A delegate to the ongoing National Conference in Abuja, Sir Uzoma Nwosu Iheme, has said that the nation should blame the north should the conference turn out a failure.
Sir Nwosu Iheme, who spoke recently to Christian Voice, said that he took the stand in view of the attitude of the northern delegates who came to the conference apparently to make sure it does not succeed.
According to him, the northern delegates appear averse to change, hoping to maintain the status quo which is to their advantage.
He said that President Goodluck Jonathan made it clear in his speech on March 17 while inaugurating the conference that the country was on a downward slide and needs to adjust a few things.
Sir Nwosu Iheme, who is among the 70 delegates from the South East geo-political zone, said that the idea of the conference was welcomed by the south easterners and south westerners who felt it was an opportunity for them to voice out their opinion on issues pertaining to the nation.
The north, he said, came to the conference with a mindset while their southern counterparts came with an open mind.
According to him, while the southerners on the whole, want devolution of powers and resource control, the northerners want a powerful centre or would rather prefer power to devolve to states.
The delegate, who was once a commissioner in the Imo State government, commended the unity among the entire southern delegates but regretted that Ebonyi State delegates appear to be towing a different line in terms of devolution of powers.
He said that the delegates from Ebonyi prefer power to go to states rather than the six zones of south. South, South West, South East, North East, North West and North Central, fearing further marginalization of their people.
He however, said that the conference had put off discussion on those touchy issues till towards the end of the conference.
It was his opinion that if resource control and devolution of powers were implemented, they would go a long way to solve the issues of corruption, kidnapping and other vices plaguing the country.
“Our people should read the handwriting on the wall”, he said, adding that oil is the only binding force for the country and without it, there would be no Nigeria”.
The real estate consultant regretted that Igbos were the greatest victims of Boko Haram bombings.
He advised Igbos to invest less outside their homelands and more at home, taking a cue from the other ethnic nationalities.
He said that the 1999 constitution was skewed by the military to favour the north in every ramification and needs to be retouched.
On religion, he said that the conference had recommended the establishment of a Religious Equity Commissioner that would address grievances to bring about interfaith harmony.
He was, however, happy that equity had been done with the recommendation for an additional state in the south east to make it six in the zone.