From Fred Itua, Abuja
Two former presidents of the Senate, Anyim Pius Anyim and Bukola Saraki; chairman of the United Nigeria Airline, Prof. Obiora Okonkwo, and former Minister of Health, Prof. A.B.C Nwosu, have advocated the country’s return to true federalism.
They spoke at the launch and public presentation of a book by Prof. Okonkwo, ‘Making Nigeria Work- Pathways to Greatness’ saying equal management of diversities was the best model to restructure Nigeria.
The 15-chapter book brings fresh insights and incisive reasoning into nagging issues such as how Nigeria’s diverse ethnic groups could be welded into a truly united and peaceful nation.
Saraki said the book offered a pathway for Nigeria to follow on the issue of restructuring.
“This book by Prof. Okonkwo is good for Nigeria. In fact, it is a blueprint for Nigeria’s pathway to restructuring. The author has done a good comparative analysis and the issues and suggestions raised should guide us in Nigeria on how to approach the issue of restructuring and devolution of powers,” he said.
Anyim noted that Nigeria’s rapid development and how to achieve it was through restructuring. “I’ve been a Senate president and a Secretary to Government of the Federation. I understand how government works. This book by Professor Okonkwo, who is well grounded in international business and politics, will guide us as a country on how to approach the issue of restructuring.”
Okonkwo, professor of Business at the University of Abuja, who used the occasion of the book launch to mark his birthday, said a restructured system would make Nigerians focus more on what happens in their states.
He said the people would hold the governors and state lawmakers more accountable to them, than focusing attention on accountability to the Federal Government. He said this would spur collaborations among the states in pursuance of economic development and integration.
In the same vein, Prof. Nwosu, who wrote the forward of the book said Okonkwo put restructuring in proper perspective by saying it entailed managing all diversities in the country as each ethnic nationalities were created to be in Nigeria, and had an equal right in the country.
“There are no senior and junior Nigerians, and there will never be, anything that want to make for having a senior and junior Nigerian,would be attracting trouble.”
He said said it was pedestrian to think that restructuring was asking people to go back to the regions, adding that, nobody wants that in a federation.