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Ekwueme Advocates Regional Independence For Nigeria

Alex EkwuemeFormer Nigeria Vice President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme has advocated regional independent where the six zones of Nigeria would have their constitutions.

Ekwueme saidthat what Nigeria negotiated and agreed on with the British colonial authorities before independence in 1960 was a regional government arrangement, where each of the federating units had a constitution, which was annexed to the Republican Constitution of 1963.
The former Vice President made his position known at the 17th Annual Convention of the Igbo Youth Movement, which comprised former governors of Anambra State, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife and Peter Obi, and Niger Delta activist, Ankio Briggs. The theme of the convention was ‘Still in search of true federalism.’

“It was on the basis of that (balancing interest of minority and majority) that I came to the conclusion that we should have six regions or geo-political zones as you call them as of the 1994 constitutional conference – three in the North and three in the South.
Ekwueme stressed that it was time for Nigeria to revert to the basic principles and arrangements left behind by the country’s founding fathers.
Going down memory lane, Ekwueme observed that his incarceration by the military in 1984 at Kirikiri prisons afforded him the opportunity to reflect deeply on Nigeria’s problems.
According to him, he came to the conclusion that a six geo-political zonal structure was the solution to the ills plaguing Nigeria.
Ekwueme added, “The six-geopolitical zonal structure will take care of minorities in both the North and the South.
“It was on the basis of that (balancing interest of minority and majority) that I came to the conclusion that we should have six regions or geo-political zones as you call them as of the 1994 constitutional conference – three in the North and three in the South.
“From the south, you have the South-West, the Yoruba; you have the South-East, the Igbo; and then you have two minority groups, Mid-West and COR (Calabar, Ogoja and Rivers) as South-South.
“In the North, you have the North-West, which is Hausa/Fulani; then the North-Central, Middle Belt, which is the aggregation of minorities, and then in the North-East again, minorities predominated by Kanuris in Borno and Yobe and then other minority groups.”
According to him, the Republican Constitution provided a sharing formula, which allocated 50 per cent to the regions, 30 per cent to a distributable pool and 20 per cent to the centre.
“There is a need for us to return to the basics from what we inherited from our founding fathers,” Ekwueme said. [myad]