George said that survival of the Nigerian states/local governments must be independent from the Federal government. He also cautioned that Nigeria risks violent reactions from those denied justice in the country, he urged the national Assembly to ensure that the exercise doesn't end in futility.

According to him "Fundamentally what Ndigbo really want is some form of internal autonomy based on a Restructured Nigeria,

"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 its characteristics of decentralization and devolution of power among the federating units.

"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.

"All signs of tional 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 crisis and even a possibility of national disintegration.

Urging leaders in the country to confront the nation's realities and challenges, George pointed out the nation's political crisis stems from injustice, inequity and lack of fairness.

He said "Therefore as National Leaders, we must learn the lessons of history that in societies here truth comes last, tragedy comes first. And that the perennial problem or continuous dilemma in Nigerian politics always evolve around the issues of Justice, Equity and Fairness. As have said several times throughout history those denied Justice have had no interest in peace.

"We would expect you at the end of this exercise, and in the interest of the nation, its unity and progress, to conclude with decisions guided by love and not by hatred; and guided by our collective hope and not by our fears.

In his concluding remark the Southest Zonal Chairman of the public hearing, Senator Orji Kalu reiterated the commitment of the Senate to address the submissions made by various groups at the two day exercise, Kalu appealed for calm among from various agitating groups saying that the National Assembly will expedite action on their demands for befitting amended constitution.

Other groups which made submissions on the final day of the public hearing include:CARA Development Foundation and Lawyers Alert, Fix Politics, Imo State Amalgamated Markets and Traders Association, Host Communities of Nigeria (Production Oil and Gas ) Imo State Chapter, Foundation for African Cultural Heritage (FACH) among others.

Recall that the two day Southeast zonal public hearing for the amendment of the 1999 constitution commenced yesterday at Protea Hotel, Owerri Imo state venue of the event.

Also recall that the exercise witnessed the presence of the zonal Chairman, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu , the executive Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma ,Abia State Governor represented by his Chief of staff, Hon. ACB Agbazuere ,Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe , Senator Frank Ibezim, Speaker of the Imo House of Assembly, Hon Paul Emeziem, Member representing Isiala Mbano/Okigwe/Onuimo Hon. Miriam Onuoha among others..

In a statement by Chairman of the Senate committee and Deputy President of the Senate , Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, the constitutional exercise will emphasize on 16 thematic areas to include: gender equality for women and girls; federal structure and power devolution; local government and its autonomy; public revenue, fiscal federation and revenue allocation; Nigerian Police and Nigerian security architecture as well as comprehensive judicial reforms.

Others are: electoral reforms; socio-economic and cultural rights as contained in Chapter 2 of the Constitution; strengthening the Independence of oversight institutions and agencies created by the constitution or pursuant to an act of the National Assembly; residency and indigene provisions; immunity; National Assembly and state creation.

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