It is the most appropriate thing now because it was a document that was put together from Nigerians from different backgrounds, ethnic groups, professionals, statesmen, experts in their different fields of endeavour. We cannot just wish the report away to the dustbin of history.
Former chairman House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology Hon. Oladele Kosoko (Badagry federal constituency) the Alaiyeluwa, Ogundeyi 11, Oniworo of Awori Kingdom, told journalists that it makes more sense to adopt the 2014 National Conference report than to amend the 1999 Constitution piecemeal.
IN the face of various calls for restructuring, what do you think should happen to the recommendations of the 2014 national conference?
The Federal Government should revisit the 2014 conference report; the most important thing is for government to look into the report. It is the most appropriate thing now because it was a document that was put together from Nigerians from different backgrounds, ethnic groups, professionals, statesmen, experts in their different fields of endeavour. We cannot just wish the report away to the dustbin of history. A lot of money was spent during the period and it will amount to a waste of tax payers’ money if the nation abandons the document and opt to start all over again. I do not think that those that sat to produce the 2014 report were daft and did nothing. Let the government go back to the confab report and take a critical study of it again.
There is no way anyone can say that there is nothing good that can be found in that report, so we must examine the report. After that, we will all know the next line of action and where it is necessary to do the restructuring. I am sure the conference report was not silent on restructuring, so we have to look at what they proposed and then know if it will be good or not and recognise where to adjust.
If you don’t restructure well the agitation will still continue so we must ensure we do it rightly.
What stock do you place on the call by some Northern youths for the Igbo to exit the northern parts of the country by October 1, which is seen in some quarters as the reason for the new calls for restructuring?
As far as I am concerned the call is senseless. Why should you tell a people and Nigerians for that matter, just because they are not from your ethnic group to vacate your region when the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria guarantees its citizens to live anywhere they want in the land?
Why should some people take law into their hands to tell other fellow citizens to leave their zone? That comment can create another war. I know people behind it will pay dearly for it because if they are asking the Igbo to leave their territory and they succeed, they can also wake up one day to tell the Yoruba in the North to leave the North as well. So what of if the Yoruba react or the Igbo react and say all those from the North must leave their territory, what will the country become?
Those who are behind the call should rethink. Nigeria belongs to all of us and the constitution guarantees all citizens to live in any area of their choice. In fact you are a bonafide member of any place you have stayed for up to 10 years with full rights, privileges and obligations. If there is any grievances that they are having against the people why can’t they lay the complaint before the government than for the group to issue such an exit order? That order is inciting, condemnable and those who are still agitating for that should rethink and have a change of heart.
No group has a monopoly of violence and every right thinking citizen of this land must condemn the call. If we manage the country well our size is of great advantage. Our thoughts should be that of looking for ways to make the country great rather than calling for disintegration. Unknown to those people making that call, they are beating the drum of war and I do not know how much of war experience that they know. Our concern should be on how to build a better country.
How do you assess the leadership of the country under the All Progressive Congress (APC)?
It’s easy to criticise, quite easy to find fault, very easy to destroy but it’s not that easy to build. The truth sometimes is always bitter and the truth is that before this present administration under President Muhammdu Buhari came to power, a lot of things had gone wrong. The APC government is putting all effort to genuinely fix the country. The truth is that there is a global down turn on most economies and it is not easy to build an economy that was devastated.
It is obvious that things are not easy for the people but what we are experiencing is the consequence of long period of pillaging, looting, plundering, raiding and stealing. I know that a lot is being done now to salvage the economy and we the nation will witness the effect soon. What Nigerians are going through is a sad but it is a price we are paying for all the errors of the past that must be corrected if we must get to the Promised Land. The impunity of looting our wealth is being checkmated and we know that people are now afraid that they will face punishment as they are likely to be caught. So there is new orientation on the ground and in no distant time we will begin to reap its fruit. Things can never be the same again as a new template on the genuine way to develop the country is being put on course.