Justice Mary Odili Makes Two ‘Urgent Demands’ For Nigeria To Survive As She Bows Out Of Supreme Court
Retd Justice of the Supreme Court, Mary Odili, on Thursday proposed two urgent solutions that can help Nigeria survive its current predicaments.
She recommended that the president should create and take charge of a new ministry of youths, employment and social welfare, and that the federal government should pay pension areas of retired security officers while engaging their expertise for the betterment of the nation.
She gave the counsel as an “elder in the nation”, while speaking about her life journey on Thursday during a valedictory session held in her honor following her attainment of the retirement age of 70 (on May 12).
The event was held at the Supreme Court, in the presence of current and retired judges, Governors of Rivers, Bayelsa, Edo and Plateau States as well as other stakeholders including the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele.
Odili who was born in 1952 and called to bar in 1977, described the massive unemployment of tertiary institution graduates as a matter of grave concern.
“That is the reason I propose that the Head of State should take on the garb of Minister of Youth, Employment and Social Welfare or such related name so that he directs the implementation of what is called for and put in place without middlemen, utilizing assistance of adequate and qualified personnel. Similarly, the governor of respective states take over such ministries as the situation is needed to be done to stem the current tragic situation.
“Again an area that should be given a consideration is the retirement of our uniformed men and women, military, police. These retired personnel that are now too numerous and left to rot at the various homes with their knowledge not utilized is a matter worthy of attention by the authorities which the apparatus of government can factor the use of these highly trained individuals to the benefit of all.”
She also recommended that the calls for restructuring should be attended to immediately else the nation looses an opportunity to “set the ship of the state on the right course”
She advised that there was need to remember the incidents of the past because history is beckoning on every Nigerian to play a positive role so as not to further destroy the most populous black nation on earth.
She said: “I will talk to my country men, women and children loud and clear. As I had earlier mentioned, I lived through the Nigerian Civil War which was precursed by the January 15 1966 Army coup and later the 1966 pogrom as it was referred to.
“In the July incident, I saw with my eyes, men running in their underpants with or without singlets from the Ikeja Army Cantonment which presentation made us leave out home at Ikeja GRA as the killings moved from the Igbo soldiers in the barracks to civilian population of Igbos and we had to take refuge in a room in Surulere and later to the East and the follow up war that incepted in 1967.
“Some of the actions or speeches that propelled the unfortunate war which took the lives of millions of our people are being re-enacted at this time hence the necessity for this reminder.”
According to her, some of the good initiatives at the time have been abandoned by authorities and individuals in the present day resulting in the misfortunes in Nigeria including massive unemployment and insecurity.
Furthermore, she advised that state of origin should not just be based on someone’s ethnic origin but also where a person has lived for a while.
Earlier, the body of Senior Advocates represented by Wole Olanipekun SAN wished the retired JSC health and wealth in retirement.
But he urged the judiciary to stand against conflicting judgements and sanction judicial officials who are found to have violated rules of court.