A political stalwart and activist, Dr Nnamdi Onochie, has again called on the Federal Government to restructure Nigeria, to guarantee national peace and cohesion, ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Speaking in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday, Onochie said that current challenges could be addressed by listening to the relentless voices of the people.
The outspoken Onochie argued that “the apparent refusal of the Federal Government to restructure the country has contributed immensely to demands for self-determination by ethnic nationalities’’.
He pleaded with the current administration to take the bull by the horn by doing the needful to put Nigeria on the path of peace “before it is too late’’.
The activist said that strident calls for Biafra in Igboland, Oduduwa Republic in the Yoruba country; arson against police, prison, and security stations in Imo, Anambra, and Ebonyi, called for concern.
Onochie pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to read the handwriting on the wall and rise to the challenge, instead of thinking that “this storm will also pass.
“It is only through the practice of true federalism as demonstrated in other democratic countries that Nigeria can stand as an indivisible entity. The time to restructure Nigeria is now.’’
Onochie, a former diplomat advised the Federal Government to take a cue from Switzerland, where the presidency is anchored on rotational and inclusive basis to give every component of the country a sense of belonging.
“How can a multi-ethnic polity such as Nigeria continue to be administered the way it is without the high political tension and stress currently going on in the polity?
“Nigeria should be saved from disintegration through the practice of true federalism so that every component area from the Middle Belt to the South-South should feel a sense of belonging.’’
Onochie, who last March, embarked on a self-sponsored nationwide peace campaign, condemned what he described as the relentless orgy of violence, abductions, and extra-judicial killings in parts of the country.
He, however, appealed to Nigerians to give peace a chance and support the government, to administer the country in a way that everyone would benefit.
The PDP chieftain also told the government to take urgent and measured steps to reduce tension in the country, to guarantee that the 2023 general elections would be staged in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility.