President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide in the 19 Northern states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Barr Augustine Amaechi, has said the elders of Ndigbo are not demanding for separation, but restructuring of Nigeria under a true federalism.
The Igbo socio-cultural organisation chieftain spoke at a recent reception organised by the Ohanaeze Ndigbo for its president-general, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, in Abuja.
In a statement made available to LEADERSHIP Friday, Amaechi said Nigeria is a federation, but asserted that it practices a unitary system of government.
He suggested that Nigeria should go back to the federalism it practiced in 1963, where the units were autonomous and contribute to the centre, contrary to what is obtainable today.
Amaechi said, “Ohanaeze isn’t demanding for separation, but for restructuring, so that every Nigerian can enjoy the country called Nigeria; so that each unit can develop at its own pace. Where one man at Abuja will not be telling you about the roads in Badagry, Enugu, Borno and talking about children in those areas should go to school. All these are not good for the country’s development.
“The federal government should control the soldiers, currency and international relations and not be involved in everything. Ojukwu and Gowon agreed on confederation at Aburi, but the bureaucrats in the North rejected it and that caused the civil war,” he said.
Though, due to the political and economic effects of it on the zone, he faulted the sit-at-home and other vices associated with it, but was quick to urge the federal government to obey the Court of Appeal’s order and release Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the banned Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Amaechi believes that Kanu’s release will bring sanity into the South East, even as he attributed the escalation of the crisis to an order from someone in Finland, contrary to the decision of the Indigenous People of Biafra.