From Geoffrey Anyanwu, Awka
The Eastern Consultative Assembly (ECA), has urged two former Nigerian leaders, Olusegun Obasanjo and Yakubu Gowon to come clean now in their old age and drive the process of restructuring Nigeria back to the regions.
ECA made the call yesterday while reacting to former President Obasanjo’s statement that Nigerians should stop the agitation for Biafra as it would lead to a coup d’état.
The group said the duo of Obasanjo and Gowon leading the process of restructuring the country would sincerely heal the wound of yesterday.
ECA described Obasanjo’s statement as a “classic case of mindless prevarication” which is not only unfortunate, but dangerous to the very survival of Nigeria.
In its statement signed by the Secretary, Elliot Ugochukwu-Uko, ECA said Obasanjo knew more than anybody else that only an early return to true fiscal Federalism anchored on regional autonomy can save Nigeria now.
“Obasanjo and Gowon should come clean in their old age and drive the process of restructuring Nigeria back to the regions and sincerely heal the wound of yesterday.
“Anything else is mindless prevarication which is not only unfortunate but dangerous to the very survival of Nigeria.”
Listing many facts it claimed Obasanjo knew about Nigeria, the ECA said, “Obasanjo knows the section of Nigeria that raised their flag of secession at Ikeja military cantonment in July 1966, while shouting Araba Araba, thereby inspiring other regions that secession is possible.
“He is aware that only a consensual agreement of form, format and structure can sustain Nigeria as opposed to the quite uncomfortable unitary structure imposed by the military.
“Obasanjo knows that billions of naira have been spent on attempts on consensual agreement at Aburi Ghana, Abacha’s conference, Obasanjo’s conference and Jonathan’s confab. Obasanjo knows that the unworkable unitary structure is at the root of all our miseries and sorrow as a country.
“He knows that he did not see the Abdusallam Abubakar 1999 Constitution until he was sworn in as president. Obasanjo knows that he and his colleagues created the problems that have held Nigeria down till date and as such, only righting the wrongs can save Nigeria now.
“General Gowon reversed General Ironsi’s decree 34 of May 1966. He also knows General Gowon began the orgy of creating states by military fiat, he knows Gowon asked for emergency powers to prosecute the war, thereby centralising enormous powers at the centre.
“Obasanjo is aware that it was General Gowon’s petroleum decree and the G Dina panel, both of the late 1960’s under General Gowon that took all the resources and minerals of the entire federation and vested all under General Gowon’s central government.
“Obasanjo knows that the over centralisation of powers at the centre, is at the root of all the troubles bedevilling Nigeria today.
“He knows that Nigeria will never know peace until we go back to the arrangement earlier agreed by the founding fathers of Nigeria in the 1950’s.
“Obasanjo deliberately avoided the truth and chose to beat about the bush, simply because he is probably too proud to accept the self evident fact that the structure they created cannot survive.”