13 October 2017

Nigeria: Itsekiri Leaders Meet, Seek Restructuring of Nigeria

Warri — Itsekiri leaders rose from a meeting yesterday urging President Muhammadu Buhari administration to set machineries in motion that would lead to the restructuring of the country.

The leaders, who met at the palace of the Olu of Warri, His Majesty, Ogiame Ikenwoli, under the aegis of Itsekiri National Forum, said as a major contributor to the economy and as citizens of the country, they had reflected on the economic, political and social developments in the country and identified corruption, nepotism, insecurity and injustice, among others, as the problems bedeviling the nation.

They resolved that Nigeria should remain one indivisible and sovereign state and that the Itsekiri people would not support or harbour any violent agitation or ambition for the split of the country or exclusion of any state or any of the ethnic nationalities presently constituting the Nigeria nation from the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The leaders resolved that the system of government is to remain democratic with the various arms and institutions managed in a cost- effective manner with zero tolerance for corruption, nepotism and undue imbalance in the devolution of powers.

To this end, the Itsekiri nation expressed support for the call for a national conference with equal participation of each ethnic nationality and within a legal framework, among other critical issues for national development.

The forum said that such national conference should take into reckoning the work that was done at the 2014 national conference. At the end of it all, the conclusions should lead to a referendum so that the outcome shall truly be felt by "we the people of Nigeria."

While seeking a government that will ensure fairness and equity for all, irrespective of tribe or religion, the leaders canvassed minority protection and development to ensure that the people of diverse ethnic nationalities in the states continue to coexist in peace, prosperity and progress as citizens of one country united by common interest and destiny.

They advocated restructuring of the revenue sharing formula and devolution of powers between the Federal Government and the confederating states or regions to ensure fiscal federalism. "We therefore advocate that the federating states must retain some measure of independence and autonomy."

The Itsekiri leaders resolved to partner with other ethnic nationalities, leaders of thoughts, civil society organizations in Nigeria who share the same aspirations and vision for a united and peaceful Nigeria with strong democratic institutions, to contribute constructively to the discuss at all levels to establish the Nigeria envisaged by the founding fathers of the nation.

The meeting was attended by eminent Itsekiri personalities, including Chiefs Ayiri Emami, Charles Ajuya (SAN), Kofi Kartey, T.Y. Pessu, Emmanuel A. Tetsola and Yemi Emiko.


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