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Saturday, 24 June 2017

Biafra: ‘You are just scratching the surface’ – Rev Okoye tells Osinbajo

The General Overseer of the All Christians Fellowship Mission (ACFM), Rev. William Okoye has said that the meeting hosted by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo with leaders of Arewa and Ohaneze Ndigbo to pacify agitators on the lingering ethnic agitations and tension amounted to just scratching the surface of the crisis.
He called on the federal government to face the real issues and put forward practical solutions to the problem, which he said, revolved around restructuring and the return to true fiscal federalism.

The cleric, who spoke to newsmen in Abuja yesterday, warned that if the government failed to heed to the current overwhelming demand for restructuring, the existence of Nigeria would continue to be threatened.
Okoye maintained that though the current economic situation might pose as obstacle in restructuring the country, only “the implementation of the 2014 National Conference report to ensure true federalism will send a message that the government is serious.”
He said: “I think the federal government should respond to their (Senate) demand, they are being patriotic in doing that. That’s the only way government can lower the tension now.
“If you see the great works Acting President Yemi Osinbajo is doing now, trying to meet with various ethnic groups, that’s commendable.
“But that’s stressful; that’s like just scratching the surface, it will not last. But if we pick up that conference report and begin to do something about it, in the area of need we can do something about right now, it will lower the tension, that will be a more permanent way of addressing the problem.
“They should think again, because, like many have said, if we don’t do something about the present tension that is burning all over the country, in a very short time, the nation might explode, that is my fear.
“I agree that a return to federalism will help douse the tension, that’s undoubtably the fact. Because there are a lot of things we have in the system that are putting pressure on the people.
“But if we go back to true federalism, it will be a kind of unbundling the nation in such a way that people are able to breath fresh air and do their best,” Okoye stressed.
While calling on the youth who were agitating to be patient, he urged the federal government not to fail to seize the opportunity offered by the current agitations to use the 2014 National Conference report in restructuring and ensuring that the component states or region become stronger.

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