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Don Calls For Revolution To Solve Nigeria Problems

A Professor of Geology at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Prof. Idowu Awopetu, on Thursday chronicled the social, economic and the political crises confronting Nigeria and submitted that only a revolution was required to make the country a truly unified nation.

Awopetu spoke at a symposium entitled, ‘Nigeria at 50: Prospects and challenges of nation buildings,’ organised by the Ondo State Government in Akure as part of activities marking the nation’s independence.

He said the economic reforms by the Federal Government would worsen the situation in the country as foreign powers could continue to influence major decisions that would further underdevelop the country and impoverish its citizens.

Awopetu said an economic reform which encourages the repayment of domestic and external loans, mass retrenchment, high tariff on social services and outright removal of subsidy on petroleum products, could not solve the nation’s problems.

He said, “America is the biggest debtor, despite the fact that it is a developed nation. Nigeria which is developing is now talking of settling $39bn local loans. It is obvious that the World Bank is controlling our economy and there is no way that would promote development.

“We cannot reform the current Nigerian state. The country is an over patched cloth. We are spending N542bn to service our loans. We have the worst case of unemployment and a near collapse of institutions. How do we reform such a country?”

Awopetu regretted the military incursion into politics in Nigeria created a serious institutional crisis that did not only encourage corruption at all levels but promoted bad governance through the emergence of selfish leaders.

He faulted the constitution drafting process, insisting that the nation’s law was not a true reflection of the yearnings and aspirations of the citizens because they did not have an input into the provisions therein.

Another discussant from the Igbinedion University, Okada in Edo State, Dr. Samuel Igbatayo, described the plight of Nigerians, despite the nation’s wealth, as a paradox.

The political scientist said the fact that a majority of Nigerians, were living in abject poverty had exposed the nation’s leaders over the years as educated but uniformed and unpatriotic people whose main business in government was to loot the treasury for themselves and their families.

He said, “The endemic poverty in the land is a great challenge and the high rate of unemployment is a time-bomb ready to explode as the current spate of armed robbery, kidnapping and other violent crimes could spur a violent revolution that would threaten the country’s unity.”

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