Eminent Nigerians on Thursday took varied positions on the agitation for restructuring of the country.
The event was the Quarterly Public Lecture series of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Press Corps, held at Sheraton Towers Hotel, Abuja, where Kano state governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, presented a paper: “Sustaining a United and Indivisible Nigeria: A Myth or Reality.”
While former Senate President, Ken Nnamani said the nation political architecture could be better run, if it was restructured, former Imo state governor and senator representing Imo West, Rochas Okorocha said what should be paramount is how to put food on the tables of Nigerians.
The former Senate President who represented Yobe state governor and Chairman of the APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, Mala Buni at the event however spoke in his personal capacity on the contentious issue of restructuring.
Senator Nnamani said Nigerians canvassing for restructuring are not calling for its break up into smaller nations, but an efficiently run federation.
He said: “I have a simple definition of restructuring and that is making something more efficient than you met it. If we must tell ourselves the truth, the structure of our government is neither efficient nor effective. We should make our government more efficient and more effective.
“Efficiency and I will give one example. Why should the federal government be concerned about issuing driver’s licenses? I spent quite some time in the United States. When I was in Iowa, I had Iowa, driving license. When I moved to Washington, I had a Washington driver’s license. When I went to New York, I had a New York driver’s license. Why should we spend time here in Abuja issuing somebody a license in Sokoto?
“Some things can be done more efficiently and that also implies restructuring. Restructuring doesn’t mean dividing our country. Because the more united we are, the better we are as a country. So any reasonable person who witnessed the Biafran war with Nigeria will never preach anything near war. You won’t wish your enemy to go through that. So for those who were not born then, who takes delight in pronouncing war, it is not African magic, that you stay back and watch. It is a thing you may not come back. And those shouting war, under three weeks of the battle they are gone. So nobody will wish our country another war.
“And people who are agitating for a separate nation, I think that if Nigeria is made more efficient, nobody in his right sense will be saying it should be divided. Every state in Nigeria has something unique that few countries are as pleased as Nigeria. It is for us to discover our own strength and emphasize it and make it better.
“Let us not be afraid of restructuring. It simply means how can we make our country more efficient and better.”
Senator Okorocha in his contribution said the agitation for the break up of the country could be surmounted by a responsible leadership accountable to the people.
The former Imo state governor also pleaded with those in leadership positions to shun divisive tendencies by treating every Nigerian equally, irrespective of ethnic and religious affiliations.
“What we must do as a people is to address the issue of injustice as a nation, starting from the stomach injustice which we call hunger.”
The injustice of the stomach and other injustices must be addressed.
“Number two, every leader that emerges in this country must treat Nigeria as a family, must never show segregation of any kind. If you know an Igboman, an Igboman is not asking for anything, is asking for a level playing ground. Do you know if today people are doing what Ganduje did in Kano, giving Igbo people appointments, if every other Governor does that shows a sign of love beyond the area of tribe and religion, you will be uniting this country?
“Address the issue of hunger, address the issue of injustice, Nigeria will fly and command other nations.”
Credit: Nigeria Tribune