- Declare support for restructuring
The Anambra State Elders Council at a meeting on Thursday condemned the killing of worshippers by gunmen at the Catholic Church, Ozubulu, a fortnight ago. The Elders Council in a communique Chief Emeka Anyaoku, Chairman, Anambra State Elders’ Advisory Council; Dr. Alex Ekwueme, former Vice President of Nigeria; Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, former Governor of Anambra State and Dr. Tim Menakaya, former Minister of Health; indicated that the resolutions made at the meeting included restructuring and true federalism, the conduct of by-election into Anambra Central Senatorial District which has been vacant for a long time. The Elders also advocated the need for Nigeria to remain a corporate entity where justice, liberty and equity prevail.
They further declared support for the November Governorship Election in Anambra State, admonishing those causing confusion to refrain.
Details of the communiques are presented below:
Communiqué of Anambra State Elders Council meeting held on Thursday, 17th August 2017.
Members of the Anambra State Elders Council deliberated at length on the present state of affairs in our country, Nigeria, including in particular, the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Anambra state scheduled for 18th November 2017, and unanimously reach the following conclusions:
1. That our country, Nigeria, by all universally accepted major national indices; security of life and property, progress in socio economic development, national cohesion on political stability – is clearly under-performing and worryingly drifting towards becoming a failed state.
2. That the root cause of the under-performance is the transformation of the country’s structure of governance from the true federalism carefully negotiated and agreed in the 1960/63 constitutions by the country’s founding fathers to the effectively unitary structure which arose from the prolonged period of military intervention in the government of the country.
3. That there is urgent need to arresting this national drift through a restructuring government architecture by returning to a true federalism based on fewer and more viable federating units.
4. That we are convinced that restructuring will usher in greater national cohesion and a more united country where all the citizens in the component regions can pursue their self-fulfillments with equity and fairness.
5. We firmly believe that there is no part of the country that does not benefit holistically from belonging to one large Nigeria; we, therefore, see agitations currently for a Republic of Biafra and potentially for a Niger Delta Republic and an Oduduwa Republic as manifestation of strong grievances by the agitators.
In the case of Biafra induced by both perceived failure to heal the wound of the civil war and continuing marginalisation of the South East zone by the federal government, and in other cases induced by a strong conviction that the present governance structure and performance of the federal government constitute a great obstacle to the development and self-fulfillment of their people. We call on the federal government, particularly, the Executive and Legislative to urgently take steps to initiate the process of restructuring.
6. We feel compelled to draw attention to the recent quit notice given to Ndigbo by Northern Youths and support Ohaneze’s efforts in this respect and call on the federal government to urgently address the matter.
7. We see great value in periodic meetings of the major stakeholders of the SE zone – Governors, Federal Ministers and Legislators, Ohaneze, prominent captains of the Cooperate Sector and acknowledged Youth representatives to discuss and there after act on projects promoting peace and development of the Zone. The meetings of the governors and Ohanezeshould be more frequent and to be followed periodically by all major stakeholders meeting.
8. We also call all concerned to ensure that the people of Anambra State are availed, without any disruptions, of the opportunity to go to the polls and elect their governor on November 18, 2017.
9. We utterly condemn horrendous killing of innocent worshipers at St. Philips Catholic Church, Ozubulu and express our sympathy to the families of the bereaved and the wounded. We call on the law enforcement agencies to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice.
10. We see great value for peace and security in sustaining the zoning formula for political offices in the state as adopted by Ohaneze Ndi Igbo Anambra State and also as resolved, respectively, by the Traditional Rulers Council and Anambra State Association of Town Unions (ASATU), and call on all candidates for the governorship election and their sponsoring political parties to eschew indecorous language and violence in their political campaigns.
11. We are appalled that the representation of Anambra Central Senatorial District is still outstanding. We, therefore, call on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure that the election is conducted forthwith, without further delay. We call on individuals and groups who are contributing to this impasse to put the Anambra State wider interest above their self-interests.
12. We call on all Ndi Anambra, irrespective of their political affiliations, to continue to dedicate themselves to the continuation of the present peace, security and development of the state.
13. Finally, we commend Governor Willie Obiano for achieving security in the state, and also for the several developmental projects he has been executing in the state, including the Auto Industrial Park, which has begun to make good progress.
Signed by their Excellences
Chief Emeka Anyaoku, CFR
Chairman, Anambra State Elders’ Advisory Council
Dr Alex Ekwueme, GCON
Former Vice President
Federal Republic of Nigeria
Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, CON
Former Governor, Anambra State.
Dr. Tim Menakaya, OFR
Former Minister of Health.