From Paul Ibe, Enugu
The presumed over concentration of powers at the federal government has again come under scrutiny by a group known as the Igbo leaders of thought.
The group led by foremost constitutional lawyer, Prof. Ben Nwabueze is proposing devolution of greater powers to regional structures saying that the current arrangement has done more harm than good to the nation.
At the end the 9th plenary of the Igbo Leaders of Thought in Enugu, Prof. Nwabueze said, “to create a better, new and united Nigeria, the federation must be restructured in a way that up to 50 percent of the federal powers will be given to zones who are better equipped to handle such additional powers.”
The group believes that the creation of zonal structures will go a long way in enthroning a more united, strong and prosperous Nigeria where the states through the zones will be allowed to develop in their own pace and time.
Prof. Nwabueze said that the benefits of such restructured system which will lead to the creation of 4 or 6 zones include good leadership, quality democracy, enjoyment of social and economic rights by the people, accountability and adequate security.
He added that the zones will be able to efficiently handle the powers and conduct their affairs to develop in their own ways without any form of interference from others nations or from the central government.
The ILT leader said the current nature of the federation has affected the growth of the South-east, but with a restructured federation, the South-east zone stands a better chance to harness its resources to witness a new phase of progress.
”We in the South-east, we the Igbo people want to be able to develop. We don’t want anybody to hold us back; that is the advantage, that is the immense benefit of restructuring the federation to create larger units to be called zones or regional governments,” he said.
The meeting also discussed the need to safeguard the interest of Igbo people in Nigeria, including their security of life and property.
Present at the meeting were former president- General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Dr. Dozie Ikedife, ex- Minister of education, Dr. Aja Nwachukwu, Dr. Offiah Nwali, Chief (Mrs) Maria Okwor, Eldest son of Late Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, Chief Debe Odimegwu Ojukwu President of Igbo Youth Movement IYM, Evangelist Elliot Uko, who is also Assistant Secretary General of the association, Prof. Elochukwu Amucheazi, amongst others