The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, has called for sober reflection as Nigeria marks its 56th Independence anniversary.
He said there is the need to return to the path of true federalism as envisioned by the country’s founding fathers in order to move it forward.
Ekweremadu — who said these in his message to Nigerians on the occasion of the Independence anniversary, stressed the need for justice, peace and unity, urging the Federal Government to mobilise “all capable hands” to salvage the country’s ailing economy.
He said, “This 56th Independence anniversary calls for sober reflection. No people can make progress unless they retrace their steps back to where the rain started beating them. Nigeria, at formation, had a building plan, which was based on true federalism as covenanted by our founding fathers at various conferences leading up to Independence.
“For as long as we followed that plan, we prospered. But, once we discarded the building plan, dissembled the inherited structures and legacies and began to undermine the fabrics of equity, justice, balance, healthy competition and economic prosperity that was ingrained therein, we charted our route to the current perdition.”
Ekweremadu, however, assured Nigerians that the country would bounce back if immediate steps were taken to unite the country, getting the best hands on deck, irrespective of who they are.
The leader of Afenifere, a socio-cultural group, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, expressed disappointment at the pace of development in the country despite its abundant human and natural resources.
Fasoranti, who spoke in Osogbo on the sidelines of the 91st birthday ceremony of Senator Ayo Fasanmi, said the country was not on track even as it marks its 56th Independence anniversary, while he decried the lack of creativity by the country’s leaders, who he said had always depended on oil money to run the country.
He said, “We are disappointed. We are not on track at all. For instance, the sale of national assets should not happen at all because that is going to be a sad loss. The best thing for our leaders is to think well and look inward on how to maximise what we have.
“Our leaders only like easy option instead of exerting themselves. They should think well. What they are planning to do is a very easy option. The executives need to think again.”
A former President of the Nigeria Bar Association, Wole Olanipekun, described the current system of government in Nigeria as “hydra-headed unitarism,” which negates all known principles of federalism as practised in other countries of the world.
Olanipekun said this at the opening of an ultra-modern Vice Chancellor’s lodge which he donated to Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo, Oyo State.
He said, “Nigeria must be governed properly and I am saying that today, Nigeria is not being governed properly. Leadership is rudderless at the federal, state and local government levels.
“What we have in Nigeria today are powerful individuals, not powerful institutions. And the powerful individuals, if care is not taken, will become lions and when lions roar, they will devour. I hope those individuals who are richer than Nigeria don’t devour us. A time will come when Nigeria will start borrowing from them to survive.”Punch