Former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Obadiah Mailafia, has said there are only three options available to Nigeria if it wants to remain a viable state in view of the situation it has found itself.
Mailafiya also warned President Muhammadu Buhari against moves to force aggrieved groups into remaining part of Nigeria.
Mailafia in an interview with The WhistlerHE WHISTLER acknowledged the rights of ethnic nations to ask for a country, saying that there must be a system that would give people the option to remain part of the country or leave it.
“We need to work towards a referendum so that people can elect to go their own way or remain part of Nigeria. Another option is that communities that want to group together to form a new country should be free to do so.”
Mailafia’s remarks came in the wake of renewed calls by groups in the Southeast and Southwest to be allowed to form new Republics.
Condemning the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration for mismanaging the country, the former CBN deputy governor recalled assertions by the West that Nigeria is a failed state and said Nigeria had only three options for solutions.
According to him, “if Nigeria is a failed state, there are only 3 options left: the leaders can come together and try to salvage our country; second, the international community can rally support for rebuilding the state and salvaging our country from the jaws of catastrophe; and thirdly, we just have to honestly agree that the company is insolvent and must go under receivership.
Unfortunately, with the crop of people I see in power today, I have no reason to feel any comfort. They are a wicked brood of vipers. They have ruined our country and they are insisting on using force to keep the ramshackle edifice together – and on their own terms!”
Lamenting over the spate of insecurity, Mailafia condemned the silence of the international community on the situation in the country, as he noted that “about 100,000 people have been killed in our country, together with 3 million turned internally displaced refugees.
And yet there is no expression of compassion from the world community of nations. I suspect that they want millions to die so that they can sell their weapons… Ultimately, Nigerians will have to decide whether they want to live together for the foreseeable future.”
Mr. Mailafia also condemned the North’s position against the declaration by Southern governors and Senators who called for ban on open grazing, restructuring, constitution review and state police.
According to him, “Well, I think everybody is now on restructuring bandwagon. The main opposition is from the North. And this is because they have benefitted enormously from the egregious inequities of the illegitimate 1999 constitution.
“Kano, for example, receives monthly disbursements to 44 local governments, with the highest numbers of legislators in the National Assembly. All because General Abacha came from Kano and he gerrymandered the constituencies to favour his own people.
“The only hope of salvaging our country, as far as I am concerned, is through restructuring of the federation to ensure justice, fairness and equity for all.
“In principle, I also support the idea of a state police. In the sixties, we had the Native Authority police in the North with their well-starched uniforms and batons. They carried so much authority and were respected by all. Petty crimes did exist, but armed robbery was unheard of.
“Policemen that spring from the community will be more effective in controlling crime because they would tend to know the family that produced the thief. I therefore support state police. But with a caveat. First, the training must be rigorous and national.”
This is as he criticized the position taken by those insisting on open grazing, maintaining that the practice was abolished by a verdict on Suit no AB/26/66 on 17th April, 1969, delivered by Justice Adewale Thompson of the Abeokuta Division of the High Court.