Eminent leaders of the South-South and South-East geo-political zones, have called for equity, justice, fair play and restructuring of Nigeria to make all citizens of the country equal partners and partakers in the affairs of the country.
Speaking on Thursday evening at the residence of elder statesman and Ijaw National Leader, Chief Edwin Clark, in Apapa, Lagos, before a closed-door meeting, the leaders, who cut across the five states in South-East and six states in South-South, called on government at the centre to be just and fair to all ethnic and geo-political zones in the country.
Speaking on the need to restructure Nigeria, Clark, who spoke on behalf of South-South, said the country should be restructured for Nigeria to return to the kind of country the founding fathers bequeathed to the citizens where the three regions created at independence had control over their resources.
The Ijaw leader also canvassed for an egalitarian society where everyone is equal without allowing one region to be dominating others.
“The Richard’s Constitution at Nigeria Independence in 1960 spelt out what Nigeria should be as a Federal Republic with three regions (Northern, Eastern and Western regions) as the components units. And each of the regions was equal and each of the regions was allowed to develop at its own pace.
“In those days, whatever resources you have in your region, you take 50 per cent from the proceeds and the remaining 50 per cent is sent to the centre, which is further shared between the centre and the regions. That was the country we knew. But today, the reverse is the case. We complain of xenophobia in South Africa, what do we have in Nigeria?” he asked.
Speaking on behalf of the South-East, the President General of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, said the desire of the South-East and Ndigbo is to have a country where every part of Nigeria will participate and the future generation will have a better country than the presence generation.
Nwodo also kicked against marginalisation of South-East in term of poor infrastructure and non-headship of any of the security agencies and number of state in comparison to other geo-political zones.
He said Igbo youth don’t want to be part of Nigeria anymore and that is why they are clamouring for Biafra but Igbo elders who saw the civil war do not want the country to be plunged into another war and that is why they are clamouring for urgent solutions to mirage of problems in the country, especially on issues affecting South-East region.
He said the rest of the country should come together and end an impending catastrophe that may befall the country if urgent solutions are not provided.