Prominent Igbo cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has advocated a single tenure of six years for the nation’s president.
The group made its position known on Monday during the South East Summit on Restructuring Nigeria in Awka, the Anambra State capital, through a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Professor Charles Soludo,
“The tenure of office of the President shall be a single term of six years,” Soludo said. “There shall be five Vice Presidents. One from each of the six geopolitical zones.”
According to Soludo, the Igbos demand a nation that works in order to give everyone a sense of belonging.
This, he noted, was why some aggrieved members of the Igbo nation were canvassing for seceding from Nigeria.
Despite the different political differences, Soludo believes that the Igbos firmly speak with one voice on the issue of restructuring.
Top on the demands of Ndigbo known for their entrepreneur skills in the country and across the world is the creation of the nation’s constitution and a constitutional conference enacted by the National Assembly.
He added, “We demand a new constitution of Nigeria. We demand a constitutional conference backed by a law enacted by the National Assembly where the people of Nigeria will agree on a new, truly, federal constitution.
“A constituent assembly should be constituted to agree on a new constitution for a new Nigeria. Such a constitution, the People’s Constitution should be approved by the people of Nigeria through a referendum to give it legitimacy and validity.”
Soludo’s comments further reawaken the calls for restructuring Africa’s most populous nations made by prominent Nigerians.
The calls for restructuring, with the nation going back to true federalism, gathered momentum late last year with many Nigerians seeking their support for it.
Most notable among them are President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Mr John Nwodo; former Aviation Minister, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode; Ayo Adebanjo, representative of Afenifere leader, Mr Reuben Fasoranti and Executive Secretary of United Niger Delta energy development and security Tony Uranta, among others.
Despite the various calls, however, President Muhammadu Buhari and a former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (Retired) have differed on the subject matter.
Buhari, in his New Year message, insisted that restructuring was not the most pressing issue in Nigeria because the country’s problems have more to do with the process.