Nigeria at the crossroads, say Soludo, Obiozor, others

Charles Chukwuma Soludo

Ex-SSG laments poor governance, economy
Former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Prof Charles Soludo, yesterday said that Nigeria was at the crossroads going by the socio-economic and political problems facing the country.

Also, Nigeria’s former ambassador, Prof. George A. Obiozor, alerted of imminent referendum option to settle Nigeria’s national questions and ensure stability and peaceful co-existence should the leadership continues to feel unconcerned by the calls for restructuring.

Both spoke in Enugu at a policy debate organised by the African Heritage Institution (Afriheritage) tagged the big ideas podium with the theme: “Towards a New leadership for a broken nation.”

Soludo, who moderated the event, stated that Nigeria was a project that had refused to work since independence, stressing that it requires big ideas to transform it and move it forward.

He said: “We have been ranked one of the fragile states in the world. There are nationality questions, and Nigeria as of today has never been more divided in our history than now. So, the search for the big ideas to help in the transformation that will really get Nigeria moving forward and leapfrog the process of development to be able to claim its rightful place in the comity of nations and fulfill its manifest destiny can only be realised through formative ideas.

Obiozor, who spoke on “The imperative of national crossroad leadership”, said that Nigeria’s future was seriously jeopardised because of leadership problems, adding that the present defective system needs to give way to true federalism to enable the leaders deliver social justice and guarantee citizens’ rights, safety and security across the country.

He said: “We cannot avoid stating the obvious fact that operating a system with a strong, over-aching centre and basically a unitary system in the guise of a federation – as we have had since 1976 – has been the root of the constant do-or-die struggle by our sectional political leaders for the control of the central government.

“Fiscal federalism or resource control is a problem that must be resolved before Nigeria and Nigerians would think of a peaceful or harmonious co-existence as one nation, united and indivisible.”

He, therefore, called for the implementation of the resolution of the 2014 National Conference, saying it would solve some of the problems plaguing the country.

Others, who spoke at the event, include former Director-General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Prof. Elochukwu Amucheazi; Prof. Ukwu I Ukwu; former Secretary-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dr. Joe Nworgu; and Chief Nduka Eya, among others.

In a similar vein, former Secretary to Anambra State Government, Mr. Oseloka Obaze, has expressed worry over the current state of the nation, saying there is crisis in governance and worsening economic condition in Nigeria.

He said that the country was not working optimally, notably at the federal and state levels, while governance is near non-existent at the local councils, declaring that the state of the nation is deeply worrisome.

Obaze, who spoke in Awka, Anambra State yesterday during an interactive session with newsmen, said there were many challenges facing the country, which regrettably the political leadership did not know what to do.


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