The status-quo is no longer a choice. The choice before us now is either ‘restructuring’ into a formidable progressive entity or everyone to his tent.
I, for one, elects restructuring, and I will encourage anyone that still loves Nigeria to support the idea of restructuring or renegotiated existence as it is in our best interest to continue to evolve strategies that will preserve our corporate existence as one united entity.
Last week the National Assembly drew national and international attention when the two chambers voted to amend some key elements of the constitution- a document many think is unworkable and requires more than an amendment.
Unfortunately the two chambers not only disagreed on nine key areas, meaning that only 24 amendment bills, out of the 33 considered, will now be forwarded to Houses of Assembly in 36 states for at least two-thirds to ratify, the National Assembly also rejected the bill for devolution of powers, restructuring, indigeneship and land use act-another indication that those we elected as lawmakers are not prepared to address the Nigerian question. It’s unfortunate to say the least that the lawmakers are still thinking of their tribes, their language and religion first before Nigeria.
Why will any patriot prefer the unworkable status-quo over restructuring? Why will any group prefer slavery to freedom?
Why is it that we cannot feel the whip, so long as it is laid on the back of another fellow? Are we cursed or we are the cause of our sorrows?
Among the challenges we face as a nation is corruption, militant Islam, Biafra, militancy and our inability to produce one great leader beginning from 1960 to date and you will trace the problem to our configuration, hence the need for structural rebirth, especially if we elect to continue to live together as one people.
Not many people are happy with the state of the nation except for those unwilling to give up the undue advantage they now enjoy. It is not just the South East groaning in pains, even the deaf and dumb can hear the lamentation and wailings of the people of North Central. Even the dead can feel the agitations of the people of Niger Delta and the South West. Inspite of all these, our law makers had the nerve to vote against our only rays of hope.
I do not want Nigeria to break, but I dare say that the only hope to save the country from possible disintegration is to commence dialogue on restructuring now. It’s either we restructure or the country dies.
Some elite out of mischief pretend not to understand anymore the notion of restructuring. There are deliberate attempt to even confuse the notion with such new lexicon as repackaging, rethink, redesign, re-jig or reform. It’s even more confounding that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) which has the concept of true federalism clearly stated in her manifesto has become part of the confusion. The party admitted that the term has assumed many disparate meanings to many disparate people hence at her fifth regular joint APC National Working Committee (NWC)/APC governors meeting of July 19, 2017, it elected a committee to be chaired by Governor el-Rufai of Kaduna State to articulate the party’s notion on restructuring. The irony was the choice of El-Rufai who is either opposed to or does not believe in restructuring or that Nigeria is already restructured by President Buhari, whatever that means!
However, we look at it, truth is that Nigeria is in urgent need of reinvention or rebirth. The view that this is an idea whose time has come has been in the public domain for more than 20 years, but successive administrations either toyed with it, politicised it, or they got round it at the end of term, so late that they gave a succeeding administration the opportunity to conveniently ignore it. The latest of such efforts was in 2014 when the Jonathan administration organised a National Political Conference, where far-reaching recommendations were made to ensure the restructuring of Nigeria. Sadly, the report of that conference, endorsed and supported by the Nigerian people, is hidden somewhere in government closets, gathering dust. Pathetically, today’s men of power brashly admit that they have not read the document and have no intention to read it.
I believe, the APC committee chaired by el-Rufai is not only a taqyiya, but a complete waste of effort. The party knows what to do if they are serious. If they don’t know I will again advise that they go back to the 2014 confab report, read it with understanding and take the next flight to London where they will take turn to interpret the content to Mr. President. My prayer is that they do this before it is too late because right now the wind has changed. The notion of restructuring is as simple as returning the country to the basic foundation of her existence as negotiated by our founding fathers before the distortion caused by successive military governments. It’s a fact of history that the country was founded on the principle of true federalism. Then the country was divided into regions in accordance with the differences and peculiarity of the people. The different regions were able to harness their resources , compete favourably and developed at their own pace. The centre was very unattractive to the extent that Ahmadu Bello , the undisputed leader of the North found it convenient to remain in Kaduna developing the groundnut pyramids that built the North-while his proxies were sent to Lagos as prime minister and Federal ministers. Restructuring means that Lagos and Ogun can benefit from the VATs generated from the zone, while paying taxes to the centre. It means Rivers and Akwa- Ibom can control their God-given resources, but pay taxes to the Federal Government. Restructuring means all the Northern states that rooted for Sharia can pursue the northernisation policy, implement puritanic Sharia as their culture demands. Restructuring will end the activities of the Boko Haram insurgents whose objective to establish a caliphate and introduce Sharia law as prescribed by the Qoran corresponds with the aspiration of northern political class.
Restructuring will end all the agitation for Biafra because the Igbo people agitating for an elusive Biafran nation will refocus their energy towards the development of Igboland. They should be able to use their potentials to reach the sky which by the way is the aim of everyone. And the South West and South-South will end their militancy and agitation for resource control, because with their resources under their control they can become the Kuwait of Africa and pay taxes to the centre. Restructuring will help reduce the overconcentration of power at the centre. It will make all of us work very hard and productively too. It will help reduce the fugitive mentality of our leaders who steal as if the country is a loveless orphan. As it is now , no one loves Nigeria except what to get out of it.