From Linus Oota, Lafia and Tony John, Port Harcourt
Nasarawa State Governor, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, has called for the scrapping of one of the chambers of the National Assembly.
Governor Almakura who stated this, yesterday, at the Government House, Lafia, when he received members of the Ahmadu Bello University Alumni Association led by its National President, Prof. Ahmed Tijani Mural, said there was no need for the combined existence of both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
“If Nigerians are going for Senate, then the House of Representatives should be abolished, but if they are going for House of Representatives, the Senate should be scrapped. But for me, I suggest that each of the 744 local government in the country should have a House of Representatives member to cut cost,” he declared.
He equally dismissed the clamour for restructuring, which lately, has received a groundswell of support and endorsement across the country, saying what the nation needed was total reorganisation of the three arms of government in order to add value to the system.
According to him, “restructuring means different things to different people; I think restructuring will complicate the whole system. Rather, we should look at how to refine and add value to the system.
“Creating more states now that the Federal Government cannot even fund the existing ones, to me, is unnecessary. We should look at the three arms of government by way of tinkering with them.”
In addition to the abolition of one arm of the National Assembly, Al-Makura also advocated the reduction of the number of courts such as Area and Magistrates courts in the country to cut cost.
However, the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) insisted that restructuring which would give rise to fiscal federalism was the antidote to the plethora of issues troubling the nation.
MOSOP President, Legborsi Pyagbara, who spoke, yesterday, in Port Harcourt, warned that failure to address the lingering agitations across the country could plunge the nation into unavoidable consequences.
He said though MOSOP had condemned the quit notice issued by Arewa youths to South-Easterners living in the North and Biafran calls for secession, there was need to restructure the country as well as reconsider the issue of resource ownership.
“Several issues are currently buffeting the Nigeria-nation state and require immediate response for Nigeria to avert descent into anarchy and disintegration.
“MOSOP has been concerned about recent events in the country which have the ominous potential of triggering national disintegration if not speedily addressed. First, is the issue of resurgent Biafra separatism and second, a counter Arewa intolerance expressed in the ultimatum to all Igbo to leave the North.
“MOSOP categorically and irrevocably rejects the two extremes, none of which will improve the miserable condition of the people who the antagonists are claiming to represent.
“Most countries of the world finding themselves in similar situations like us have had to look inwards and search for solutions that are adaptable to their environments and meet the needs of the various centrifugal forces that make up the country.
“For the Nigerian state to survive, it must be seen to demonstrate equity, justice and fairness by creating political space for the sub-national entities to develop at their own space, while ensuring protection for national minorities and indigenous communities.
“The Ogoni Bill of Rights, which is the basis of the Ogoni struggle, emphasises local autonomy for the Ogoni people and other Nigerian communities that are threatened by internal colonialism,” Pyagbara stated.
On East-West road, the group declared: “MOSOP totally condemns the neglect of East-West road, especially Akpajo Eleme axis, which, of course, is now impassable. This is condemnable and unacceptable.