Desmond Mgboh, Kano
The late Col Gideon Orkar’s military coup which attempted to expel the North-West and North-East geo-political zones from Nigeria was part of a grand scheme by the agitators of restructuring Nigeria, says elder statesman and politician Tanko Yakasai.
He made the observation at a lecture delivered in Abuja to the Igbo Leadership Foundation at Sheraton Hotel, while explaining that the idea of restructuring Nigeria was not a new demand.
He acknowledged that the demand for restructuring has been a feature of Nigerian politics since the constitutional crisis of 1953/4 London constitutional conference, adding that compared to then, the present efforts were not backed by the details of what the promoters desire and in what shape they want Nigeria to be.
“They have not offered Nigerians an opportunity to know what the details of restructuring Nigeria is all about or the blueprint of what they mean by restructuring,” Yakasai stated.
“It will make a world of difference if the protagonists of the idea will take the trouble to spell out the pros and cons of this concept.
“If they can do so, they will help people to have an understanding of what restructuring is all about and be able to make up their minds about it,” he added.
He appreciated the efforts of the current National Assembly in addressing some of the issues that touched on coexistence among Nigerians, revealing that the legislature has appointed an ad hoc committee to deliberate and make necessary recommendations for the amendment of the constitution.
“I hope this time around Nigerians will make the best use of the opportunity to ensure that all the good ideas that have been touted in all the previous unsuccessful attempts at amending the constitution are successfully incorporated into the constitution this time,” Yakasai stated.
For Nigeria to move forward, he recommended the establishment of a truly independent political party system, that is not under the control of any individual or group of individuals in or out of power.
He also recommended “free, fair and credible elections conducted by a robust electoral commission that will be run by people of proven integrity – experienced, honest and truly independent-minded people.”