UNITED AFRICAN REPUBLIC?
So long as it’s not another mere naming ceremony of a non-functional, unitary “contraption”!
Be it a Republic that recognizes the sovereignty of the various regions.
Who’s afraid of “Biafra”?
Let there be a Biafra Region, with a Prime Minister that oversees its affairs.
Who’s afraid of “Oduduwa”?
Let there be an Oduduwa Region, with a Prime Minister that oversees its affairs.
Ditto for Niger-Delta, Middle Belt and the Core North. Each region with its Prime Minister.
Each region controls its resources and pays tax to Abuja.
Each region has its police, answerable to the Prime Minister. Each state has a police, answerable to the Governor.
Each region generates its electricity and distributes accordingly without recourse to a “national grid”.
The House of Representatives operates at the Regional Level, while the Senate operates in Abuja, each on part-time basis with their numbers greatly reduced, earning sitting allowances only in the scale of civil service.
Each state and region publishes its income and expenditure monthly for all to see, while political office holders earn salaries in the scale of civil servants, devoid of bogus allowances in a single non-renewable term of six years, where cases of embezzlement of public funds by public officers are concluded within six months in a special court and a sentence of life imprisonment without an option of fine is passed on persons so found guilty.
The office of the President, not by election, but on rotation amongst the Prime Ministers of the various regions.
So, the regions are powerful and determine the pace of their development, while the centre is less attractive.
The on-going constitutional review is a ruse. It will get us nowhere, for we’ve travelled that route severally in the past, in futility. What we need is a brand new constitution!
Let no one hide under the “law” or “the 1999 constitution”. The law is made for man and not otherwise. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
If we truly desire to see a nation we can be proud of, where no tribe will be clamoring for secession and citizens jet for option B, let’s not just go for a mere naming ceremony of changing from Federal Republic of Nigeria to United African Republic , let’s all come to the table and birth a new constitution that will make United African Republic our pride!
© Thomas-Wilson Ikubese