Ruling class, threat to Nigeria’s existence -Falana
Prominent lawyer and activist, Chief Femi Falana, SAN, said yesterday Nigeria is collapsing because of the corruption perpetrated by the ruling elites.
Falana was speaking at the plenary of the National Conference where delegates were deliberating on President Goodluck Jonathan’s inaugural speech.
“The president said we shouldn’t talk about the indivisibility and indissolubility of this country. But the truth is that Nigeria is collapsing,” he said.
He said some of those responsible for the country’s collapse “are here in this plenary. Let those proponents of the country’s collapse confess. They should confess. Let them tell us their various roles in the country’s collapse.”
Falana said the country’s corporate existence is being threatened by two groups: “The disenchanted youths across the country, who are involved in armed robbery, kidnappings and so on.”
The second group, “which is the worse is the ruling class, which is perpetrating corruption, impunity, capital flight and so on. They are worse than armed robbers like the late Fela said.”
He said these are the two issues plaguing the country. “We should tell ourselves the truth. We must ensure political, social and environmental justice for all,” he said.
Falana said the conference, though not sovereign, has provided Nigerians with a window of opportunity “to find out why we are poor in the midst of plenty while a microscopic minority of the population is rich and smiling to the banks.”
He said the 1963 Constitution is slimmer than the United States constitution because it was not filled up with regional and local issues like the case is now.
The lawyer said Nigeria must liberate itself from the clutches of imperialists. “We must liberate ourselves from IMF and World Bank. The IMF and World Bank said there are too many educated people in Africa; therefore the governments should stop funding education.
“They also said we should not create jobs because there are too many workers. This is the situation. We have to liberate ourselves,” Falana said.
Chairman of the National Conference, Justice Idris Kutigi, looking at documents with the Secretary, Dr. Valerie Azinge, during yesterday’s deliberations in Abuja.