By Emma Amaize
SECRETARY-GENERAL, Ijaw Youth Congress, IYC, Mr. Frank Pukon, has asked the Senate Constitution Review Committee, headed by Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, to commence its assignment with restructuring of Nigeria.
Pukon in a statement, weekend, said: “If project Nigeria must work for all, the Senate Constitution Review Committee of the 1999 Constitution headed by Senator Obarisi Ovie Omo-Agege should start with restructuring Nigeria for a clarion call to national identity.”
“Restructuring of Nigeria may mean different things to different people. But restructuring for me simply means a system of governance where Bayelsa state with her abundant natural resources can control the resources in Bayelsa and pay tax to the federal government.
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“This will make the state to become viable and promote economic growth and development, where: The GDP will be measured as an increase in real national income / national output; Improvement in the quality of life and living standards, example, measures of literacy, life expectancy and health care.
“However, there are other parameters, but true federalism will leverage the economic woes of many states where security issues, unemployment rate can be tackled to its barest minimum whereby states can become viable and compete in developmental pace,” he said.
Pukon added: “I can furthermore posit again that restructuring for me means creating other states for the Ijaw ethnic group. Where these state could be added to the only homogenous Ijaw state (Bayelsa State) – because we cannot be the 4th biggest ethnicity in Nigeria and manage one state.”
“During my election at Oporoza, I deplored Section 55 of the 1999 Constitution as amended as stereotypical to other ethnic groups: where the big 3s (Hausa, Igbo, and Yoruba) are promoted in a multi-ethnic country like Nigeria.
“Section 55 is inimical to our national integration, hence, the recognized languages; Hausa, Igbo, and Yoruba should be expunged from our constitution,” he asserted.
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