By Udeh Favour
As Nigeria celebrated 57 years of independence, Organised Labour and members of Civil societies have advocated for system change, peaceful revolutions and overhauling in governance.
According to the groups which cut across human right activists, community based organisations, students, academics, doctors, internationalist and artisans, these would provide solution to Nigeria’s numerous problems.
The groups noted that the wrong use of the country’s resources has inflicted hardship on the masses adding that after 57 years of independence, there are no good roads, healthcare structures, electricity, employment, security, and the country is ridden with lots of economic crises.
Speaking at the National Discourse titled, “economic crises and ethnic agitations, which way forward, secession, restructuring or system change” organised by Joint Front Action (JAF), at the NLC Lagos secretariat in Yaba, Lagos, Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Lagos State University (LASU), Isaac Oyewumi, said labour need to be prepared if they are truly in need of revolutions.
He said: “We need to sit down and ask ourselves questions and determine way forward on how to solve our problems. What we need is continuous non-violence agitation until we achieve our dream.
“In terms of mismanagement of our resources, it is the common man that suffers the hardship. Ordinary man on the street, workers, community members, artisans among others need to feel the impact of government. Today there is no steady electricity supply in the country and many other problems, so, I believe it is time for us to take our destiny into our hands.”
Barrister Ikechukwu Ikeji of the Constitutional Right and Peoples Development Advocacy Initiative (CRAI) expressed that what Nigerians need is system change and not restructuring lamenting that there is no healthcare structure in the country but Nigerian leaders travel abroad for medical treatments.
He called for a new law on code of conduct for elected officials whereby they will be compelled to patronize and make use of local services and public utilities such as medical facilities and educational among others instead of going outside the shore of the country.
“We call for a new law to make it compulsory for every public officer, elected or appointed, to use hospitals in Nigeria for all ailments and to send their children and wards to only Nigerian schools.”
Ikeji noted that there is high level of corruption in Nigeria within the ruling cabals, who have been sharing, the collective patrimony and commonwealth among themselves.
“We therefore, insisted on equitable distribution of same among Nigerians”, he said.
Ikeji stated that the 1999 Constitution, even as amended, was fraud of the most irredeemable proportions.
“We insist that any genuine change in Nigeria will have to start from correcting the fraud inherent in the constitution, such as not being autochthonous and lacking the imprimatur of the people it seems to constitute. We call for a pure and adulterated people constitution that will be subject to a genuine process of referendum”, he said.