Schol­ars Seek End To Clam­p­down On Agi­ta­tors

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - NEWS - From Lawrence Njoku, Enugu

EMi­nentschol­ars have called on the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to stop forth­with clam­p­down on ag­i­tat­ing groups in Nige­ria, say­ing that ag­i­ta­tion would con­tinue as long as eth­nic and re­li­gious pol­i­tics dom­i­nate the de­ter­mi­na­tion of po­lit­i­cal power in the coun­try.

At the an­nual con­fer­ence on peace build­ing and na­tional in­te­gra­tion in Nige­ria, or­gan­ised by

African Her­itage In­sti­tu­tion (Afri­her­itage), Enugu, the schol­ars, which in­cluded former Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of Na­tional Ori­en­ta­tion Agency (NOA), Prof Elochukwu Amucheazi and pro­fes­sor emer­i­tus, Ok­wudili Nnoli and Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor of Afri­her­itage, Prof Ufo

Okeke - Uzodike among oth­ers, in­sisted that present and suc­ceed­ing lead­er­ships of the coun­try would al­ways wit­ness ag­i­ta­tions with the kind of con­sti­tu­tion in prac­tice.

They can­vassed the re­struc­tur­ing of the coun­try with in­puts from the var­i­ous eth­nic na­tion­al­i­ties that make up Nige­ria, stress­ing that gen­uine de­vel­op­ment would con­tinue to elude the na­tion with the present ar­range­ment.

Amucheazi said cur­rent de­vel­op­ments were clear in­di­ca­tions that the coun­try needs ur­gent re­work­ing to as­cer­tain whether its fu­sion and cer­tain other prac­tices from the colo­nial masters sev­eral years back were work­able.

Amucheazi said: “I strongly stand that Nige­ria can­not thrive if the 389 eth­nic na­tion­al­i­ties are not fully in­volved in any con­sti­tu­tional ar­range­ment for this coun­try. We must build from bot­tom to the top, not the other way round. In sim­ple terms Nige­ria must set­tle for a truly bal­anced fed­er­a­tion in all ram­i­fi­ca­tions of that con­cept.

Speak­ing on the theme, “Na­tional in­te­gra­tion and Po­lit­i­cal sta­bil­ity in Africa”, Amucheazi ar­gued that Africa was not de­signed to grow by the way it was cre­ated in the 19th cen­tury by the Euro­pean im­pe­ri­al­ists, stress­ing that there was need to re­draw the map of Africa in full con­sul­ta­tion with var­i­ous eth­nic groups, thus cre- at­ing new coun­tries, fed­er­a­tions and con­fed­er­a­tions.

“I be­lieve that it is this type of re­struc­tur­ing that our found­ing fa­thers had in mind in their cam­paigns for African unity. The truth is that we can­not achieve peace, sta­bil­ity and de­vel­op­ment in the Euro­pean cre­ated Africa un­less we set­tle for ‘true and bal­anced fed­er­a­tion/con­fed­er­a­tion of in­di­vid­ual states or com­bi­na­tion of states”, he posited On his own, Nnoli who went mem­ory lane to re­call how north­ern­ers were win­ning elec­tions in the south and the south win­ning elec­tions in the north, stated that the great­est in­jus­tice done on the na­tion was the in­tro­duc­tion of eth­nic and re­li­gious pol­i­tics.

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