From Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
The President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Prof George Obiozor, has described Nigeria’s present challenges as a political tragedy waiting to manifest, with only a national restructuring capable of preventing it.
Obiozor, who made the remark at the ongoing 1999 constitution review for the South East in Owerri, added that the 1999 constitution has left many Nigerians feeling like a ‘caged lion’, preventing them from developing their potentials.
‘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 synchronised national crises and even a possibility of national disintegration,’ Obiozor said.
‘As national leaders, we must learn the lessons of history that in societies where truth comes last, tragedy comes first. And the perennial problem of continuous dilemma in Nigeria politics always revolve around the issues of justice, equity and fairness. As I have said several times throughout history, those denied justice have had no interest in peace.
‘Accordingly for many Nigerians and groups, the 1999 constitution has left them with feeling like a caged lion over their relative capacities to develop their individual potentials, states and zones.
‘Therefore, to many of these citizens across the country, states and zones, restructuring Nigeria will be equivalent to releasing the lion from the cage and it can defend itself,’ Obiozor stated.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the constitution review committee in the South East, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, disclosing that the committee has received 48 submissions so far, urged Ohanaeze Ndigbo to remain nonpartisan, enjoining the organisation to continue playing its fatherly role.
‘This is the time Ohanaeze should mov forward as an advisory body, not as politicians, and not to be partisan. The roles of Ohanaeze is independent and they should continue playing fatherly roles,’ the senator advised.
Meanwhile, a women advocacy group led by Mrs Ifendu submitted a memorandum for gender equality, asking for 35 per cent female representation in political positions.
‘We want to be heard, we want a constitution that is women-friendly. When it comes to election, women are not elected, its not right and that is what we want to change in the constitution,’ Ifendu said.
A legislator representing Okigwe North at the House of Representatives, Marian Onuoha, made the case for physically-challenged, maintaining that as citizens they should enjoy equal rights with other Nigerians.