Lagos – A former House of Representatives candidate, Hon. Collins Onyeama, on Sunday told the Federal Government to adopt equity, fairness and justice in its efforts at making Nigeria an African showpiece in nation building.
Onyeama, a former President of the Umuahia Development Association in Baltimore, U.S., made the call while speaking with newsmen in Lagos.
He spoke against the backdrop of the increasing spate of protests by some Nigerians in overseas countries, demonstrating against what they perceive as the marginalisation of their ethnic groups in Nigeria.
Onyeama said that the Nigerian government and the political parties needed to address the fundamental issues tearing the nation apart, to give every Nigerian or group a sense of belonging.
He, however, cautioned Nigerians in the Diaspora to be circumspect in voicing their anger on political developments at home.
Onyeama, who contested in the 2015 general elections on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance to represent Umuahia North, said the current situation in Nigeria demanded the involvement of Nigerians at home and abroad.
He argued that Nigerians in the Diaspora needed to understand developments at home better to be guided adequately before staging demonstrations in foreign countries.
Quoting an 18th century philosopher, Samuel Adams, Onyeama declared that “the times, more than ever, calls for our utmost circumspection, deliberation, fortitude and perseverance, whether at home or abroad’’.
Commenting on the Nnamdi Kanu saga, Onyeama stressed that caution was needed since nothing had been heard from Kanu or his parents since the development at Kanu’s country home in Umuahia.
“I wish to lend my voice and objectivity, given my proximity to the unfolding events in Abia State. Nnamdi Kanu’s community, incidentally and ironically happens to be in my constituency.’’
Onyeama pointed out that labeling the Indigenous People of Biafra movement a terrorist organisation would serve no useful purpose in resolving the underlying issues.
According to him, classifying the group as a terrorist organisation will escalate an already tense and volatile situation and put the country on edge.
Onyeama said that staging demonstrations would become necessary and effective when such actions were better articulated and thought over to underscore the need.
On the clamour for restructuring, the community leader said that re-shaping Nigeria had become necessary to re-energize the nation for equity, peace and progress.
“We must embrace the option of restructuring not secession because the current centralized system dominated by the north is not working for everyone as it should, particularly for people of the South-East.
“Certainly, no ethnic group or geo-political zone has a birthright to domination or ownership of our institutions as a country.
“Therefore, we must restructure because the current centralized system dominated by one ethnic group is not working for every Nigerian as it should,’’ Onyeama said.