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It’s Rubbish For Ohanaeze To Ask For Slots In Lagos Cabinet – Lateef Femi Okunnu

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“These 12 states were created with the agreement of the political leadership at the time. So if we had allowed the 12 states structure to endure, Nigeria as a country would grow beyond its present sorry state.”

Lateef Femi Okunnu, a former Federal Commissioner for Works and Housing

Lateef Femi Okunnu, a former Federal Commissioner for Works and Housing, says it’s “rubbish” for members of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo to ask for slots within the cupboard of the Lagos State authorities.

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He additionally stated Nigeria should return to the 12-state construction for correct energy balancing and efficient restructuring.

The 86-year-old elder statesman stated this in an interview with The Sun newspaper.

Okunnu, who served between 1966 to 1975, beneath the regime of Yakubu Gowon, Nigeria’s former army head of State, stated Gowon created 12 states after the civil conflict to create steadiness throughout the area.

“Gowon created 12 states from the prevailing 4 areas. Let me say this rapidly concerning the 12 states construction, which I’ve been advocating must be restored in our effort to restructure the nation.

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“Part of the agitations that led to the civil conflict was the scale of the North, that it was too giant, not solely in measurement but additionally in inhabitants. For true federalism to endure, you want correct balancing and that was what Gowon did, following agitation for state creation.

“He created six states out of the Northern area in concurrence with the political management of the North. I used to be privileged to be a member of the advert hoc Constitutional convention in late 1966 after the second coup, which Gowon set as much as convey all of the areas collectively.

“There was the North Central State-Kaduna, Katsina and the likes and there was the North Western State- Sokoto and the likes, so six there, proper, after which six within the South.

“We had the Western State: Osun, Ogun, Oyo and Ondo. So, the Afenifere shouting for Oduduwa State misplaced the possibility by permitting the Western State to be damaged into items.

“We additionally had the Eastern State. They additionally misplaced their probability to have a state for the principally talking Igbo Nigerians. We had the Rivers State and the Mid-Western State.

“These 12 states were created with the agreement of the political leadership at the time. So if we had allowed the 12 states structure to endure, Nigeria as a country would grow beyond its present sorry state.”

He additionally rejected the involvement of cultural teams in Nigeria’s politics, stating that the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Ohanaeze Ndigbo and Afenifere haven’t any enterprise in politics.

He stated these teams ought to revert to their roles in nation constructing and never dabble in politics.

“People exploit ethnicity for political energy. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, one among my heroes, was elected on the platform of a democratic party, NCNC alliance in Lagos, first Lagos member not on the platform of Igbo state union which was at its infancy on the time however as a Nigerian. Azikiwe was above ethnicity; the Yoruba elected him.

“There was the Igbo state union, Ibibio state union which focused on educating Ibibio college students, via award of scholarship. Dr. Udo Udoma was awarded scholarship to check regulation by the Ibibio state union.

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That was the position state unions have been enjoying at the moment.

“Chief Awolowo based Egbe Omo Oduduwa in London in 1946, 47 or thereabouts and established a department in Nigeria in 1948. Again, in equity to him, though he was strongly for regionalism, he didn’t use the Egbe Omo Oduduwa platform when he was in authorities. There was Action Group and there was Egbe Omo Oduduwa, a cultural group awarding scholarship. To me, ACF, Ohanaeze, Afenifere ought to all revert to that position. They haven’t any enterprise in politics; no place for them in politics.

“Some characters were speaking to the press sometime ago on behalf of Ohanaeze saying they want slots in the Lagos State cabinet. Rubbish! How many Lagos people are asking for cabinet slots in Imo, Abia, Enugu and the like? You leave that to local politics and local politicians. They should join political parties and fight for a space.”

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