The National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) on Monday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to consider the restoration of the Concurrent Lists of the 1960 Constitution to enable states develop through the use of their concomitant resources.
It noted that the current “lopsided Federal arrangement”, which is unitary in nature and content, should give way for true federalism.
The pro-democracy group which is known for its heroic performances during the June 12 struggle while speaking through its secretary, Chief Ayo Opadokun during a chat with journalists in Lagos, also asked the president to quickly resort to a national town hall meeting to ameliorate different challenges in the country, adding that it will serve an avenue to discuss the basis for peaceful co-existence among the diverse ethnic groups.
Going forward, NADECO lauded the declaration of June 12 as Democracy Day by President Muhammadu Buhari.
It however urged the Federal Government to post-humously inaugurate Bashorun Moshood Abiola as President and name an important national monument after him, adding that Abiola’s slain wife, Alhaja Kudirat, should be given a national honour in memory of her martyrdom as a heroine of the titanic struggle.
The NADECO secretary said the 1960 Constitution should be the working paper for consideration, discussion and resolution of a representative assembly of ethnic nationalities to tackle the contentious national question.
He said if President Buhari is interested in erecting a lasting legacy, he should invite credible ethnic leaders elected through their cultural modalities of choosing representation not composed of government nominees.
Opadokun warned that further delay in summoning the meeting on equal number of representatives could be dangerous and provocative to those bearing the brunt and agony of maltreatment under the unitary system.
“Time is running out,” urging President Buhari and other leaders to pay attention to United Kingdom’s efforts to exit the European Union (BREXIT) as well as Scotland’s, Northern Ireland’s and Wales’ moves to complete their independence struggles”, Opadokun said.
The secretary said NADECO’s appeal to the marginalised ethnic nationalities is to intensify their campaign for the restoration of federal constitutional governance because the current national structure is unsustainable.
Urging the leaders to learn from history, he said no nation-state that was forced into cohabitation, including Yugoslavia, the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR) and Somalia, ever lasted.
Opadokun added: “It is delusionary and a denial of historical reality that those who got undue advantage in the formation of Nigeria through the conspiracy of the colonial master, the Great Britain, to imagine that they can always continue to exploit various dubious tricks, repression and divide-and-rule tactics to sustain their tenuous hold on power.”
NADECO leaders include its National Chairman Admiral Ndubusi Kanu; its Secretary Ayo Opadokun, Dr. Amos Akingba, Col. Tony Nyiam and Chief Fred Agbeyegbe, reflected on the state of the nation, following the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election by former military President Ibrahim Babangida.