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Igbo youths stage rally to press for restructuring

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Just a week to the presidential and National Assembly polls, the Igbo Youth Movement (IYM) has staged a rally in Enugu to demand for the political restructuring of the country.

Speaking with newsmen at the rally, its President, Mr Elliot Uko, said that for Nigeria to move forward, it must be restructured to weaken the centre .

Uko said the report of the 2014 national conference provided the solution to the problem and called for its implementation immediately after the elections.

He said that the central government was too strong, powerful and attractive, making the struggle to get there fierce.

“We all know that the fierce struggle for central power is serious business because the Nigerian presidency is one of the most powerful in the world,’’ he said.

Uko, whose organisation put together the rally in conjunction with the South East Self Determination Coalition, noted that the 1999 constitution makes the centre very attractive.

He said that the power at the centre was so much that all manner of strategies were usually employed to grab it.

“A weaker centre is the antidote to electoral violence,” he said, adding that whittling it down would reduce the tension that follows electioneering.

“Because of the winner-takes-all syndrome, the struggle for Aso Rock is bitterly fought,” Uko said.

“We are worried that the plea to restructure Nigeria into true federalism is being delayed. We believe that if the centre is made less attractive, the vicious struggle for central power will be a thing of the past and there would be no more fears of post-election violence.”

(NAN)

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