Rul­ing class, threat to Nigeria’s ex­is­tence -Falana

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Nu­rud­deen M. Ab­dal­lah

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.

PIC: IKECHUKWU IBE

Chair­man of the Na­tional Con­fer­ence, Jus­tice Idris Kutigi, look­ing at documents with the Sec­re­tary, Dr. Va­lerie Azinge, dur­ing yes­ter­day’s de­lib­er­a­tions in Abuja.

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