NADECO: Why Nigerians should halt leadership failure

The National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), Afenifere, and other pro-democracy crusaders on Tuesday urged Nigerians to put an end to leadership failure in the country.

They also criticised the operation of the flawed 1999 constitution, urging ethnic nationalities to intensify their pursuit of self-determination as enshrined in the 1948 United Nations Declaration of Human Rights and 1998 African Charter of Peoples Rights.

Chief Ayo Opadokun, Secretary-General of NADECO, said the organisation will intensify its political and legal campaigns against the lopsided federal structure that has continued to confer undue advantage on a section of the country to the detriment of other component units.

Afenifere leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, said the defective structure does not engender trust and peaceful coexistence, urging stakeholders to intensify the battle for restructuring and true federalism.

Eminent scholar, Prof Adebayo Williams, said NADECO and Afenifere have unfinished battles, adding that the nation is been retarded by the ravaging virus and leadership failure.

Lamenting that those who fought for democracy had been sidelined, he called for what he describes as a festival of leadership renewal.

NADECO and Afenifere chieftains converged to pay tribute to the former military governor of Lagos State, Admiral Ndubusi Kanu, who until his demise was NADECO leader.

The event, which was held at the Austral Hall, Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja, was witnessed by Lagos State Information and Strategy Commissioner, Gbenga Omotoso, who represented Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Dr Amos Akingba, Third Republic Chief Whip of the House of Representatives; Olawale Oshun, Mrs Jumoke Anifowose, Niyi Owoade and Tunde Onakoya.

Also at the ceremony were Dr Fred Agbeyegbe, Jumoke Ogunkoyede, Jide Ajilo, Linus Okoroji, Dayo Ogunlana, Akin Omojola, Comrade Popoola Ajayi and Dotun Atilade.

Paying tributetoKanu, the NADECO secretary said he played a role in the actualisation of the symbolic handshake across the Niger under the auspices of the Council for Unity and Understanding (CUU), upon which NADECO was constructed.

Opadokun recalled that Kanu was hounded, humiliated and dehumanised by the Abacha military regime, adding that his residence in Lagos and Ovim, Abia State, were searched by soldiers who found nothing incriminating with him.

Besides, the secretary lamented that the deceased NADECO chieftain was detained for hours by security agents in Lagos before he was bailed by his widow, Gladys.

Opadokun added: “In spite of all the oppressive measures taken against you, you remained unperturbed and unbowed until this your sudden and difficult to manage departure.”

As a mark of honour, he said NADECO will continue to support legitimate and legal agitations and campaign for self-determination by ethnic nationalities, civil societies and credible opinion moulders.

A former university don, Prof. Williams, said Kanu led a good and exemplary life, adding that his memory will linger.

He lamented that those who struggled for democracy had been sidelined and relegated.

Peeing into the future, Williams said NADECO should be rejuvenated because the battle for democratisation is not over.

He said: “There is still a great struggle ahead. We have not seen the end of military rule. Now, we have two pandemics confronting us as a nation. The first one is the virus. The second is failed leadership.

“I got close to Kanu in 1975. He was a profound man. He had no time for frivolities. He was a great democrat. We are very proud of him. He led an honourable and distinguished life.”

Williams added: “He was an outstanding naval officer. His celebration should be a rejuvenation of NADECO. Our ranks are peeling. We are waiting for a festival of renewal so that whatever happens, we can take our country back.”

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