John Nwodo, erstwhile president-general of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, a socio-cultural group, has said some regions in Nigeria may boycott the 2023 presidential election if the country is not restructured before then.
He said this at the 17th Chief Gani Fawehinmi annual lecture, with the theme, ‘The constitutional history of Nigeria’s dysfunction: Any pathway to indivisibility and common progress?’ on Friday.
Nwodo explained that only restructuring can save the country for impending crisis. He said the military, guilty of seizing power from democratic governments, forced the current system on the country. He added that Nigeria was moving forward before then because each region enjoyed sovereignty over their natural resources while paying royalties and taxes to the Federal Government.
“Nigeria must restructure and give its component units sovereignty over its natural resources provided they pay royalty or some form of taxes to the Federal Government to maintain federal responsibilities like external defence, foreign missions, customs and immigration.
“Emphasis must return to agriculture and education. Domestic security must remain in the hands of the federating units because living safe in Nigeria today is by luck. The secularity of the Nigerian state must be respected. These irreducible minimum conditions are not negotiable. If it does not happen, we will have no alternative but to go our separate ways,” he said.
“Processes to begin our restructuring as a nation must be concluded before the 2023 elections so as to avert a situation where sections of the country may boycott the elections and present the country with a constitutional force majeure.”
Nwodo, also a two-time minister, decried a situation whereby the President and federal lawmakers exclusively share the appointment into the Independent National Electoral Commission, saying Nigeria could learn from South Africa and the United Kingdom.