From: Madu Ezenoha, Enugu
Foremost constitutional lawyer, Prof. Ben Nwabueze and Igbo Leaders of Thought (ILT), Monday called on the federal government to immediately convene a Constituent Assembly to discus how to resolve the nation’s unresolved national question and come up with a draft new constitution.
In a separate press conference in Enugu, Nwabueze and ILT said that the issue of the restructuring of the country which will lead to a new constitution in the mould of the 1963 constitution that represents true federalism should be urgently addressed.
Prof. Nwabueze described as “hackneyed rhetoric”, President Muhammadu Buhari’s address on the occasion of the country’s 57th Independence Anniversary that “‘We must fight corruption which is Nigeria’s number one enemy. Our administration is tackling these tasks in earnest'”.
The elder statesman stressed that in his book, ‘The National Question and Corruption (2016)’ he wrote:
“Not only is corruption not a threat to our continued corporate existence as a country, it is also not our foremost problem. I venture to say, as I said in an interview with The Guardian on the occasion of Nigeria’s 55th Independence Anniversary, that our No One problem is the National Question.”
He proceeded to define the National Question as follows: “The National Question is concerned with how, while preserving something of their separate identities, the immense number of diverse ethnic groups comprised in the territorial area of the state created with the name Nigeria and forcibly imposed by British colonialism can be coalesced and united into one nation and how the state so created can order the relations among the constituent groups to facilitate such coalescing. That is the essence and the core meaning of the term, the National Question………..”
On his part the Secretary of ILT, Prof. Elochukwu Amaucheazi, who addressed journalists at the end of the group’s meeting in Enugu, condemned the proscription of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its designation as a terrorist organisation.
“It is not that (terrorist organisation) under extant and international laws and conventions,” he said.
Igbo Leaders of Thought condemned the invasion of the South East and the attendant killing of the people under the guise of a military exercise, “Operation Python Dance 2” and called for the immediate withdrawal of the military from the South East and South South zones of the county.
ILT also called for investigation of the petitions written by Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachukwu against the management of the NNPC.