IGBO 2003 AND POLITICAL EMPOWERMENT
IN CONTEMPORARY NIGERIA
A few months ago, I was your guest at the
Aka-Ikenga hot seat, a programme designed to subject Igbo Political office
holders to the dispassionate but rigorous scrutiny of the ever vibrant Igbo
public and electorate. Such programmes should be encouraged as they help to
keep us public office holders on our toes. I congratulate Aka-Ikenga for the
penetrating foresight it has demonstrated towards keeping the Igbo dream
aglow. I salute you. I thank you.
Ndigbo 2003 and Political Empowerment in
Contemporary Nigeria is an apt topic for our times. How and why did Ndigbo
come into such a sorry political pass in Nigeria? How and why did Igbos play
themselves into the unenviable position of third fiddlers in the Nigerian
politics? How come Igbos are begging for political relevance in a country
where they have an intimidating population, spread across the length and
breathe of the republic? These are but a few posers that should agitate
our minds enough to prepare us for the jolting realities we shall soon
confront in this lecture.
It has been canvassed by some that part of the
political undoing of Ndigbo is their extreme republicanism wherein every man
is at once a major player in every sphere of life. Those who hold this view
insist that unlike in the West where the Yorubas have an appreciable level of
cultural oligarchy, which instills rhythm and pattern in their political
posturing or like the North where a combination of feudalism and common
language have helped to hoist an acceptable uniform identity, Igbos have had
no rallying point for any commonality to blossom.
This position may not be too far from reality.
To some extent, it may be true that the mainstream of Igbo identity and
personality were destroyed by the events of the civil war. The trauma of the
war and the subsequent defeat in the war significantly eroded the
socio-cultural base of Ndigbo and substantially battered the Igbo spirit. We
need not bemoan this forever.
Part of the resultant crisis of identity among Ndigbo includes willful enslavement to other cultures. When you attend a major function in Igboland in which the audience is largely Igbo, you will discover from the riotous dressing mode that truly Igbos have lost their identity. But attend a similar function in Yorubaland or in the North and you will be in no doubt that you are in the land of a people proud of their heritage. Incidentally, the way a people dress speaks volumes of their personality. A people who by their dressing demonstrate love and respect for their culture are most likely to attract same from their neighbours. For Ndigbo, the reverse is clearly the case and the reaction from our neighbours cannot be any different. Conscious of this, and also conscious of the urgent need to restore that self-respecting Igbo personality, we all cherish, I am very proud to inform you that from day one I became governor, I have always dressed in typical Igbo regalia as you can see even now.
Distinguished Ndigbo, even more
regrettable is the fact that Igbos are rapidly loosing their language. To a
reasonable extent, we can say without fear of contradiction that majority of
the Igbo elite no longer speak Igbo language. When we do not speak our
language, we automatically loose link with our roots and our culture. And how
do we really expect to play any significant role in the complex, plural
Nigerian polity when we must speak to ourselves in another man's language? How
do we expect others to take us serious? It is only the demands of protocol
that compel me to speak to you in English. Again, conscious of the need
to redress this sad anomaly, I am happy to inform you that one of my first
actions as Governor of Imo State was to restore the Ahiajoku Lecture Series
which was proscribed by the military. That Lecture Series is aimed at a
renaissance of Igbo values and culture.
Be it as it may, I hasten to add that the
position of this school of thought is discredited by the enviable political
antecedents of the great Zik of Africa, the Rt. Hon. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe. It is
on record that in the good old days of NCNC Nationalism, Ndigbo found the
platform to speak with one political voice. The great Zik had such loyal
followers as Michael Okpara, Nwafor Orizu, Akanu Ibiam, Dennis Osadebey and a
host of others. So cohesive was the Igbo political machine that NCNC did not
just hoist its flag in the then Eastern Region alone but held sway in the
With a federal structure of four regions, it
meant that the political hegemony of Ndigbo covered 50% of the Federal
Republic with the real threat of extending even beyond. Indeed, but for the
first political coup of 1952, that hegemony would have extended to the Western
Region and therefore covered 75% of the Federation. In a way, therefore,
the turning point in Igbo political ascendancy could be traced to 1952, during
the infamous carpet crossing at the Western Regional House of Assembly.
Because Zik, who as a leader of NCNC was denied premiership of Western Region,
which he won, he was consequently forced to return to the Eastern Region to
become the premier by displacing Eyo Ita. That singular act estranged the
Eastern minorities from Ndigbo and I dare say that we are yet to recover from
those unfortunate incidents. Time, indeed, should heal this wound. It is our
prayer and wish that the wound be healed.
How did Zik achieve the rare feat of bestriding
our political shores like the political colossus that he was? How did he
attain such high level acceptability in the West, in the Midwest and in the
east? A successful explication of this poser will help us appreciate
better the present political predicament of Ndigbo in Nigeria. Zik was famed
for his resilience, resourcefulness and accommodation. These rare
qualities made him appreciate the sensibilities of others by accommodating
their fears in his political ministry. It was this benign disposition that
endeared him to other Nationalities who did not envisage any risk in
entrusting political leadership with him.
That such political civility endeared Zik to
even his greatest political foes, such as Chief Awolowo is stating the
obvious. Awolowo in all modesty once declared that the only person he could
accept to serve under politically was the great Zik of Africa. Perhaps, part
of the problem may well be that the present crop of Igbo political leadership
failed to imbibe this enduring political sociology from Zik. The most
alluring aspect of that political heritage was stoic discipline by the Igbo
elite of Igbo leaders were disciplined enough not to seek to be jack of all
trade and master of none. Igbos who were in business diligently applied
their skill to their calling. For instance, although, Sir Odimegwu Ojukwu, an
Igbo, was one of the first generation millionaires in the country then, he
never on account of his wealth ventured into politics.
The Igbo elite at that time believed firmly in
the overt advantages of economics of scale, whereby one profited most from
where his skill excelled most. And that is but natural. Thus, while the Ziks
of this world played politics full blast, the Ojukwus blossomed in business.
The resume is that Igbos carried themselves as a responsible army of
well-focused, sure-footed and self-respecting tribe, firmly rooted in
different fields but in collective pursuit of an identifiable political goal,
to wit, Igbo ascendancy and dignity.
The discerning Nigerian community reciprocated with their respect the admiration for Igbos. The story is radically different today. The misplaced assumption by a few wealthy people that money decides everything and the prodigal abandonment of Igbo heritage has thrown Igboland asunder. Those who made it in business seem to be hell bent on dictating what happens in politics even if politics is not their calling. Simultaneously, both the rich and the poor are rapidly distancing themselves from their Igboness as if it were a leprous plague ready to strike at noon. Consequently, Igboland has been turned into a veritable battleground between the wealthy and the politician and between foreign cultures.
Some of our businessmen on account of
their success in business have appropriated the position of Kingmakers or even
that of kings. They want all at once to become the politician, the Royal
Father and the businessman. Some, if given the opportunity will want also to
become Bishops and even Popes. Ironically and sadly, this is only unique to
the Igbos. Such conduct only smack of heavy intoxication by wealth. It
confirms fears by on-lookers that for the Igbo money is the god that must be
obeyed. It is sad that we are allowing others to see us as a race where
drunken dramatization of wealth is the determinant of political vision. Even
more regrettable is that most of these new generation millionaires live in far
away Lagos and Abuja from where they want to dictate who gets what at home. In
other parts of the country there still exists a distinction between the
political class, the business class and the traditional class. It is painful
to admit that it is only in Igboland that this difference is fast fading into
oblivion to the peril of the race.
The political class is not made up of
saints either. Most politicians are in fierce pursuit of wealth to the
detriment of the welfare of the people whom they have sworn to serve. The way
some of our politicians have conducted themselves, appear to have been further
alienated Ndigbo from political socialization. Many Igbos are becoming
increasingly interested in politics only because they see it as the shortest
road to wealth. Put differently, politics in Igboland is fast becoming another
variant of business except that in this case the containers come in smaller
boxes otherwise known as the ballot boxes. Little wonder then that the
politicians are at each other's throat in Igboland for these little containers
All these do not, and will not, speak well of
Ndigbo as a people, or should they? It is doubtful that the rest of the
country can afford to take us serious when it is only in the South-East Zone
that millionaires insist on dictating who becomes what in politics. It is
doubtful that Ndigbo can be taken seriously when they appear to be ashamed of
their heritage. It is, indeed, doubtful that we can make much political
progress without a language of our own. I regret to note that these acts of
indiscretion on our part have made the Southeast the most vulnerable political
zone in the country. From what I have seen, and from what I can see, I dare
say that I foresee chaos for the Southeast unless we quickly retrace our steps
and return to the path of reason and self-esteem.
Today, it is disgusting to observe the titanic
struggle for power amongst our major political players, to the utter neglect
of the dire needs of the Igbos in a complex Nigerian political scene. The time
has come for us as Igbos to firmly put our feet down against the continued
bastardization of our political psyche by a band of Emperor-aspirants who want
to overrun Igboland on account of their wealth and love for power. We must
tell them the stark truth, which is that there are no Empires to build in
Igboland and that there are not territories to conquer. We should be no less
frank with our politicians. We must resist rice and stockfish politics. We
should compel our politicians to remain accountable to the electorate and we
must find the courage to reject money-driven politicians who want public
office for self-aggrandizement.
With every sense of modesty, permit me to
inform you that in Imo State, we have shown exemplary leadership in
accountability. Apart from meeting the people at the grassroots to explain to
them how the State is run, we also brief Imo Leaders of Thought periodically
on the state of Imo finances, how much we earn and how we spend.
From the foregoing, I will add that it is only
when we have put our house in order that we should expect our neighbours to
accord us the respect due to us. It is only then too that we can meaningfully
pursue our agenda for 2003 and beyond.
At this juncture, permit me to dwell briefly on
the media and political empowerment of Ndigbo. It is now a settled fact that
the media plays a crucial role in the political process of any nation. At the
end of the Second World War in 1945, the Jews found themselves surrounded by a
very hostile world. The Jewish caucus met and agreed to do something to change
world perceptions of their race.
Part of that resolution was to seek to own and use ownership of the media to mould world opinion in their favour. Today, Jews own the world's major media outfits including the famous CNN and the result …? World opinion cannot afford to snub the Jews. In a sense the Igbos are facing a similar crisis in Nigeria as the Jews faced. But are we ready to use the media for our cause? So far, the answer is no! Apart from Champion Newspapers, founded by Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, the Post Express, owned by Chief Sunny Odogwu and Minaj Television by Senator Mike Ajegbo, I doubt that Ndigbo have another credible medium to pursue political self-actualization. With over thirty private National Newspapers and no less than thirty private Television and Radio Stations and with Igbos owning about three of them, the question must be raised how far can the Igbo political agenda really go? Certainly not far enough.
Perhaps, it will not be out of place to draw
the attention of this distinguished audience to the correlation between Zik's
dominance of the Newspaper industry between 1930-1950 and the Igbo political
ascendancy and prominence within the same period. Social scientists may,
therefore, wish to confirm that there is, indeed an empirical correlation
between media control and political empowerment particularly against the
background of the balance of political power in present day Nigeria. It is
auspicious at this juncture to advise our multi-millionaires to emulate the
Iwuanyanwu, Odogwus and the Ajegbos of this country. Even more pitiable is the
fact that Igbos constitute a very significant proportion of media writers and
journalists in Nigeria. Yet from what we see and read on the pages of
newspapers everyday, there is no evidence that even our Igbo journalists are
mindful of any Igbo agenda. So how far do we really hope to go in our dream as
a people? Your answer is as good as mine.
However, on the strength of equity I will say,
without prevarication that Ndigbo have a strong claim to produce the next
president of Nigeria come 2003. I say this because Igbos have contributed most
creditably to the nation's economy and growth, yet they have been deprived the
most by the same nation. Igbos reside, work and contribute to national growth
in all parts of the country. Apart from the five core Igbo states, Igbos are
second to the indigenous population in each of the other 31 States. In fact,
in some cases, they are about the same number with the indigenous population.
Indeed, it is doubtful that the population of
the Igbos has been correctly stated. In all these places where they reside,
they work assiduously towards the growth of the economy of those States, and
therefore, the nation. This, in itself is a strong electoral advantage for
Igbos. Sadly because the aftermath of the civil war has so brutalized the
psyche of Igbos, they have been unable to take full electoral advantage of
Zik was able to use it to his advantage. We
should never be appendages; we should never be errand boys and girls. We have
every reason to be proud of our race. We should stand proud and firm in the
committee of nationalities in Nigeria. Even in addition to this advantage is
the natural economic benefit for Ndigbo. The South-East is blessed with crude
oil and other natural resources. Izombe, Oguta and Egbema in Imo State and
Owaza and Ukwa in Abia State, for instance, have been sources of crude oil
supply for the nation even before the civil war broke out. Unfortunately, till
date, the Igbo States have nothing to show for their oil-bearing status.
For the Igbos, the list of woes and willful
political deprivations is very long. Shortly after the war and after the
indigenization exercise, the need to establish State owned firms became
manifest. The Federal Government consequently invested in manufacturing
industries in the areas of cement, chemicals, sugar, textile, wood paper mill,
palm products, salt, etc.
The government also ventured into service industries such as banking, insurance, transportation, mass media, etc. Refineries were sited in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna. Other companies such as steel, paper, sugar and many others were sited in different parts of the country. Instructively, none was sited in any Igbo speaking State. Instead, what the Igbos got for their clamour for the citing of a petrochemical industry in their land was the ceding of Ndoni/Egbema and Obigbo/Afam Oil Fields to neighbouring States in the 1976 boundary adjustment exercise.
These oil fields harbour the highest petroleum
deposits in the country. Their being removed from Igboland was to further
reduce Ndigbo to a position of irrelevance in the matrix of the nation's
political economy. It was obvious that the authorities were determined to
employ divide and rule tactics between the Igbos and their neighbours to
further emasculate them politically and economically.
In the area of political empowerment, conscious
efforts were made to exclude Igbos from the political calculus of the country.
Of the ten (10) heads of State or Executive Presidents that have ruled Nigeria
for 40 years, Igbos have produced only one who ruled for only six months. In
other words, out of the total number of 432 months these ten heads of
government have ruled, Ndigbo have ruled for 6/six months or about 1% (one
percent) of the total period. Nothing can represent injustice more
graphically. Even in the area of other consequential public offices, Ndigbo
have not fared any better. No Igbo has been Army Chief or Inspector-General of
Police since the end of the war.
In the area of infrastructure development, the
picture is even more pathetic. Out of 13 (thirteen) dual carriageways in the
country, only two (Onitsha-Enugu) and Enugu-Port Harcourt) pass through Igbo
speaking States. Of the six (six) international airports in the country, none
is sited in the South-East. What this incredible but true picture of
deprivation presents is the compelling need to politically empower Ndigbo on
the grounds of equity to avail them the opportunity to redress the glaring
injustices of the past.
It is correct to argue that Igbos have been so marginalized because they have not been allowed adequate and appropriate political representation to defend their interest. A classical illustration of this is ably demonstrated by the gross injustice perpetrated on Ndigbo by the defunct Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF). Whereas the PTF was set up as an intervention fund to address the need of the deprived, it ended up bowing to the biblical injunction of giving more to those who already have. It is an irony of fate that while some zones benefited far more than 20% projects from the PTF, the entire Southeast has only a paltry 5% of the Funds attention. No less pertinent is the exclusion of Ndigbo from economically empowering contracts in the Oil, Power and Defense sectors. It may be pertinent to ask who the sacred cows that have continued to execute these contracts are. Why should Igbos not benefit from such plum contracts if truly they are equals with other citizens?
If we are to rest our case for an Igbo
presidency, come 2003, on the logic of equity alone, then it goes without
saying that Igbos have a legitimate claim to produce the next President of
Nigeria. Indeed, I believe that justice demands that the next President of
Nigeria should be Igbo. If the West can be compensated with Presidency over
the injustice of June 12, 1993 annulment, then why not Igbos who have suffered
not one injustice but a chain of injustices that seek to dehumanize them and
whittle down their self-esteem.
From the pogrom of May/September 1966 to the civil war starvation strategy, Igbos have been stampeded into mass graves in a country that upholds their citizenship. The aftermath of the defeat of Igbos in the civil war has been a prolonged and protracted deprivation and exclusion from the core decision-making process. This, in practical terms, demonstrates the abject neglect and abandonment of the Igbo nation. It is on the strength of these that I make haste to add that justice, which is good for the West is not harmful to the East. I will, perhaps, add that there can hardly be peace without justice. But I remain mindful of the fact that Ndigbo may never find justice in the present contraption called the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I believe that it is common knowledge that the present Federal structure is a gross aberration. If anyone is in doubt, then we should hear from someone who should know and he is the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Honourable Justice Atanda Fatayi-Williams, who in 1976 declared:
Part of what informed the haste by the military
to balkanize Nigeria into smaller insignificant States was their pathological
phobia for the Aburi Accord in which an agreement was reached to restructure
the nation along geopolitical zones with each granted substantial autonomy.
Yet it is obvious to me, and I believe, to many now, that the spirit of the
Aburi Accord has continued to haunt Nigeria 36 years after it was brokered.
Today, the clamour for a restructured Nigeria is becoming louder by the day. I
suspect strongly that restructuring Nigeria is not only inevitable but a task
that must be done sooner than later. To a reasonable extent, it appears
correct to say that majority of Nigerians are saying loud and clear that they
stand on the agreements of the Aburi Accord.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, the truth
is that restructuring Nigeria along the six geopolitical zones and the
devolution of more powers to the zones appear to be the only framework upon
which Ndigbo will ever hope to find the elusive justice. As I have already
alluded to, the persisting federal structure is a militarized version tailored
to serve the interest of the victor over the vanquished. This explains why 32
years after the war, the Igbos are yet to taste real political power in the
land. Instead, they have continued to slide even further into third if not
fourth fiddle status. I have no doubt that were we to have a true level
playing ground, the Igbos of our generation would have re-enacted the Zik
charm and we would have found ourselves at the driving seat of the political
train. But regrettably, the structure is skewed and deliberately twisted to
obstruct the will of equity. Ndigbo must therefore insist on a restructured
Nigeria as our only hope for justice.
Part of the strategy to actualize this and even
to realize our dream for the presidency is negotiation with our neighbours. I
re-echo the position of Southeast governors that the surest route to Igbo
Presidency is through negotiations with our neighbours.
Ndigbo have traveled long and tortuous roads in search of political friends and allies. After the 1952 Western Regional carpet crossing episode, Zik went back to the East and took over premiership from Eyo Ita. This forced the minorities into opposition. In search of new friends, NCNC struck an alliance with the Northern Peoples congress after the 1959 elections. But no sooner did the NCNC realize that NPC was only using it to ride to power to her perpetual disadvantage. This forced NCNC to seek fresh alliance with the Action Group in 1964, giving birth to the United Progressive Grand Alliance. This, too, did not last. The Second Republic saw a replay of the above scenario between first NPP/NPN and later NPP/UPN/PRP/GNPP. Like houses built on quick sand, these alliances gave way to perpetrate Northern conservatives, who always pick them as running mates, in power.
Perhaps, a fresh way to look at new alliances
for Ndigbo to look inwards first and strike enduring political friendship with
their minority brothers. There is an urgent need for the entire old Eastern
Region to return to the pre 1952 era of mutual trust amongst all ethnic
groups. The entire east may need to speak with one voice again to facilitate
their chances for the presidency. A strong united East is more likely to
emerge successful from the negotiating table for the presidency than the East
with discordant tones, as is presently the case. I see very bright chances in
this respect political inclination of the East. It is instructive that for the
first time since post civil war politics, the entire East now belongs to one
strong political family, the PDP. Ndigbo should take advantage of this
development to strike more enduring political friendship with her neighbours.
I initiated the Southeast Governors' Forum, the
nine Eastern Governors Forum and the Southeast Political Office Holders
Meeting with this view in mind. It is, therefore, my well-considered view that
the Southeast should take full advantage of their stronghold in PDP to
negotiate their way to the presidency. It is regrettable that in spite of the
fact that the South-East and South-South are the greatest stakeholders in PDP,
their chances of clinching the presidency do not appear any bright. This is an
inexplicable political contradiction that must be addressed urgently.
If the South-East and South-South can be
rightly seen as the headquarters of the ruling PDP, which they are, then it
only follows that the presidency should have ordinarily been theirs for the
asking. Sadly, this does not appear to be the case, which they are, then it
only follows that the presidency should have ordinarily been theirs for the
asking. Sadly, this does not appear to be the case, which suggests that we are
not getting our political acts together yet. There is need, therefore, for us
to re-strategize and take that which is clearly within reach.
The quest for political empowerment must also
incorporate economic empowerment. While a few successful businessmen in
Igboland are busy polluting the political waters in the Southeast, our
neighbours are busy buying up shares in strategic federal industries currently
being privatized. Available evidence suggests that the Ndigbo have not risen
to the challenge of the on-going federal government's privatization exercise
and the five States of the Southeast are financially too weak to give any
support. I enjoin our people to rise to this challenge now before it is too
late. I will like to note that it is a settled fact that there is a high
degree of correlation between economic empowerment and political empowerment.
There is, therefore, the need for a homeward movement in terms of capital
investment flow by the Igbos. The time frame for this movement must be
established and firmly and resolutely observed.
Let me paint here, a visionary picture of a
viable Igbo homeland, with an assemblage of all Igbo businesses as presently
dispersed in Nigeria. In such a scenario, the economic power base in this
country will be in our hands and by extension, and with planned empowerment,
the political power will equally be ours.
My esteemed Ndigbo, I will like to warn in all
modesty, that the die is cast. We have our destiny in our hands. We must rise
to the occasion or sink sooner than we expect. For Ndigbo to remain relevant
in contemporary Nigerian politics, we must only hope of reclaiming our
rightful position in Nigeria. Ndigbo should take serious note of the fact that
they have advanced best under democratic governments. It was in the Second
Republic that appreciable work was done on the dualization of Enugu-Port
Harcourt and Enugu-Onitsha roads. Today, they are the only two dualized
carriageways in the East. It was in the same Second Republic that Ndigbo
produced the Vice President in the person of Dr. Alex Ekwueme. In the First
Republic, Ndigbo came close to power when Zik became the Ceremonial President
of the country. Today, Ndigbo has the Senate President and other strategic
But we make bold to say that what we have is not enough. The overwhelming evidence therefore is that Ndigbo fares better under democracies. Ndigbo have also had a fair share of dividends of democracy in the present dispensation. In Imo, I make bold to tell you that dividends of democracy abound. Many roads, abandoned in the last 15 years of military rule have been tarred and asphalted. Many schools and hospitals have been renovated. We have also reactivated Concorde Hotels and Adapalm, which were ruined by the Military. We have almost completed a modern Secretariat for our workers, which the military could not do since Imo's creation in 1976. Imo Economy is today far better than it was when I took over government.
n the education sector, it is pertinent to
remind us that although the West had initial advantage over Ndigbo, this did
not persist for too long. From 1930-1950, Igbos emerged as the leading lights
in educational attainments. Igbos produced the first two indigenous Vice
Chancellors - Professors Kenneth Dike and Eni Njoku at Ibadan and Lagos. With
such rare feats, why should Igbos not be respected, if not revered by the rest
The truth of the matter is that part of the
Igbo myth and relevance has been rooted in the production of quality manpower.
You will agree that, that myth has been shattered. These days, it is difficult
to find the first ten performers in JAMB examinations coming from the
South-East States. All hands must be on deck to redeem this inglorious
situation if we truly seek relevance in the country. Again, I am pleased to
inform you that in the education sector, we run a State University that ranked
(by the Nigerian Universities Commission) the first and the best among all
other State Universities and ninth amongst all universities in the country.
This is our contribution to the renaissance of Igbo prowess in education.
There are many other dividends of democracy in
Imo including our new low density Housing Estate at Area 'H', New Owerri,
which I expect that some of you here will benefit from. This is in addition to
our Redemption Housing Estate, which thrilled the President when he visited us
last year because over 80% of building materials for the houses are locally
The point to reiterate here is that Ndigbo have always fared better under democracy. It is also under democracy that we can hope to actualize the dream of a restructured Nigeria. We must therefore continue to support democracy with all the energy at our behest. However, for the rest of the nation to take us serious over the presidency, they must see us as a cohesive race governed by reason and respect for constituted political authority. I doubt that any geopolitical zone will take our presidential aspiration seriously when they continue to see us as a race and a people where the moneyed class, whimsically dictate the political rhythm.
Ndigbo must, therefore, reappraise their strategies, put their house in order and carry their neighbours along to the negotiating table for the presidency. Never again should the Igbo race be allowed to scramble for crumbs from the nation's political table while other zones savour the main dish.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, over and above, every strategy is the need to remain dogged on the clamour for the restructuring of our federal project. It was Thomas Jefferson, the 3rd President of the United States, who, while celebrating American independence on July 4, 1776 said:
Distinguished audience, I thank you for your attention. I thank you for the opportunity to speak to you. I pray Almighty God to give our leaders the courage to face the truth and to admit the truth for our nation. As is common knowledge only the truth can set you free.