By SIMON EBEGBULEM
BENIN CITY – FORMER Provost Marshal of the Nigerian Army and a leader of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Brig.Gen.Idada Ikponmwen (Rtd) and former chief whip of the senate, Senator Rowland Owie said weekend that the prayers of all Nigerians is that President Muhammadu gets well soonest so as to fulfill his campaign promises but however said that the leadership of the ruling party can find immediate solution in the event that the President becomes incapacitated.
Idada also said that President Buhari’s led administration will not lead this country to progress through rhetoric’s but addressing those issues that led to the agitation of a Biafrian State by Ndigbo and other sections of the country that are asking for secession.
According to him “What I said was that we are happy with the news coming in that our President is getting better and we are happy with that because a lot of things are going on wrongly without him and that is that is why Nigerians voted him in. If he is recovering it is well for Nigeria. But if not I said we must look for a solution because the country is too big to be left lonely.
“These are what is causing the agitations, agitations come as a result of errors in our system. There can be no strong society unless there is harmony, justice, fair play, that is the only way to douse tension and ensure peace. All the constituent parts of the nation must experience justice”.
Gen.Idada who commended the efforts being made by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to douse the tension in the country pointed out however that “his (Acting President) his sermon so far was hinged on the constitutional provision which talked about indivisibility and indissolubility of the nation. That was the basis of his talks so far.
“But let me also say that it is not what is in the constitution that keeps a nation together, what keeps nations together is not rhetorics, what keeps nations together is what the component parts feel about the union, is the union beneficial to all of us, are we enjoying it, are we feeling part of it? It is on these questions that the issue of right to self-determination hinges. The issue is what are we doing to make sure that the country remains one? Are we addressing those things that makes people tends of go away?
“Here we are a big conflict between the rights to self-determination and the desire that the country should never be broken. I believe that every right thinking Nigerian could see the need for the nation to remain as it is, for it to progress as one united entity but at the same time we must realize that it is not a matter of rhetorics, it is an issue that must be decided on how good we feel under this union.
“I was in Vision 2010, we agreed that Nigeria needs to be restructured. The conference before that one during Obasanjo’s regime also agreed that the country should be restructured. Decentralization of power, the issue of each state or region haven its own police. But unfortunately none of the governments in power has the political will to take the right decision.
“I believe there is so much to gain from our unity in diversity but only if it works good for every component part of the country else agitations will continue” he stated.
On his part, Senator Owie asserted that “as a man who has seen it all in the politics of Nigeria I pray for President Buhari to recover quickly because people are suffering and dieing for hunger. Osinbanjo has his limits and there is nothing like a President with full powers. But in the event that he can no longer carry on, the President can resign because APC will still be in power with Osinbanjo.
“Health is more important, it is sad we found ourselves in this situation but we cannot question God. All I am saying is that people should not push the President too far, if he is not able to function properly let his Vice take over and we move on. He will still be alive like Pope John Paul 11 did. So this is not politics but reality”.
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