Magnus Eze, Enugu
Elder statesman and first republic minister of Aviation, Chief Mbazulike Amechi, has said it is only through peaceful protest by the masses that the leadership of the country would allow its restructuring.
This was as former Governor of Akwa Ibom, Obong Victor Attah and National Leader of O’dua Peoples Congress (OPC), Abdulsalam Ambali, insisted that Nigeria has no alternative than to restructure.
According to Amechi, Nigerians must meet and renegotiate the basis of the union for there to be permanent peace.
Speaking at the 20th anniversary lecture of the Igbo Youth Movement (IYM), in Enugu, yesterday, the nonagenarian said elitist groups like Afenifere, Ohanaeze, Niger Delta and Middle Belt organisations along with Southern Nigeria Peoples Union cannot force or compel the powers that be to agree to restructuring.
“The pious resolutions of Ohanaeze/Afenifere and others are like whispering an advice to a deaf ear. Only action, peaceful non-violent, non-provocative action will force a come together of the leaders and politicians. Youths and people of the present age give the impression that they are indolent, lazy, cowardly, unpatriotic, unnationalistic and even mercenary.
“If the youths, students, organised labour, market men and women; religious leaders, professionals, civil liberty organisations, inter-state transporters, rise up and commence non-stop, non-violent, peaceful demonstration, by when they would have been on the road for one or two weeks, they would have drawn the attention of the world,” he stated.
He then urged the youths to move and secure their future, saying it had happened in Egypt, and was currently being re-enacted in Hong Kong.
In his paper, “How to make Nigeria work” Obong Attah, demanded that Nigeria adopts true federalism, saying “our system of sharing is the problem”.
Attah, said the solution of the nation lies in true federalism which guarantees resource control and development based on resources available to states.
The former Akwa Ibom governor faulted recent reports that only four states were viable based on their internally generated revenue. He said if the revenues from those states that were taken to Abuja for sharing were left for them, they would have been economical viable.
He also urged the youths to work with elders to achieve their desire for true federalism.