- Nigerians have recently increased their calls for the restructuring of the country to reflect the spirit of true federalism
- The Igbo Youth Movement (IYM) declared that while prosecuting Nnamdi Kanu who is in detention for alleged treason, President Buhari has indirectly made him a hero
- The IYM called on the president to stop his 'crush-them' strategy against IPOB and other agitators and instead focus on restructuring the country
As calls for the restructuring of Nigeria takes over the national space in Nigeria, the Igbo Youth Movement (IYM) has declared that President Muhammadu Buhari has made a hero of Nnamdi Kanu, the acclaimed leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Nnamdi Kanu has been in detention for alleged treason with his followers declaring a no-end to their agitation to ensure the Igbos break away from Nigeria.
The group reminded Buhari that it is Kanu's agitation that is gradually gaining ground across Nigeria with the calls that the country be restructured to reflect true federalism.
In a communique issued after its 17th annual convention in Enugu, the group called on Buhari to immediately commence the restructuring of the country and stop the crush-them syndrome his government has adopted against the agitators.
The IYM noted that the continued detention of Kanu had made him a hero.
Daily Post reports that the communique signed by the IYM president and founder, Evangelist Elliot Ugochukwu-Uko, reads:
The 17th IYM annual convention which had notable leaders from all the regions of the country in attendance rose with one solemn message to the government and people of Nigeria:
THAT THE POLITICAL, ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL REALITIES ON GROUND TODAY, HAS MADE IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR NIGERIA TO MOVE FORWARD WITHOUT AN EARLY RETURN TO TRUE FISCAL FEDERALISM, IN OTHER WORDS, A POLITICAL RESTRUCTURING ALONG THE LINES OF TRUE FEDERALISM HAS BECOME INEVITABLE. THE RESOLUTIONS OF THE 2014 NATIONAL CONFERENCE SHOULD SERVE AS A ROAD MAP TO THE ADOPTION OF A NEW CONSTITUTION BUILT ON REAL FEDERALISM.
The IYM appreciates the contribution of patriotic Nigerian leaders who dutifully journeyed to Enugu for the 17th IYM Annual Convention. We are immensely grateful to the guest speakers and other resource persons, whose commitment to the struggle to save, rebuild and make Nigeria truly great, are greatly appreciated by the younger generation, whose future remains affected most, as Nigeria wobbles along in this unitary structure, instituted by a military-inspired constitution.
As well meaning citizens remain worried over the parlous state of affairs in our country today, the IYM, declares, with every sense of responsibility, the following:
Nigerians are surprised at determined effort by fellow Nigerians to continue the unhelpful pretence that all is well with the present structure of Nigeria.
This pretence, which only serves the interest of those who erroneously believe, that the 36 state structure created by the military, helps them hold down and dominate other regions, politically, remains the source of over 90% of the agitations going on in the country today.
The pretence that this unitary structure is the best we can create is at the very root of the anger, bitterness, acrimony and feeling of alienation ruling the land today. (The provocative lopsided appointments only add to the anger). The loss of faith, by large sections of the country would invariable continue to deepen until, the very root of the matter is addressed, through a political restructuring that would enthrone equity and level playing field for all.
The present structure of local government councils and states which depend entirely on the centre in a “feeding bottle” arrangement, coupled with the delineation of federal constituencies to the federal house of representatives which gave certain regions advantages over other regions, remains, not only a source of great bitterness to the short-changed sections of the country, but also a verifiable reason for the parlous state of the economy, subsisting ethnic hatred and political divisions in the land.
That those who refuse to restructure Nigeria, peacefully are actually responsible for the rise of regional agitations of all sorts which increases in both tempo and style daily, without any hope of subsiding any time soon. We also add, that the deliberate effort to blackmail committed patriots and groups, who raise their voices in pursuit of peaceful solutions, and brand them trouble makers is both wrong and unhelpful, as history has shown that revolutions occur when the frustration of the silent majority gets to boiling point. Truth is: those who worry out aloud are really patriotic citizens who desire peacefully solutions to very delicate situations, (as we have today) which could get out of hand if not well handled. Concerned groups should be appreciated and their concerns addressed.
The 'CRUSH THEM strategy as being suggested in some quarters is clearly not the solutions to agitations by the IPOB and the Niger Delta militants for a separate state. Government should sit down with them in order to find out first hand from them, why they have lost faith in Nigeria. Solution lies only in identifying and addressing the root cause or causes of their grievances.
READ ALSO: God is backing the Biafra struggle – MASSOB
The continuous detention and ongoing trail of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has made him a hero with cult following, triggering off a mass huge following. Anybody telling the government otherwise is clearly trying to deceive government. Kanu’s travails has given the Biafra agitation more oxygen and strength, while the killings at Aba of 9th February 2016 and Nkpor/Onitsha on May 30th 2016 has more than anything else, generated a huge dose of sympathy for the Biafra Agitators, making millions of citizens sympathetic to their struggle. This situation is clearly being hidden from the government by sycophants, bootlickers and influence peddlers of all shades whose stock ‘n’ trade over time has been the self-centered game of using every political upheaval to endear themselves to the government of the day. The brutal suppression of the Biafra agitation is bound to boomerang.
The frightening rumours, spreading all over southern Nigeria, that the government of the day is implementing an agenda of CONQUEST AND DOMINATION, scripted somewhere in Arabia, is dangerous to the stability and survival of Nigeria. Government must do everything to disabuse the minds of citizens who have already believed these rumours. Everything should be done to give every section reasons to trust the leadership of the country.
The deliberate attempt to criminalize the pro Biafra agitation in order to justify the high handed strategy employed in dealing with them, does not sit well with millions of citizens, especially, people of the old eastern region, whose silence have been mistaken for acquiescence. The general public believes that the huge numbers of the IPOB during their marches with their colourful flags and their general loss of faiths in Nigeria as presently constituted, seems to scare the authorities, who fear, if everything is not done to discourage them from marching in such great numbers, that the international community, might begin to listen to their demand for referendum. These feelings, whether correct or not, are unhealthy to the stability of the country.
READ ALSO: Opinion: IPOB is not going to achieve Biafra
Finally, whereas, we believe in a restructured Nigeria, where all are equal, where no section is born to rule, where no region is oppressed, we state unequivocally, that the delay to restructure Nigeria could portend danger for the unity and stability of Nigeria.”