By Stanley Nwanosike
Enugu – An apex Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohaneze Ndigbo, has called for political and economic restructuring of the country to facilitate economic recovery and development.
A former president of the group, Chief Gary Enwo-Igariwey, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Wednesday.
Enwo-Igariwey said that in the early days of the country, all regions, as well as the country, had rapid development due to the nation’s political and economic structure.
“Then, there was a great patriotism which moved production and development from the region to the centre, ensuring that each region specialised in what it can produce on comparative advantage.
“Most of the development in the North and that regions establishment was made possible through massive cultivation and export of groundnut.
`The South-West profited greatly from cocoa sales leading to economic and educational expansion of that zone.
“In the South-East and South-South, palm produce provided the tonic to keep Ndigbo’s economy and entrepreneurial-drive striving,’’ he said.
The Ohaneze chieftain said that the group, through various representatives, even took the need for restructuring to the 2014 National Conference in Abuja.
“The President-General, Secretary-General and some members of Ohaneze played prominent roles in the 2014 National Conference at Abuja, where we demanded for restructuring of Nigeria to reflect true federalism.
“We also demanded for fiscal federalism; devolution of powers, responsibilities and resources from the Federal Government to the federating unit and citizenship rights, among others,’’ Enwo-Igariwey said.
He expressed confidence that with the entrepreneurial and fight-spirit of an Igbo-man, the Igbos would do well under a re-structured Nigeria.