Co-ordinator of Akwa Ibom Leader Vanguard, Anietie Okon, has stressed the need for Nigeria to zone the next president to South East for sake of equity and political inclusiveness to achieve the much-needed peace and development.
Okon has also called for urgent restructuring of the country so that the zones and states would manage their resources and pay some predetermined percentage to the centre for purpose of defence maintenance and other similar items on the exclusive list.
He said the present arrangement in which the centre exploits the federating units by making them go cap-in-hand to beg for what is rightfully theirs is not only an aberration, but a systematic connivance to stifle the states and suffocate development in the zones.
Speaking on Thursday, Okon said lack of regional control of resources by the affected states and communities was responsible not only for the sleaze currently bandied about in the Niger Delta Development Commission, but also the massive underdevelopment experienced nationwide.
“The current structure is an aberration in which resources from one region are taken to develop other zones and fund their development agencies such as the North East Development Commission.
“We can see the hypocrisy in the whole charade when the president recently granted rights to states in the North to exploit their natural resources without a mention of revenue from resources going to the centre as is the case with oil revenue from the South.
“The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and all other revenue generating agencies have not been transparent enough to publicly declare how much they have generated so that all tiers of government should know abinitio what to expect at the end of each month.
“If we carry on like this, we will continue to move in circles and remain in a disarray in all aspects of our national development.
“There is no moral justification for the present unitary system cloaked in federal toga which breeds nepotism, corruption, ineptitude and other vices that have kept us where we are,” Okon said. (Daily Sun