A former Minister of Education, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, yesterday described the broadcast by President Muhammadu Buhari as a “missed opportunity”.
“I can give an instant citizen’s feedback to President @MBuhari that his speech this morning was a a terrible case of missed opportunity,” she twitted yesterday.
The Eastern Consultative Assembly (ECA) faulted the President’s position on the unity of Nigeria, which Buhari said was not negotiable.
In a statement by its secretary Elliot Ugochukwu Uko, the ECA said the “shocking position of the president is a confirmation that he is clearly the wrong person to govern Nigeria”.
It added: “Nigeria is tottering at the edge of the precipice, bursting at the seams and sitting on a combustible keg of gun powder, and Mr Buhari and his speech writers are the only people who are unaware of this self-evident fact.
“If Mr. President does not immediately as a matter of urgency set up a constituent assembly to draft a new people’s constitution that will be affirmed at referendum before the end of 2017, there will be no Nigeria by 2018.
“We also implore Mr. President to apologise to Nigerians without delay on his very provocative position on Nigeria’s very fragile unity.
“It is a tragedy that we are ruled by a man who is completely out of touch with reality. This means that the disintegration of Nigeria is inevitable, as only an early return to true fiscal federalism anchored on regional autonomy in an immediate consensual restructuring may save Nigeria now.
“Those who are yet to come to grip with that are living in another world.
Nigeria must be negotiated or Nigeria will die.”
Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), the presidential address is “not far-reaching and re-assuring”.
HURIWA also said Nigeria’s unity is not cast in iron and is open to continuous negotiations, restructuring and reworking since ab initio the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern protectorates in 1914, which produced the geographical entity called Nigeria, was done by the British colonial overlords without the democratic input of our forefathers.
The group reminded the President that even the United Kingdom that: “gave us the independence is open to the possible break-up through the democratic referendum by one of the component parts known as Scotland.” In life, one basic fact that is permanent is change,” it said.
In the statement jointly signed by National Coordinator Emmanuel Onwubiko and National Director of Media Miss. Zaniab Yusuf, HURIWA said: ”May we respectfully remind President Buhari that Article 1 of the international Covenant on civil and political Rights states thus: ”All peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right that freely determines their political status and freely pursues their economic, social and cultural development. Article 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights avers that: “Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association and no one may be compelled to belong to an association”.
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