At a public presentation of a book titled ‘The Politics of Biafra and the Future of Nigeria’ published by Chude Offodile, a former member of the House of Representatives, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, urged President Muhammadu Buhari not to ignore the call for restructuring of Nigeria.
“If I were President Buhari, I would be very suspicious of anyone who advises me to ignore the Biafran issue. Anyone who says that is either ignorant or being mischievous or quite patently doesn’t mean well for the government and probably wants the government to repeat the mistakes of the past. We must start learning.” He said.
The former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor added that;
“There seems to be two views: the Neo-Zikism which represents federalist versus the neo-Biafranism which calls for a sovereign state of Biafra.
“Everyone is talking of restructuring. From the book we get an insight into the faulty design of the Nigerian system. There was a modification of Aguiyi Ironsi’s unitary system into a unitary federal structure with a suffocating command post at Abuja. That suffocating command structure was ok for sharing and consuming the oil rent but even while the oil rent lasted, it was inherently politically unstable and inherently unproductive.
“If you see the failed or fragile state indices and the rankings of Nigeria, we have been coming back precipitously from number 54 in 2005 to now number 13. We are one of the countries under the red alert list.”
He noted that Nigeria would prosper if the state were allowed to exploit their own resources and eventually pay tax to the Federal Government.
He also urged Buhari to release the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, whose prolonged detention is fueling the Biafran agitation.
“It seems to me that if Ojukwu and Zik were alive today, they would probably align more with a reformed federalist Nigeria. Why I say this is because Ojukwu died a federalist. That is my thesis and that is why all through the war and the Addis Ababa congress of the 1960s, he was for negotiation. Aburi was broken, he was struggling for it to work until he saw that there was a way and he saw that Biafra was no longer negotiable.
“But after the war, Ojukwu joined the NPN and even in the 1990s, when political parties were registered, he registered his own party, according to the book but he later joined APGA and became its national leader. And APGA is a national party which among other things, agitates for true federalism and he contested as the presidential cadidate seeking to be President of Nigeria.”