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S’South leaders task Buhari on true federalism, fairness




People of the South South have been charged to remain focused and push for true federalism as the incoming administration of General Muhammadu Buhari berths May 29.

The region’s leaders, including Rev. Grace Ekanem, a prominent member of the South South Peoples Assembly, gave the charge.

She said that, “the country has to move forward. They don’t need to join the bandwagon of a one party system in the name of decamping.

“The issue now is change as preached by the All Progressive Congress (APC) and what we should look for now is true federation so that democracy can be sustained. We have to change by moving from a unitary system to a true federation. We want change, isn’t it? And change is doing the right thing, and the right thing is, if we are to do what has to be done in terms of federation, there should be true federation,” she stated.

Ekanem continued: “True federation. The confab asked for the devolution of power. You know even the West has been agitating for it and that is the right thing to do. Are we a Federal Republic and still practising a unitary system? No, we should be able to practise a true federation. We are looking for change and change has come, it has to reflect in all things. All what we have been doing is unity and not change”.

Speaking as regards the just conducted elections, a prominent legal practitioner from the region, Mr. Etim Inyang, said, “for me, they (South South) have not lost anything. The South South people were supporting their son, but it turned out that we could not make it. What is left now is for us to consolidate and realign.

“What is very important is that as a minority, we have to be very careful because the present political equation in the country does not really favour us and we must be very careful so that we don’t lose out.

“Take for instance now in the Senate, South South has nobody from APC and no position will be zoned to the region. But in the lower house, we have just one or two from Edo State and we are in a very dicey situation.

“All we need to do is for the South South to come together and realign. It is unfortunate that right from the First Republic, the South South has always supported the North. This is the first time we are having a different ball game and we need to realign ourselves. We need to do self-assessment and see where we went wrong. I know very well that we supported our son, which to me, was right,” he stressed.

Inyang added: “We cannot say let us remain and play as the Yorubas did. The Yorubas are more united than us. When you come to South South, it is with different tribes comprising the Ibibios, ijaws, Efiks Uhrobos, Ishekiris, Ikweres and others unlike the Yorubas with one language. So our own is different and we must be careful because we always ally to the core North, but with the turn of events, there is this conspiracy. It is a very dicey situation and it is for the first time in the history of this country that you see the North and the West going together.

“We must be extremely careful and the South South leaders have to reappraise themselves. The Ibos in South East went to see the President-elect and are even asking that they should be given the position of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation. The South South must reorganise and launch themselves in the main stream.”

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