Septuagenarian elder statesman, Dr Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, on Thursday announced his retirement from partisan politics, saying he felt accomplished in his political career.
Iwuanyanwu said this at a news briefing in Owerri, adding that he had no regrets venturing into politics.
He said, “I have achieved what I was supposed to achieve in politics and I remain grateful to God for giving me good health at my age.”
He would clock 79 on Sept. 4.
Iwuanyanwu, who is the Chairman of Ohaneze Ndi Igbo Council of Elders, said he would continue to serve his people in any other capacity outside partisan politics.
The media guru and publisher of Champion Newspapers identified ways that could help to turn around the nation’s socio-economic fortunes.
He admonished the younger generation of leaders to draw wisdom from his wealth of experience in the struggle to transform the country.
He advocated the creation of a functional educational curriculum that could help to march courses offered in tertiary institutions with the present societal needs.
According to him, our focus should be to ensure that students are equipped with practical skills, in line with their respective courses of study.
Iwuanyanwu contended that the current curriculum only helped to train students for white-collar jobs, which are fast disappearing.
He also underscored the need to evolve a system that would help to identify exceptionally gifted youths and properly fund their innovations.
He said the measure would make Nigeria “a destination for innovation and technological development”.
He further said that it would also lead to massive job creation and reduction in the rising rate of youth unemployment in the country.
He expressed support for the diversification of the nation’s economy, adding that the country should be restructured to make the federating states competitive.
Iwuanyanwu, who frowned at the “high cost of governance” and nation’s current debt profile, called for restraint in external borrowing.
“There is need for us to commence building an economy beyond crude oil.
“By restructuring, states will rise to the challenge of generating revenue from their respective mineral and material resources.
“With this, states will not have to wait for monthly allocations from crude oil proceeds.
“Government must also cut down the cost of governance and excessive borrowing, which has shut the nation’s debt profile to a shocking level,” he said.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Iwuanyanwu said he joined politics in 1978.
He said he contested the presidential election three times on the platform of the defunct National Republican Convention and All Peoples Party in 1999.
He was the national leader of the defunct United Nigeria Congress Party and former member of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party.