‘Opponents of restructuring real enemies of Nigeria’

Recently, a pressure group known as South-east Forum added its voice to the debate on restructuring of Nigeria, arguing that the nation’s interest will be better served if the country is restructured. RAPHAEL EDE reports

A pressure group, South East Forum, (SEF), has described those opposing calls for the restructuring of Nigeria as the real enemies of Nigeria, and urged them to have a rethink before it is late. President of SEF, Engr. Ezekiel Izuogu, who stated this after a meeting of the group in Enugu weekend, said that 70 percent of Nigerians are for restructuring whereas only a negligible 30 per cent are opposed to it. According to him, a lot of advantages accrue to restructuring if it is allowed to see the light of the day, pointing out that if Nigeria is restructured according to the yearning of the people, it would help check the agitations and the supposed hate speeches going on presently in the country.

“Vast majority of Nigerians are going for restructuring. Seventy per cent, 70 per cent of Nigerians are for restructuring while only about thirty per cent, 30 per cent, are against it. “Restructuring must take place. People who are organising the hate songs are the enemies of Nigeria. Anybody circulating the songs is anti-Nigeria,” Izuogu stressed. “If we restructure and correct the ills in Nigeria, there will be no need for Biafra agitation and other agitations. If Nigeria is restructured, agitations will fi zzle out on their own.”

He continued. Harping on the advantage of restructuring, SEF president said that if Nigeria is restructured, the federating units that make up Nigeria will be able to develop at their own pace as it was when Nigeria was running the three regional governments of North, West and East and later, Mid West. Speaking on one of the issues that has been fueling the agitation especially among the Igbo people, Izuogu noted that the West and the North have held on to the presidency for too long whereas Ndigbo has never had the opportunity safe the military era when Ironsi held sway as military president.

He argues that if this anomaly is addressed, it would go a long way in building unity in Nigeria because, according to him, Igbo love Nigeria dearly, citing Zik, Okpara, Ibiam as some of the Igbo leaders that sacrifi ced a lot for Nigeria to gain independence and a united nation. He suggested that if Nigeria should go back to the 1963 Constitution instead of the 1999 Constitution, Nigeria would be the better for it, because the 1963 Constitution recognised the discreteness of each of the zones and did not give room for dictatorship, but democracy.

“Let’s go back to the 1963 Constitution. Th e Constitution recognised the discreteness of each zone. We don’t want dictatorship, we want democratic standing. America allows states to develop at their pace. Th ey are enjoying democracy and we want to enjoy ours,” he said. Fielding questions from newsmen, Izuogu said that President Buhari has not violated the law by not returning to the country from his medical trip abroad. He also said that anti-Buhari protesters have the right to demonstrate because that is the beauty of democracy, adding that it was wrong to molest the group for demonstrating.

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