By Ogude Samuel, Warri
President of Urbobo Solidarity Club, World Wide, Chief George Owarieta, has said the solution to the problems of Nigeria today is restructuring and fiscal federalism, adding that the aim is to create different viable semi-autonomous regions where the principle of resource control is enshrined in the Constitution to allow for development of the different segments according to their pace and resources.
He added that this will allow a slim federal government structure that will collect royalties to fund the federal institutions such as national security agencies, immigration, external affairs and other joint enterprises with the federating regions or states.
The Ogbodu of Agbon Kingdom stated this over the weekend in a chat with newsmen.in Effurun, in Uvwie LGA, Delta State.
He said the starting point is to organize a national dialogue or convoke a Constituent Assembly of all the ethnic nationalities to negotiate a restructured Federation where people can live in peace without the overarching domination of one part over the others,
He opined that the issue of secession does not arise at the beginning of the transformation process of Nigeria.
He said it is like placing the cart before the horse.
“Secession will come if the current dominant ethnic nationalities, insist on their current feudal over lordship against the minority nation states,” he added.
He stated that Urhobo Solidarity Club believes in the unity and oneness of Nigeria, saying that the country’s diverse resources can be integrated into one indivisible great Nation anchored on the principle of justice fairness and equity.However its present structure of centralized oppressive institutions can never ever lead to the realization of such a lofty dream of a united Nigeria.
He said a national delegates’ conference of various ethnic nationalities can negotiate the future of Nigeria, defining the basis of cohabiting and inter ethnic relationships of the constituent parties, as the starting point.
He added that should the majority ethnic groups want to Lord it over the minority groups in perpetuity, another round of negotiation should be done so that each ethnic nationality can go on its own way.
“It is only at this point, that we should be talking of secession,” he averred.
Chief Owarieta said should succession become the option, it can still be negotiated peacefully through the principle of fairness, equity and justice as was done in so many countries of the world.
On whether it is acceptable for the Urhobo to be included in the agitation for the creation of a Biafran republic by some South East people?
The Urhobo Solidarity Club boss said the Urhobo’s reject in its entirety the inclusion of Urhobos in the map of Biafra as the Igbo’s do not have comon linguistic and cultural affinity with Urhobos.
The Urhobo Solidarity Club President said should the ongoing negotiations fail, the Urhobo nation may seek cooperation and partnership with other cultures which have contiguous cultural and geographical affinity with it.
According to him, in this regard the only democratically created Midwest region in the first Republic, can be a viable option for the Urhobos.
He noted that the Midwest region which was later changed to Bendel was created by an agreement of the people through a referendum.
Continuing, he said all the other three regions that have metamorphosed into multiple states were arbitrary contraptions of the military governments.
He said Urhobo as a nation is ready to declare its autonomous nation state from all other ethnic groups, if negotiation, fails within the Midwest affinities.
The Urhobo Solidarity Club President affirmed that the Urhobo Nation can survive on the basis of its human and natural resources endowment.
Chief Owarieta said the first attempt to create a Republic of Biafra, failed because the authors wanted to impose its hegemony on other minority nationalities without any consultation, adding that if the Igbos want a take over by conquest of Urhobo Nation, we assert that it is impossible.
On whether based on all the above propositions, would the number of sovereign states emerging out of Nigeria not be too many, Urhobo Solidarity Club boss said it would not be too many as there are global historical precedents.
Speaking further, he said for example 15 sovereign states emerged from the once very powerful Russia Soviet Republic (USSR), stressing that in the same vein, many autonomous nation states have emerged from the Polish Republic.
Chief Owarieta added that what was known as British India has been balkanized into India, Pakistan and Bangladesh and that the overriding criteria being the zeal for self determination from an oppressive nation state.
Others, he said include some level of linguistic and cultural homogeneity along a defined ecosystem of the people.
He added that the Edo people also fall into this class provided that no one ethnic nationality wears the air of superiorly over the other.
He said for the purpose of strong unity, the leaders of the various communities can meet and fashion out modalities for a common existence as a powerful nation State.
He said Nigerians can resurrect the old uniting axioms such as ‘up Bendel.’
He however said if any ethnic group in the country wants to force or colonize the Urhobos, the result would be catastrophic.
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