Investigate past leaders, rename Nigeria, Olanipekun urges Tinubu

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria and immediate past Chairman of the Nigerian Body of Benchers, Chief Wole Olanipekun, has called on President Bola Tinubu to probe past leaders to unravel how the country got to its current state.

According to him, past leaders have questions to answer as regards the infrastructural deficits, grounded economy and insecurity ravaging many parts of the country, among others.

Olanipekun, who spoke at a colloquium in Abuja to mark the 25th anniversary of Joe-Kyari Gadzama as a SAN, stated that the huge funds allocated to the various sectors of the economy must be accounted for.

He stated, “Let us remind ourselves that we cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs. The President has to ask questions, and sordid questions indeed, about how we have come to this sorry past; why we are in a big mess; why the economy is grounded; what has happened to the previous budgets and the trillions of naira allocated to road rehabilitation, healthcare delivery, security, infrastructural rehabilitation, institutional restoration, among others.

“Lest I forget, the government must also interrogate a very profound question as to why the national currency, the naira, has fallen so abysmally, almost from grace to grass, and virtually becoming valueless with N900 exchanging for just one United States Dollar. The present administration must examine and audit all books and records as well as past expenditures, whether real or otherwise.”

He also called for the renaming of the country, noting that the current appellation was demeaning and hypocritical. He stated, “My position is that we should stop mocking ourselves by the retention of the name Nigeria, a hypocritical and demeaning appellation given to us by Lugard’s mistress.

“It is intriguing that, to date, we have not mustered sufficient courage to drop this denigrating appellation. Come to think of this, the French named their French colony Niger, while the British gave us the ridiculous appellation Nigeria. What is the difference between Niger as pronounced in French and Nigeria as pronounced in English? A citizen of Niger is called a Nigerien, while a citizen of Nigeria is called a Nigerian.

“Have we bothered to ask ourselves what the difference is between these names? It is a difference without a distinction and the recent development in the Republic of Niger has brought to the fore this stark reality.”

(Punch)

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