President General of the pan-Igbo sociocultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, yesterday raised the alarm over the state of affairs in Nigeria. He declared that except President Muhammadu Buhari convokes a national conference of ethnic nationalities to fashion out a new constitution, the nation will become a failed state.
Nwodo, who made the assertion in his address during the brief stopover of the remains of Justice Eze Ozobu, former President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, at the Ohanaeze Secretariat, Enugu State, also decried the prevailing dearth of political culture and constitutionalism whereby “legislators abandon their party in the currency of their tenure and in violation of extant court decisions the Attorney General goes to sleep.
“Nigeria is failing as a state that guarantees equal treatment for all her people. Nigeria is failing as a state that can conduct transparent elections. Nigeria is failing economically. We need a National Conference to throw away the Constitution imposed on us and to restructure our political system. Otherwise, we should agree to disagree and go our separate ways…
“If you are a Fulani herdsman, you can carry firearms without license. If you are a Hisba police in Kano, you can carry firearms without reproach. If you belong to the Civilian Joint Task Force in the Northeast, you can carry firearms.
“If you are a Northern Fulani, you can exceed your term of office as Chief of Army Staff or Chief of Air Staff in violation of our establishment rules and laws.
“If you are in Amotekun or Neighbourhood Watch in the Middle Belt or South Eastern Nigeria, the Attorney-General will turn himself into a court and declare it illegal for you to operate let alone carry firearms.
“If you are from the Southeast and you are elected a governor, the Supreme Court can reallocate votes and take away your victory even when your opponent who was voted for the same day as the state legislators could not win a single state Assembly seat for his party,” he lamented.
Nwodo said that the most important reason for the weeklong activities in remembrance of Hon. Justice, Igwe Eze Ozobu was to dramatize his positive attributes in the hope that the living will try to emulate him.
“For me, Justice Eze Ozobu’s life was a lesson in many ways. He thought us the ‘can do spirit’. At the time he went to the United Kingdom to study law, very few of his contemporaries could do it. He had the choice of settling to a teaching career, a civil service position. Either would in the colonial era have guaranteed him food on the table and a comfortable family.
“But No! Not near Chief. He seems to have imbibed the motto of the Brigade of guards in the UK who protect the Queen of England. The motto declares: ‘He who Dares, Wins'”.
The ceremony attracted some personalities including; Prof Uche Azikiwe, wife of Nigeria’s first president, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe; Sen. Victor Umeh; national chairman of United Peoples Party (UPP), Chief Chekwas Okorie; member representing Enugu East/Isiuzo federal constituency, Hon Cornelius Nnaji and Enugu State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mr. Insomnia Ibe.