By Emmanuel Daudu/Abuja-Nigeria
The National Political Equity Movement, NPEM, on Tuesday 14 July 2020 held a consultation audience with the former TA to President and immediate past Commissioner of Works Kano State, from Kano, northwest Nigeria, Hon. Mauz Magaji. It was indeed explosive and edifying. He fully endorsed the movement as a good platform for the South-East and Nigeria. He also endorsed the movement’s aspirations and strategy which he said is best and first-ever from the South-East zone whilst pledging to work with it to garner political leaders from the North West and other zones.
Hon. Mauz Magaji at the meeting with the NPEM team stated that the northerners are very conservative when it comes to the issue of South-East Presidency going by history. Now, having a meeting with a very well structured movement made up of members all around the states of the nation advocating for the same purpose made him relaxed as he looked forward to the project in his lifetime and also look forward to Nigerians coming on board to support the movement that the sacrifices of the past can be the inspiration to move forward. He however pointed out that with the persuasive, negotiating, and consultative strategy embraced by the movement, the Northerners would look forward to a sole candidate that is capable, competent, and also a nationalist and at the same time inspirational.
” I don’t want recycling of old guys that would actually lead the country because I want leadership inspiration, I want the younger generation to understand that unity is important, nationalism will be revived and so, the East need to find that person and sale him to other parts of the nation”, he said.
Stressing further, “if the East has the potentials to leaders and bring expertise together to manifest in the economic relevance, we would support the East and bury the past and forget the hatred”, he added.
Agreeing to the 2023 South-East Presidency, he categorically stated that having a president from South-East come 2023 is something that will Unite/harmonize the historic conflict of the Nation and help deploy the capacity south East is endowed with to the entire Nigeria, which in turn will boost the general economy of Nigeria and Africa at large.
Hon. Magaji realizing the fact that the movement has embarked on a laudable objective urged it to have a constructive, workable, and achievable road map and a strategy that has to be strategic and negotiable.
“The negotiation skill of the region is very important”, he said.
The immediate past Commissioner, talking on Restructuring, which is one of the cardinal objectives of the movement, said restructuring the nation has been a long term discussion amongst regions and people.
“In my own view, there are three types of restructuring we need to face as a country. The country was united under a consensus argument that was started long ago 1953 which ended in 1960 after the amendment of the constitution through the Parliamentary system of government. Now that we are practicing the Presidential system of government, there is a need for negotiations, re-discussion because it has always been fiscal federalism which means which region gets more money, political federalism, which means which region gets more states, who becomes governor. But I think it is important we consider a very important element of our structure which is Developmental federalism, meaning each region in this country can become a development hub and an economic hub in itself, therefore the country should leverage on its hydrocarbon resources and rise hundreds of dollars to develop the economic potentials of each region. For instance, the South-East is very well known for its technological innovations and it has manifested right from the days of our independence. If we agree as a country that the South East can be the Tyre one of Africa, it is achievable, we will then stop importing scraps from India and China and we would be able to sell our products to other countries of the world and it would all be made in Nigeria and we will all be proud to have that. We would also want to have our agricultural implements in Kano, because I know what the industrial complex at innewue can do, I have been there and I shaded tears because of the untapped resources I saw.
“The South-South is a hydrocarbon hub, small countries like Cartel which used their carbon reserve to leverage for development and have become a global leader in hydrocarbon economy. If we agree to leverage on that and allocate resources and deliberately develop that, we will stop importing and start exporting gas to Africa and the world. Now, this must be a deliberate plan.
“The South-West for example is a marine economy, Singapore is such, where shipbuilding is going on, maintenance, operations, port operations, and the rest. We can do all of that in the South West by putting the money, expertise, and then have a plan.
“Northern Region represents what the Asia rice producers are doing. Cambodian, Philippines, all of these countries produce food enough to the Asia region and export to other parts of the world. The food basket of Africa can be northern Nigeria and therefore every region can become an economic hub for itself. It would chose the crop it would grow and by so, it becomes an economic power horse just like India and China has done.
“My resolve on the restructuring of Nigeria starts with each region becoming an economic engine room of its dream to develop Africa. But, together with fiscal, political, economic, and developmental federalism, we will need to address a little in suspicious region and pulling each other down syndrome. It is important we put our energy together and pull each other up”.
Earlier, Amb. Okereke Obina Sunday in his opening remarks gave a superficial introduction of the movement stating that it is a movement of patriotic Nigerians throughout the world who support political democratic governance equity, justice, fairness, merit, unity, and Nigeria’s holistic development.
Speaking further, the movement works to promote democracy consolidation issues, equitable political structure, policymaking, active citizens participation and constitutionality which is driven by the urgent and compelling need to restructure Nigeria’s political system to redress the big issues of divisiveness, political exclusion and institute a culture of political equity, justice, inclusiveness,
devolution of power and guarantee the unity of Nigeria in a democratic governance structure.
Hon. Magaji also admonished the South-East political leaders to come together with an immediate effect and start discussions for alliances with the North East, North Central, and South-South.