George Onyejiuwa, Owerri
Ex-governor of Imo State, Chief Ikedi Ohakim has advised the Federal Government not to make the same mistakes the British made on Northern Ireland with the agitation of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) for independence, saying that it is never wise to gain by battle what should be gained through bloodless negotiation.
This is as he advised that the people rework the country’s articles of association to unleash the people’s potentials.
Ohakim who stated this as the guest lecturer of the University of Ibadan, Alumni Association (Imo State Branch) 2019 Public Service Lecture entitled “Nigeria : The leadership Question”, admonished the Federal Government to avoid the mistakes made by the British over the agitation of the people of Northern Ireland to have their own country, but that the government of the United Kingdom instead of negotiating with the agitators engaged them in a battle which it could not win for 20 years.
His words: “Because of its security implications, all I would like to say here is to advise our present political leadership to avoid the mistake the British made in Northern Ireland. In Northern Ireland, the British made an avoidable mistake. They fell in the trap of believing that because they had power, weapons, soldiers and experience that dwarfed those of the insurgents, it did not matter what the people thought of them. History tells us that Britain couldn’t defeat the Northern Ireland insurgents for more than 20 years. Peace negotiation did the magic. For example, President Yar’Adua heeded this advice and succeeded with the Niger Delta militants and amnesty programme.”
He noted that the country has become a disaster and as such cannot be administered from Abuja any longer.
“Our country, Nigeria has become a patient in Intensive Care Unit. Is it not too late to continue to give her tablets of Asprin and laxative. I think anything short of complete treatment is an exercise in futility.
“I strongly believe that we cannot develop Nigeria from Abuja. Abuja, the behemoth called the Federal Government is becoming a disincentive for the development of this country,” he claimed.