Group of Elder Statesmen calls for true federalism to reflect Nigeria’s diverse ethnic nationalities – Tola Adenle

August 25, 2017

General, Nigeria

Highlights of the joint declaration on Nigeria’s Restructuring by the Group of Southern Leaders of Thought, an association of elder statesmen led by Professor Ben Nwabueze who laid to rest the idea that they were financially-induced to support President Jonathan in the last election.

Rather, they are motivated by the same wish of a majority of Nigerians who do not want a dissolution of the country but a way to keep the country together but run as a system that would prove stronger so that all sections get fair and equitable treatment.

The Group lists major factors that stand in the way of true federalism in Nigeria as well as how to solve the problems among which are –

  • over-concentration of political power and financial resources in the federal government which has altered the power relations between the center and the states, resulting in a unitary system;
  • a country with a vast land expanse, diverse population of diverse nationalities with divergent interests and outlooks is best under a federal system but is administered as a unitary government although “federal” in name;

The Elder Statesmen, among whom also are a former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Emeka Anyaoku; Retired Lt.-General Alani Akinrinade, a military-era Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral Ndubusi Kanu, an Army era Military Governor in the East; Retired Major-General Ike Nwachukwu, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs; Donald Duke a former South-eastern (Cross River) state Governor; Professor Akin Oyebode, a former Vice-Chancellor of a university in the Southwest, and Professor Pat Utomi, a founder of the Lagos Business School – among others.

ALL are from the Southern part of the country, the part of Nigeria where calls for Restructuring have always been most prevalent because of the lopsidedness in allotment of the common wealth – heavily skewed in favor of the North.

The Group, made up of mostly older and very accomplished and respected, has offered the following opinions towards solving the long intractable problems caused by non- restructuring the country towards building a stronger and prosperous union.

  • that the idea of the National Assembly, a body that remains unmoved by the clamoring for restructuring that is sweeping across the land states that only an amendment (which would be undertaken by same body) is untenable because it would not meet the aspirations of the various nationalities.
  • that the untenable position by the National Assembly shows the body is a big obstacle in the way of restructuring;
  • that the 1999 Constitution which the NA wants to amend will not meet the people’s aspiration because “it fails to take account of the fact that the 1999 Constitution is only a Schedule to a Decree, Decree Number 24 of 1999 …”
  • that “ethnic nationalities – grouped according to ethnic nationalities, culture & language and geographic contiguity should be enabled to govern themselves in matters that concern them alone within the sovereignty of a central government common to all, with powers appropriately circumscribed.”
  • that a referendum is the way to go as a first step towards restructruing.




Or type RESTRUCTURE or RESTRUCTURING in the search box for more.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 25. 2017. 7:18 p.m. [GMT]

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One Comment on “Group of Elder Statesmen calls for true federalism to reflect Nigeria’s diverse ethnic nationalities – Tola Adenle”

  1. mr.johnsons.snapshots Says:

    The majority of the “citizens” versus those with the vast pre ponderous of the wealth of a country are (and always shall be) at odds with each other, regardless of what the “government” is called – personally I look to see where the financial interest of the “elder statesmen” lie before standing with them, as my interest and the interest of those who share my place in society are often not in line with their “backers” Not all that inclined to be a follower, more interested in being a concerned and involved CITIZEN



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