Nigeria’s corporate existence is threatened - Osundare, Ajasin, Falola, others
A group of Nigerians under the aegis of Committee for Concerned Nigerians, which includes acclaimed poet, Professor Niyi Osundare, son of the late leader of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), Mr. Tokunbo Ajasin, and US-based Nigerian professors, Professor Amina Mama, Professor Toyin Falola, and Professor Mojubaolu Olufunke Okome, has stated that Nigeria’s corporate existence as one country is threatened.
The group, which includes over 60 Nigerians both at home and abroad, has therefore called for the convocation of a national conference to resolve the “fundamental crisis” in Nigeria and save Nigeria from “imminent collapse”.
Describing its members as “joint stakeholders in the Nigerian project”, the Committee for Concerned Nigerians stated that “The government of President Goodluck Jonathan, by its simplistic and haughty responses to the true wishes of (Nigerians) … has lost a golden opportunity to align itself with the people whose mandate it claims to hold.”
The group added that “even though they are provoked by, and react to, different aspects of the national crises, both the terrorism of the Boko Haram group and the gallant efforts by the masses and the civil society against the increase in the pump price of oil, are manifestations of a perilous incoherence in the structural composition of Nigeria and the manner in which the country has been, and is being, administered.”
While stating that President Jonathan has been rendered “inarticulate” by the incessant terrorist attacks perpetrated by the Boko Haram, the group added that these attacks, and the protests, raise “questions on the corporate existence of the country.” Osundare and others advised that this should compel Nigerians and the government to address the question of “Which Way Nigeria.”
The group, which described its members as “joint stakeholders in the Nigerian project”, condemned the “glaring incompetence, corruption and lack of vision” of the Jonathan administration, adding that the government’s shortcomings constitute a threat to the continued existence of Nigeria as a corporate entity.
“In spite of the promises that have been made by the present economic managers, the Nigerian masses and the withered middle class will continue to experience a life of unrelenting misery unless a new path that encourages a fundamental and holistic restructuring of our national life, including economic and political structures, is stated immediately.”
The group which includes scholars, writers, activists, and others, both young and old and from every part of Nigeria, criticized the imposition of what it called “mere postulations of development economics which are not interrogated through nationalists analyses of local circumstances and historical conditions”, while condemning the tendency of Nigerian government to take “instructions from Washington D.C. or London and other Western capitals.”
The Committee called on Nigerians both at home and abroad to continue to struggle and work together in various ways to ensure that Nigeria does not become another Somalia or Sudan or go through the recent experiences of Sierra Leone and Liberia, through the convocation of a National Conference.
Others who signed the statement include Ms. Funmi Iyanda, a popular broadcaster, Dr. Dalhatu Umaru, Dr. Ogaga Ifowodo, Titi Omo-Ettu, the President, Association Of Telecommunications Companies Of Nigeria (ATCON), Professor Segun Gbadegesin of Howard University, Professor Mojubaolu Olufunke Okome, Professor Olufemi Vaughan, Dr. Omofolabo Ajayi-Soyinka, Dr. Chika Unigwe, a writer, Professor Moradewun Adejunmobi, Dr. Victor Isumonah of the University of Ibadan, Professor W. Alade Fawole of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Mr. Chido Onumah, Dr. Wale Adebanwi, Dr. Pius Adesanmi, Dr. Farooq Kperogi, Dr. Hussaini Jibrin, Professor Tunde Bewaji, Mr. Laolu Akande, Mr. Chido Onumah, Dr. Ebenezer Obadare, Dr. Nduka Otiono, Mr. Uzor Maxim Uzoatu, Mr. Dipo Famakinwa, the Secretary of the Governing council of the Yoruba Academy, Dr. Muoyo Okome, Dr. Ike Anya, Mr. Aderemi Ojikutu, Dr. Baba Adam, Mr. Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo, Dr. Bunmi Aborisade and many others.
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Subject: This House Must Not Fall! By Committee of Concerned Nigerians
The recent mass uprising against the so-called “removal” of subsidy on petroleum products by the Federal Government headed by President Goodluck Jonathan has again brought to fore critical questions about the crisis of governance in Nigeria and the way Nigeria is constituted or structured. We the undersigned are convinced that, in spite of the ending of the protests and the industrial action through the compromise between the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC)-Trade Union Congress (TUC), on the one hand, and the Federal Government, on the other, fundamental questions raised by the civil uprising remain unresolved. They must not be conveniently swept under the carpet.
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Professor Mojubaolu Olufunke Okome, Brooklyn College, CUNY, New York, US
Professor Femi Vaughan, Geoffrey Canada Professor of Africana Studies & History, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, USA
Dr. Pius Adesanmi, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada.
Dr. Wale Adebanwi, University of California-Davis, USA.
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