An association of prominent Igbo leaders known as Igbo Leaders of Thought comprising mostly elder statesmen has said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s concentration on the fight against corruption has overshadowed other more important issues.
The group, led by Prof Ben Nwabueze, met for a meeting in Enugu where they discussed issues concerning the country. The Punch reports that Nwabueze, who spoke on behalf of the group, said the anti-corruption fight was not Nigeria’s primary concern as the issues of illiteracy and poverty and others were also important.
“Everybody is thinking that all that we need is to fight corruption; it is important, but it is not our primary problem.
“There are other issues that are even more important than corruption.
“We have the question of illiteracy, the question of poverty, the question of security.
“As important as the war against corruption is, we are of the view that there are other issues that overshadow corruption.
“Another issue is what we call the national question.”
He said the federal government must take serious steps to make sure Nigeria attains the position of nationhood. He said Nigeria was still operating like a state.
“The national question means the problem of evolving Nigeria into a nation.
“Nigeria is not a nation; it is a state.
“We all want to belong to that state but we deceive ourselves always by thinking and painting the picture that we are already a nation; we are not.”
He said every Nigerian would be happy if all the 389 ethnic nationalities that make up the country were integrated.
The group urged President Buhari to fight corruption but said he must bear the rule of law and the constitution in mind.
“Fight corruption; fight it relentlessly but that fight should be subject to constitutional limitations, especially limitations arising from the federal system.
“The federal system is a conspicuous device to limit power.
“If you do away with the limitations on power arising from the federal system, we will be in trouble; graver trouble than the trouble of corruption,”
The group also asked the government to relocate the detained Boko Haram prisoners at Ekwulobia prison in Anambra state to another location.
President Buhari has made the fight against corruption the top of his list as he plans to recover the country’s stolen funds. This sentiment is also shared by the vice president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo who has also vowed to fight corruption.