A member of the House of Representatives and chairman of the occasion, Mr. Emmanuel Oghene Egoh (left), the author, Barr. Chris Akiri, the chief launcher, Mr. Dan Esiekpe and the author’s wife, Rev. Christine Akiri, during the launch of the books at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Lagos.
A member of the House of Representatives, Emmanuel Oghene Egoh, has stressed the need for the restructuring of the country as the panacea for its socio-political and economic problems.
He spoke as the chairman at a launch of two books, Reminiscences: Autobiographical Notes and The Way It Is, Volume 2 written by Barrister Chris Akiri in Lagos.
At the event, which held at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) in Lagos, Egoh reflected on the problems the country is facing and the increasing advocacy for the restructuring of the nation.
He said: “A lot of people have been calling for the restructuring of the country but very few know what it truly means. However, it is the only solution to our problems and without the devolution of powers to the states and local constituencies, the country will not develop.”
He furthered stated that the 1960 Independence Constitution remains the best the country has had till today because it was one which allowed for states to manage and control their own resources, in order to develop their territories without total reliance on the Federal Government.
But now every state government has abandoned its resources, solely dependent on the Federal Government for the allocation of funds.
“The constitution allowed the East to harness the gains from its palm oil to develop their roads, the South West exported large portions of cocoa and the north had kolanuts, with each region contributing its quota to the centre.
These were made possible by the 1960 Independence constitution, written with the consent of the nation as a whole till the military struck and took the reins of government from civilians.
“Going back to that constitution that allows the devolution of power to the states and self- development without much federal interference, is what is meant by restructuring”, he added.
He also spoke on the recent effort of the National Assembly to amend the constitution by voting on the bill to enable the devolution of power to states, saying the attempt failed as a result of the votes not reaching the two-thirds mark needed to approve the bill. He lamented how difficult the military governments made it hard to amend the constitution during their respective regimes but said those who want restructuring among them would keep fighting till it becomes a reality.
Reviewing the books, Dr. Paul Onomuakpokpo of The Guardian said that the books documented for posterity how the resolve of the author to succeed enabled him to surmount great obstacles in his life.
The author, accompanied by his wife, Reverend Mrs. C.E. Akiri, reflected on the wickedness he suffered at the early stages of his life and expressed a lot of gratitude to his late mother for setting him on the right part.
A Lagos-based businessman who was the chief launcher on the occasion, Mr. Daniel Esiekpe, expressed his admiration for the author. Esiekpe also spoke on the wealth of knowledge contained in the books and recommended them to the reading public.