Our plans for South East, South South – Ugwuoju

// Politics | Our plans for South East, South South – Ugwuoju
Email to a friend Plain text Print version // Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font

By Charles Kumolu
EMEKA Ugwuoju is the President of South East/South South Professionals of Nigeria- a group of professionals dedicated  to the promotion and sustenance of good governance. In this interview, he argues that the current federal arrangement is no longer working, noting that calls for the restructuring of Nigeria has become inevitable.

He also cautions all the three tires of government against using the  Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme, SURE, for any purpose other than provision of infrastructure, among national issues. Excerpts:
W
hat impact has your association had on the general development of the two zones you represent?

We started in 2005 and the first president of the association was Emmanuel Ijewere. our major objective is to partner with other relevant stakeholders to achieve a better development of the two geo-political zones.  As professionals we are expected to lead by example and lead by mentoring. We are focused on all other things that are supposed to bring about good governance, viz a viz infrastructutre health care.

Ugwuoju

We have done quite a lot in the past, because as professionals we don’t need to play to the gallery, but to ensure that things are done properly for the populace We have  interfaced with various stakeholders, and came up with South east economic commission, for the economic advancement of the zone. This institution would be the engine room of promoting public private partnership in the region. By April we will be having south south summit.

We have also came up with the lower niger development initiative, as another institution for stimulating economic status of the zone. We have Aba, Uyo Abakaliki and other areas that need to be opened economically.

There are calls for the restructuring of the country, especially for the convening of a Sovereign National Conference.

Sovereign  national conference and national conference are strategic and the calls for it have become very topical. We have to address it critically so that it does not become like a mantra. People believe that one of the ways to secure the future of most parts of the country is to have a conference. But we must approach it like professionals.

At a point the northen region wanted a loose federation, the eastern wanted the regions abolished, while the western region wanted federalism. At the end of the day, we arrived at the kind of federation we had. It was working at a time but was distorted as a result of impatience.

But if you compare the kind of federation we had then and now, you will accept that things worked under regionalism.  So, the situation we have now demands that we restructure because federalism appears to no longer working. Lets have the conference and decide our future as a people.

There is a trust deficit under the present arrange and we need to restore that through restructuring.

The south east need one more state. we don’t need to continue with the present structure which was created by military fiat for the purpose of sharing the national cake. But generally speaking we as people need to address that situation . It is so sad to know that the situation does not favour us. The oil money should not be used abusively.

That we have oil deposits does not mean that we are a rich country, because when you look at the number of barrels we produce a day and compare it with our population, you will know that we are just potentially rich company because of out total human and material resources.  We can be rich if we can create wealth, but not on our oil wealth. That is why we have to address   fundamentals, when that is done, then if you want hundred states for the South East, it can be done.  Why some people always agitate for more states is because of the feeling of marginalisation,

Therefore, if more states are to be created, we need to put in structures that would not make some people feel marginalised. For instance in most states today some people are still complaining, for instance in Ebonyi, people from Afikpo are still agitating for Afikpo state. However, there are also ways of getting whatever is due to you as a people, without necessarily asking for a state. Government should also look at ways of meeting these demands in some cases without creating states, because some of the states have become sources of sharing the nation’s wealth.

What is your position on Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme?

One of the key things that Southeast-Southsouth professionals are interested in, is the development of this country. That was what informed the town-hall meeting we had at Enugu. Our Enugu communique captured our position on the state of the nation, especially the SURE programme. We know that subsidy savings will go to the federal, state and local governments, while SURE would be handled by the federal government. We don’t agree with that. Let us have something like a zonal purse that everyone would watch how the fund is being spent. Let’s give people the say in what is happening.

What we are saying is that the fund should be about infrastructure. Remember that southeast legislators once demanded for international airport instead pf being given senatorial funds. So we are asking for the same thing on SURE. We want infrastructures.

Do you think that the governors of the South East would agree with your position on the subsidy funds?

In the South East, we have five governors elected to represent their people. And being the representatives of the people, they are obliged under the law to listen to their people. For example, if you are saying that the governors want to use the money on minimum wage, we are saying that we need infrastructres. We are saying that we need constant power in the south east, because if we have uninterrupted power, we can create wealth. That is what we need and not minimum wage. We want both the state, federal and local government to use the fund on infrastructure and not for payment of salaries.

The governors or the federal government can have their way by using the money to do whatever they want, but at the long run the people will question them why the money was not used to better the infrastructural situation of the region. If we don’t make this infrastructural question an issue, by 2015, we would find ourselves in a worst situation.

What is your group’s position on the current killings of southerners in the north?

I would not agree that the southerners were targeted at in the northern killings, although when you look at the trend and the number, you may have to conclude like that. We are asking the governmnent to be decisive and try something else, since the pattern of approach they are using has not yeilded any result.

Our position is that enough is enough. it should no longer be the old way of talking without action. our people have endured enough in face of this killings. We need another approach, which should not be in form of reprisal actions.

It is because of the absence of South East economy, that is why our people are mainly outside the southeast and most of the time they are always the target, alongside their economies. We need a vibrant South East economy, that would discourage our people from domiciling in places where their lives and properties would be endangered.

Above all, we want to build a Nigerian, where the primary objective would be weather creation and not wealth sharing. If the people of  SouthSouth and South east, are doing well, there would be no room for bickering. In 1994 we had mkpoko Igbo and there was agenda for Igbo people. In the next few weeks we will go to the South South.

Comments are moderated. Please keep them clean and brief.

Tagged : No tags for this article

Headlines Newsview all

Seyi Shay Grabs Wizkid's Crotch in New Video Video

So, Seyi Shay and Wizkid featured in this new video titled 'Crazy', and Seyi Shay seems to have done something very crazy; she grabbed Wizkid's ... Full story

Couple tortured by police sue for N100m

The couple brutalized by a police corporal in Lagos, Ejeh and Grace Smith, is suing the police authorities for damages. The Lagos couple that was brutalized ... Full story

Boko Haram Abducts 185 Women, Kills 32

Boko Haram insurgents kidnapped at least 185 women and children, and killed 32 people in a raid in northeastern Nigeria this week, local officials and ... Full story

Gospel Musician Kenny Saint Brown Says APC Stole Her Mandate For Lai Mohammaed's Son

Gospel singer, Kenny Saint Brown does not believe she lost out in the APC primary elections but rather her mandate was stolen Gospel singer, Kenny Saint ... Full story

Boko Haram Threatens To Attack Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II

Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, has threatened to attack the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, in retaliation for the Emir’s call on Kano residents ...

Police arrest power-drunk cop’s team members in the Lekki area of Lagos State

The police have arrested other six cops at the scene of the torture of a couple in the Lekki area of Lagos State. A police source ... Full story

S3x Goddess Maheeda Wants To Sleep With President Jonathan

Maheeda is dreaming of sleeping with President Goodluck Jonathan! We will never stop hearing and amazing at what Naija Bad Girl, Caroline Sam, aka Maheeda, would ... Full story

Lucy Gbagyo, 27 year old woman jumps from moving vehicle to her death few weeks to wedding

What a sad end for a lady who would have been married in February next year as she jumped from a speeding vehicle to her ... Full story

Ola Adeola, Prominent Nigerian Lawyer Murdered In Her Home In Oniru, Lagos

The Lagos state Police command is currently investigating the murder of a leading insurance practitioner and lawyer, Mrs Ola Adeola who was found dead with ... Full story

Okupe: Jonathan is like Jesus Christ

A Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan, Doyin Okupe, says the President is just like Jesus Christ.He said the burden Jesus carried when he ... Full story

Buhari Would've Done Better For Niger Delta Than Jonathan – Asari Dokubo

Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, one of the biggest supporters and kinsman of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, has declared that the president has lost the support of ... Full story

Comment on: Our plans for South East, South South – Ugwuoju

Rate this article

0

Featured author

Paula Obiewkwe

Breaking News

Richard Mofe-Damijo Abandons Wife’s Grave

Richard Mofe-Damijo, Delta State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism has abandoned the grave of his wife, Mee Mofe Damijo at Ikoyi Cemetery, Lagos and the ...

Lola Alao Reacts To Secret Marriage Rumors

It seems to be the trend as several Nigerian celebrities have settled to marry secretly for different reasons. Top Yoruba movie star, Lola Alao in ...

Eku Edewor and Twin Kessiana add Tops Another Year

Today, Thursday, December 18, 2014, the gorgeous celebrity twins Eku ( Georgina) and Kessiana Edewor topped another year. The twin girls are of mixed race origin, ...

I Hope to Feed 1Million Kids…..Halima Abubakar Plans

Nollywood actress, Halima Abubakar, does not just believe in herself alone and the amount of wealth she hopes to acquire but she looks into the ...

Super Eagles Player Set To Wed Lover

To crown a fruitful year, 2014, Super Eagles star, Gbolahan Fuad Salami has decided to wed his heartthrob, Opeloyeru Surat Lolade at an introduction and ...

AGN President, Ibinabo Thankful for Being Able to Marry Again

Actors Guild of Nigeria’s President, Ibinabo Fiberesima, has not been able to sleep for some days now as she keeps dreaming and thinking of how ...

Karen Igho And New Hubby Would Be Having A Baby Soon

Precisely on Saturday, December 13, 2014, former controversial Big Brother Africa winner, Karen Igho secretly got married to her long time fiancé, Yaroslav Rakos at ...

Funke Akindele's Special Prayer For 2015

Just like Nigeriafilms.com recently reported, Yoruba star actress, Funke Akindele aka Jenifa has been radiating recently both in movies and real life. More so, for ...

Photos: Stephanie Okereke-Linus Premieres Her Movie, Dry, In UK

The latest movie of Nollywood Actress Stephanie- Okereke Linus, 'Dry' received a resounding applause from over 150 guests, movie enthusiasts and critics who attended its ...

Regina Askia And Family Mark Her 47th Birthday In A Special Way (Pictures)

It was a special time for former Nollywood actress and beauty queen Regina Askia Williams and her family as she turned 47 recently. The ex-screen diva ...