Scholars Seek End To Clampdown On Agitators
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.