HUMAN rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana has said Nigeria’s restructuring, should focus more on economy rather than on political change alone.
Falana made this assertion at the tribute and colloquium in honour of Late Prof. Abubakar Momoh, organised by Academic Staff Union of Universities, Lagos State University (ASUU-LASU) held at the Main Auditorium, Lagos State University Ojo, Lagos.
Falana chairman at the event lambasted Chief John Oyegun, chairman, All Progressive Congress for denying his party’s earlier promise to restructure the country, noted that restructuring of Nigeria has ro encompassing to reflect true federalism.
His words, “Restructuring should also be an opportunity for us to challenge the Chairman of APC Chief John Oyegun, who came out publicly to say that the APC never promised restructuring, I refer him to the manifesto of APC which promised to restructure Nigeria in order to realise the federalism that our forefathers talked about. In article 25 of that manifesto, APC said it was going to initiate programmes that will lead to the restructuring of Nigeria so that true federalism can be realised but you know once you get to power in Nigeria you want to retain the statusquo,” he said.
The erudite lawyer also frowned at the jumbo pay by political leaders especially governors called for a review of the remuneration system.
He said: “There is no section of the constitution that describes governors as Executive Governors but what we have today is executive governors. This is where restructuring must face as Nigeria is the only country in the world where if you serve as governor for four or eight years, you will get a house in your State and in Abuja aside other benefits,” Falana added.
In his tribute to the late Prof. Momoh, Falana said Nigeria has lost a principled comrade.
“One of our most consistent and principled comrade is gone. We have lost a gem in the struggle. It is difficult to replace him. If we are honouring Momoh today, we must agree to rededicate ourselves to the struggle. Do not agonise, but, we must be organised”, he stated.
In his own tribute, Prof Lai Olorode, who spoke on “Nigeria in Crisis: Rethinking Economic Policies and Posing Alternative Developmental and Political Options” described crisis as a paradigm in which an old system is dead or moribund and a new one cannot be born. Olorode who faulted Nigerians for believing the manifesto of the present administration on free feeding for school children when it was the same Buhari during his tenure as Head of State canceled free feeding for school children which led to the sack of over 10,000 Nigerian caterers, called for the inclusion of young people in governance.
“Nigeria is dying because true patriots are dying and there is no replacement for them. We are confronted with genuine cultural and political disaster of not being able to recruit young people into our movement”.
On his part, Prof Abiodun Ogunyemi. National President , Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU enjoined his members not mourn the death of Momoh. But that they should remember him for the landmark he set.
“For us in ASUU, we are not going to mourn but celebrate Prof. Momoh for the indelible marks he left, and for his foot prints on the sand of life that taught us great things. As a lecturer, he demonstrated leadership and humbled himself as a follower. He was also an advocate of rights to education. It is our believe that education shall be the right of every Nigerian,” added Prof Ogunyemi.