Posted by Charles Onyekwere, Enugu | 28 June 2017 | 1,666 times
A group, the Volunteer Peace Advocate Project (V-PAD), has called for devolution of powers as a means of dousing the various agitations in the country.
The call was contained in a communiqué issued after a peace talk-shop organised by V-PAD of the Association for a Better Society (ASBESOC) Nigeria in Enugu.
According to the communiqué signed by the National Coordinator, Igwe Chibuike Elias; Secretary; Chrian Okoh; Chief Ijere Chukwuemeka and Ozoeze Gloria, both members; and Grand Patron, Igwe Dr Chris Ogakwu, participants at the workshop made it clear that they were not part of the Biafra agitation.
Rather than disintegration, they encouraged Nigerians to always inculcate the attitude of tolerance and peaceful coexistence in all their transactions as one Nigeria, especially within the political class or families.
The participants charged the Federal Government to constitute a committee that would go down to the ward levels to seek the citizens’ opinion on the present Nigeria crisis and proffer a way forward.
According to the group, the committee should summarise the opinions at all levels and produce a report that would speak the minds of the people.
The communiqué read further: “In the participants’ opinion regarding the activities of Nigeria, project execution and monetary allocation, among others should be done equitably at the regional level.
“That is to say that the Federal Government should create a regional office to oversee all regional activities and ensure fairness to the states in the said regions. This should be done in the context of continued devolution of functions to the state and regions," the group advised.
“There should be an agreed percentage of income generated from natural resources to the regions where they are being generated and this should be outside the monthly monetary allocations that will be equitably distributed to all the regions.”
According to the participants, the Federal Government should continue to search and begin to harness all natural resources from every region, which would help to increase the income for regions and grow the economy of the entire nation.
The group advocated equal number of representatives of the regions in the National Assembly, both at the low and higher chambers while the regions should determine how to distribute the federal legislative seats among the states.
The participants called for enactment of a strong legislation to empower the every citizen to sue the Federal Government or the President when he fails to respect federal character as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
They suggested that the presidential position should be rotational to the regions with only one term of five years, while other offices such as Vice President, Senate President, Deputy Senate President, Chief Justice of the Federation and Secretary to Government of the Federation should be shared to the remaining regions to ensure that each region has at least one of these appointments.
According to the participants, when the Presidency gets to any region, that region has to produce three persons to be voted for by the entire Federation, so that no other person even with a different party should contest outside the region meant to produce the President.
“Finally, every family and institution should create in their operational system or manual, peace building and education, which will help to develop and inculcate peaceful coexistence in the minds of people,” they said.
Earlier in a presentation at the workshop, Chibuike Igwe, the National Coordinator, described V-PAD as a project of ASBESOC-Nigeria, initiated to help to contribute to peaceful coexistence of Nigerians and the society at large.
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