- From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
There was hair splitting in Abuja Friday as the Abia State governor, Okezie Ikpeazu and Afenifere spokesman, Yinka Odumakin took positions at variance with the president’s spokesman, Femi Adesina over restructuring.
The stage for exchange of thoughts on the vexed issue of the future of Nigeria was in Abuja at a summit.
While Adesina aligned with President Muhammadu Buhari, his principal and the APC’s position that restructuring is a call by the PDP, the rest disagreed.
The Special Adviser on Media and Publicity described the the call for restructuring particularly from those who were in power for 16 years as suspicious.
This is even as he has said that the Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is not opposed to restructuring but is opposed to anything that will splinter the country.
Adesina spoke at the Change We Need Nigeria Initiative 8th Annual Lecture Series with the theme: Disintegration or Restructuring: Which way Nigeria?.
The Presidential Spokesman who described the theme of the lecture as timely, said restructuring doesn’t necessarily need to be accompanied with disintegration, noted that Nigeria has always restructured but has never led to the country falling apart.
But in his response, Governor Ikpeazu who was represented by his Chief Press Secretary, Godwin Adindu, disagreed that restructuring was an opposition thing.
He said, “Restructuring is not an opposition thing, it is what we all need so that we can move the nation forward. Restructuring is not the demand of the opposition.”
The Afenifere spokesman, Yinka Odumakin, also disagreed with Adesina that restructuring was an opposition call, also stood his ground that Nigeria’s unity is negotiable warning that those kicking against it risk disintegration.
He said, “The unity of Nigeria can be negotiated. It is fallacy to say it can’t be negotiated. By restructuring we are saying Nigeria should move from money sharing economy to a productive economy.
“If we refuse to take this national course, I’m sorry to say time is running out of Nigeria.
“Let us restructure Nigeria now, return to the Nigeria our founding fathers initiated. Our best is in the past. Let us join hands to build a Nigeria that we will all be proud of.”
The guest lecturer Dr. Cosmas Ilechukwu, said restructuring will be good for Nigeria. He said, “By restructuring I mean a reorganization of the governance structures of Nigeria to make it a more viable and more prosperous nation where the different nationalities will proudly call a home. Any construct that will occasion greater Effie cy and economic viability will be okay. The six regional structures that seem to have gained reasonable mileage among a large segment of our population should be constitutionalised.
“I will support the call for a six-regional arrangement with some minor readjustments.”