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Ohanaeze harps on emulation of developed countries for nation building

By Ngozi Egenuka
22 November 2022   |   4:01 am
President General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, George Obiozor, has said that to build a better nation and attain unity, Nigerian leaders need to emulate experiences of countries that did not ignore the element of diversity.

George Obiozor

President General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, George Obiozor, has said that to build a better nation and attain unity, Nigerian leaders need to emulate experiences of countries that did not ignore the element of diversity.

Speaking, yesterday, at a public lecture on ‘Nationalism and Nation Building In Nigerian History,’ in Lagos, Obiozor said: “Some Nigerian political leaders have said Nigerian unity is non-negotiable. This is an irony, because they seem to have forgotten Nigerian history. Nigerian unity is definitely negotiable, and must be re-negotiated for it to stand the test of time. The reality, over the years, remains that in spite of the best efforts of our leaders past or present, Nigerian unity is not guaranteed.”

He noted that the disparity between claims on nationhood and political realities in Nigeria are responsible for political instability, military coups, sporadic levels of warfare, crisis and violence that have characterised the nation’s history.

Obiozor also said coercive integration, need for peace and unity, a system of shared power, as well as good leadership will help the future of Nigeria.

However, the author and professor of History, Jide Osuntokun, lamented that political leadership in the country appears indifferent towards the destiny of Nigeria and black race.

Osuntokun said: “What we need, if this country is to succeed, is to find collective and equitable solution to the way we choose our government, and put in place an administration that is based on the French revolutionary credo of careers open to talents instead of the current unclear federal character, as well as the odious corruption ruining the country while majority of the citizens are living in poverty and in want.”

According to him, during the Babagngida regime, the small committee of scholars from various universities from the North and South of the country came up with a recommendation of collective presidency, which was to divide the country into six zones; South South, South West, South East, North Central and North West, suggesting that the president of the country comes from any of these zones, and the remaining zones to provide vice presidents, each of them heading the ministries of Finance, Defence, Interior, Foreign Affairs and Education.

Osuntokun added that the verdict on the way to run Nigeria is still undecided as there is no time to find an appropriate constitutional architecture with which Nigeria can build a happy state acceptable to Nigerians.