Geoffrey Anyanwu, Awka
Elder statesman and member of Board of Trustees (BoT) Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, has called on Nigerian leadership to accede to the popular call for restructuring of the country and do so before 2019 election.
He said restructuring Nigeria is the only way out of the many troubles of the country, hence, more important than the forthcoming general election.
Speaking at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, where he delivered the first Faculty of Education public lecture, with the theme: Restructuring Education in Nigeria to meet economic and social challenges, Chief Iwuanyanwu said buying war planes to fight Boko Haram insurgence would not solve Nigeria’s problem.
The industrialist, who endowed N1 million for the faculty to assist indigent students and N100,000 each, for the best engineering student and best mathematics student of the university, stressed that Boko Haram terrorists, being Nigerians, come from homes and states, hence, some leaders in the country must know them and can end their menace if they wish.
“We have offered them an immediate solution and the immediate solution is restructuring. You need to restructure this country to give every state the autonomy and independence they need to have their own police. If Benue had got its own police, people would not have assassinated these people, we are calling on people in power to do it. It is more important than even the 2019 election.
“I am telling you that if Nigeria is not restructured, talking of one Nigeria will amount to nothing. Nigeria must be immediately restructured before 2018 election, so that every state will be able to defend herself. If somebody says Nigerians defend yourselves, how can you defend yourself when you are not allowed to carry gun.”
He noted that the late Igbo leader, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu never wanted secession, but restructure, which according to him was what he (Ojukwu) went to Aburi to demand, adding, had Nigerians agreed with Ojukwu then and restructured, Nigeria would have been a better country today.
“The money that would have been spent on education is spent on fighting needless war; you can imagine plane of four hundred and something million dollars, that’s the one we know, if you invest the money in education, you know what it will be.
“So, the solution is not in buying war planes, let this problem be solved once and for all. First of all, restructure and let people have their own destiny in their hands.”
On restructuring of education, Iwuanyanwu said it is the duty of every government to create opportunities for every citizen to acquire functional education to the limit of individual’s potentialities, adding that the teaching profession is “a very honourable one and every government owes it a duty to his people to ensure that the dignity of the teaching profession is preserved.”
On how to curb corruption and malpractices in the university, he advocated the establishment of tribunals to try cases of corruption and malpractices in the universities, saying: “It has been reported in many places that some students offer gratification in form of money or sex to obtain grades and degrees they do not deserve.
“This is economic sabotage as the ultimate victim will be the Nigerian society.” where these students will operate. Stiff penalties must be inflicted on those involved in these types of offences.”