CODER EULOGIZES, HONOURS PA REWANE ON 50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE
It was a moment of sober reflection and intense political retrospection when veterans of the struggle for democracy and civil rule in Nigeria, gathered to honour Pa Alfred Rewane, who was brutally murdered under the regime of the late Gen. Sani Abacha.
The group known as Coalition of Democrats for Electoral Reform (CODER), an offshoot that metamorphosed from the defunct PRONACO, in Lagos addressed the general public and political stakeholders in a seminar with the theme: 'Options for Federal Restructuring of Nigeria.'
National Coordinator of the group, Ayo Opadokun, in his welcome address, described the late Pa Rewane as an exceptional and highly resourceful elder statesman whose character was crested in humility and simplicity.
He said it was unfortunate that the Federal Government and Nigerians in general seemed to have a short memory in rolling out the drums in celebrating 50 years of political independence without economic, tribal and social integration while forgetting those that truly fought hard for the liberation of the people and nation states within the country. He said Pa Rewane was perhaps one of the detribalized Nigerians whose philosophy is yet to be rivaled by present-day statesmen.
'Pa Rewane, who at 79 years, was assassinated by General Abacha's executioners on October 6, 1995, invested a considerable amount of time, energy and resources on intellectual campaign on the subject matter of national restructuring in particular and any other matter of national importance,' '50 years in the life of any nation marks its golden years but the achievements of Nigeria in terms of political, economic and social development, is very unfortunate. It is appalling that Nigeria, as at today, is still at the stage of trying to discover and chart a way forward for itself, when others that started at the same time with her have already gone far,' he said.
Opadokun advised Nigerians, especially the youths, to emulate the character and behaviour of Pa Rewane and true heroes of our nation by not allowing themselves to be used as willing tools in the hands of unscrupulous politicians as the upcoming elections draws nearer. He said the book written by late political sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, 'Thoughts on Nigerian Constitution' was still very relevant, especially on the constitutional future of the country, where he proposed guiding principles that would guarantee the successful progression of the Nigerian state.