South, Middle Belt Leaders Tell National Assembly To Restructure Nigeria and Other Headlines Today

The ongoing calls for restructuring of the Nigerian federation received another boost on Thursday as opinion Leaders from the Southern and Middle Belt part of Nigeria visited the leadership of the Senate in Abuja.

The Leaders of the South and the Middle Belt appealed to the National Assembly to save Nigeria, which they said was on the edge of a precipice. While calling on the legislature to drop partisan politics in handling the affairs of the country, they asked that a national emergency be immediately declared.

The leaders were drawn from the South-West, South-South, South-East and North-Central. They include the leader of the Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo; a former Federal Commissioner of Information and Chairman, Pan-Niger Delta Elders Forum, Chief Edwin Clark; President General, Ohanaeze Ndi’gbo, Chief John Nwodo; a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation and ex-Minister of Finance, Chief Olu Falae; and the first Military Governor of Plateau State, Air Commodore Dan Suleiman (retd.).

To receive the delegation were the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki and his Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu; Majority Leader, Ahmad Lawan and other principal officers of the National Assembly.

Virtually all the Papers for review today including THE PUNCH, TRIBUNE, DAILY INDEPENDENT, VANGUARD make the story their  frontpage headlines.

The NATION deviates from that and makes its lead the caption “Presidency Hits Obasanjo Over Buhari’s Visit To U.S.” The paper reports that contrary to the views in some quarters, President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to the United States (US) was beneficial to the country. The Presidency scored the visit high, saying the President was satisfied with its outcome.

THE GUARDIAN’s interest is also about the President but with another headline in President Buhari’s London Stopover Stirs Speculations. The newspaper writes that President Muhammadu Buhari made a stopover in London, as he returned from his trip to the United States where he held talks with President Donald Trump. The Presidency, however, dismissed insinuations the visit had any significance beyond the ordinary.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity Garba Shehu told journalists, yesterday, that Buhari’s technical crew decided to break the long trip from the U.S. to refuel and carry out routine checks.

Nigeria Needs A True Federal Structure – Anyaoku

Former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Emeka Anyaoku has reiterated the call for the restructuring of Nigeria saying Nigeria needs a true Federal structure.

Anyaoku said this at the launch of an autobiography of elder statesman, Chief Ayo Adebanjo in Lagos. He said he believes that Nigeria as a diverse country cannot succeed under a unitary system of governance.

“Our country, Nigeria, was doing extremely well when it had a true federation of four regions with each region developing at its own pace with citizens feeling proud to belong to the Nigerian country.

“I don’t believe there is anywhere in the world where a country with such diversity can live under a unitary government. So, we do need in Nigeria, a true Federal structure. This was one of the abiding thoughts that Chief Obafemi Awolowo advocated throughout his life,” Anyaoku said.

The elder stateman insisted that only a return to a true federal structure will ensure the full development of Nigeria’s potential.

He also blamed the military for intervening in Nigeria’s governance, adding that the intervention of the military disfigured Nigeria’s constitution.

Anyaoku said Nigeria a country with diverse culture and tradition cannot survive under a unitary government.

“I believe that if the military had not intervened in our governance in January 1966 and remained in power for so many years after that. If they had not disfigured our constitution.

“I do not believe that there is any country in the world that had the diversity that Nigeria has. The diversity of people who have lived for centuries in their geographic areas. Who had their distinct and diverse cultural traditions? I don’t believe there is anywhere in the world where a country with such diversity can live under a unitary government.”

Anyaoku had in August 2017 said the country is drifting towards a failed state due to the present structure of governance. He spoke then during a meeting with a group from Anambra State in the south-east of Nigeria and emphasised that there is an urgent need for restructuring the nation’s system of governance.

National Women Body Calls For Total Restructuring

The National Council for Women Societies (NCWS) has joined calls to the Federal Government to take a holistic approach in its programme in re-positioning the country.

The President of the council, Mrs Gloria Shoda, said in a statement that Nigerian women support the proposed restructuring of the country by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

However, she said the restructuring should `wear a human face’ with gender sensitivity.

She noted that the issue of restructuring was not new in the country, adding that it has been with us as a nation for a long time.

It would be recalled that in the 50s women championed the issue of restructuring and brought it to the front burner in Nigeria.

Shoda said that women from all walks of life would come together to lend their voices in the advancement of Nigerian governance through the restructuring agenda.

“We will gather all the women from the local government to the state and national levels to deliberate on the issue and come up with our position.

“We want to have a say in the restructuring of Nigeria, it is not going to be an all men affair as usual.

“We need to bring in our own perspectives to the discussion. As Nigerian women, we want this country to be restructured if we must survive as a nation’.

APC Presents Report On True Federalism

The ruling All Progressives Congress made a public presentation of the report of its committee on True Federalism on Wednesday in Abuja.

The committee chaired by Kaduna state Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, was charged with the responsibility to articulate the party’s position on issues surrounding the country’s structure and mode of governance, including resource control, state police, derivation principle and local government autonomy.

The Chairman of the APC, Chief John Oyegun, in his opening remarks, deemed the content of the report as the “considered views of the critical mass of the nation”.

He bemoaned the state of the country’s infrastructure, especially power and the railway system, but expressed confidence that with the implementation of the report, the infrastructural deficit as well as other challenges, will be bridged.

On his part, the Chairman of the committee, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, who was represented by Mallam Uba Sani, said the committee, through the report, has “defined the values that promote and connote true federalism, and proposed a clear roadmap on implementing recommendations.”

The presentation ceremony featured an interactive session where selected members of the audience engaged with a panel made up of eminent politicians and society leaders such as Hajiya Aisha Ismail, the former Minister for Women Affairs, Mr Alfred Kemepado, Secretary-General of the Ijaw Youth Council, and Mr Wale Osun.

Most of the participants in their submissions, commended the APC for its courage in articulating such views despite its position as the ruling party, and called for speedy implementation.

Some of the proposed recommendations in the report include; upward review of current revenue formula in favour of states, provision of legal framework for merging states, independent candidacy, and devolution of powers to states by the Federal Government.

The report also contains an action plan which details a step-by-step approach of how the proposed recommendations can be implemented.

Restructuring: El-Rufai Led APC Committee Submits Report

The committee set up by the All Progressives Congress, APC to look into the issue of restructuring has submitted its reports.

The Governor Nasir El Rufai-led committee on True Federalism submitted its report to the National Working Committee of the APC, on Thursday.

The committee in its reports called for more devolution of powers to the states.

The committee urged that the police and prisons be moved from the exclusive to the concurrent list.

According to the report, the state government would be allowed to establish state police to handle certain crimes as well as state prisons.

The committee equally recommended independent candidacy but with a clause that individuals who intend to stand for elections must not have been a member of any political party at least six months to the elections in which they intend to contest.

On local government autonomy, the committee said since “one size does not fit all,” the states should be allowed to legislate for local governments, including creating more councils.

Buhari Will Restructure Nigeria In Second Term, Says VON DG

Ahead of tomorrow’s parley between the leaderships of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and Afenifere in Enugu State, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the South-east, Osita Okechukwu, on Tuesday assured the southern leaders that the much talked about political restructuring would be addressed during President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term.

Okechukwu who described the proposed parley as ‘handshake across the Niger,’ congratulated the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, for convening the meeting of the southern leaders.

In a statement made available to journalists, Okechukwu who is also the Director General of Voice of Nigeria (VON) however, appealed to Igbo and Yoruba leadership to support the Rails, Roads, and Power (RRP) projects, the economic restructuring initiated by President Buhari.

He said the meeting provides an opportunity for Igbo delegates to lobby their Yoruba counterparts to support the creation of additional states in the South-east and a President of Igbo extraction in 2023 after Buhari’s second tenure.

“To be candid, I’m one of those, who view the two as competing brothers rather than adversaries as some have internalised. I also share the view that the unity of the two will in no small measure enhance the unity of our dear country.

“Before one suggests or proposes possible take-aways, from the meeting, let me without being immodest state that I only read about the meeting in one of the major national newspapers, the Vanguard to be specific. From the story one of the cardinal agenda is restructuring, if this is the case, one therefore may humbly seek permission to propose a way forward.

“That delegates should take serious and deep analysis of President Muhammadu Buhari’s economic restructuring captured in RRP – Rails, Roads and Power projects, as enunciated in his 2018 New Year Speech.

“This to me is important because Mr. President has in the midst of competing options elected to first embark on massive critical infrastructure renewal, after which he will embark on political restructuring. The infrastructure renewal is an urgent programme in the face of huge infrastructural deficit.

“I agree that some may argue, why not both together or no, we can do better infrastructural development in regional units. Those who argue the regional option born out of devolution of power, easily forget that our governors control about 48 per cent of monies accruing to the Federation Account and nobody queries them like the federal government,” Okechukwu quipped.

Okechukwu said because the state governors were not held accountable like the president at the federal government, the state Houses of Assembly act like Rubber-Stamp Assembly; leading to democracy recession compounded by lack of free and fair local government council election and no anti-graft agency at the local unit. While arguing that until will grow democracy at the state level and hold the state governors, chairmen and councillors accountable, we will never appreciate the critical infrastructural foundation being laid by President Buhari. It is in this connection that a large spectrum of Buhari’s supporters nationwide have agreed with him to first embark on RRP and to embark on political restructuring during his second term.

“Mr. President I know, is aware that one of the cardinal programmes in our great party’s manifesto is devolution of powers from the center to the units. He has this on his cards. And therefore no political party, at least, not All Progressives Congress (APC) for sure will hold on ad infinitum to 68 items in the Exclusive List of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria without amendment.” he said.

He reminded the Igbo delegates to the meeting the demand of President Buhari from our leaders in the last meeting at Aso Presidential Villa, where in response to their demand for an additional state to par the South-east with other geopolitical regions with six states, demanded that we should name the particular state of our choice, which has not been done.

Okechukwu maintained that the meeting provides a golden opportunity for Igbo delegates to lobby their Yoruba brothers to buy into redressing this equity and justice placebo, of South-east region. Which some have dubbed shortchange or as some cynics posit, punishment because of the civil war.

He noted that the rigorous process of state creation requires lobbying for buy in of this nature, adding that the buy-in of Yorubas will strengthen the hands of Mr. President in lobbying his brothers in the North to create additional state in the South east.

Okekwukwu appealed to Ndigbo not to work out of the conference hitting the table, out of lamentation,
without tangible take-away of items like state creation.

Yoruba Youths Insist on Restructuring, Condemn Herdsmen Attacks

By Nofisat Marindoti

Yoruba Youths in the Western Region of Nigeria have insisted on restructuring the country in order to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people.

The youths agreed on this at the 1st Western Youth Summit hosted by the Government of the State of Osun in collaboration with Development Agenda for Western Nigeria, DAWN on Wednesday.

The two days Summit held in Osogbo, capital of the State of Osun, drew academia and top dignitaries from all walks of life in the country which included the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo who declared the Summit open on Tuesday.

The youths also condemned the recent clashes between farmers and herdsmen and implored the Federal Government to address the issue immediately.

Asking that the anti-open grazing law be implemented in all the states, the Western youths called for fairness, rule of law, separation of power and equity in government, adding that the “Not too young to rule law” be implemented at both states and federal levels.

In his speech, the Oba of Oke Ila-Orangan, HRM Adedokun Abolarin urged the youths to be creative and innovative in order to reduce poverty to the lowest rate.

“Success is hardwork, believe in yourself and see the beauty in your environment. Be organized, responsible and make marks in the sand of time.

Southern Senators’ Insist On Nigeria’s Restructuring

The Southern Senators’ Forum has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to convene a meeting of the leaderships of the National Assembly, state houses of assembly, and governors.

The forum said the meeting would brainstorm and commence implementation of the 2014 National Conference report.

The Chairman of the forum, Sen. Hope Uzodinma, made the call in a communiqué he read at the end of a retreat of the organisation in Calabar on Saturday.

The retreat had the theme: “National Unity and Restructuring”.

According to the chairman, the forum resolved that its members will liaise with their colleagues in the National Assembly to kick-start a legislative process that will ensure the implementation of the report.

He also said that the group urged the leadership of the National Assembly to bring up the report for consideration.

“After presentation of papers, contributions and general brainstorming, it was resolved that Nigeria and Nigerians have come a long way.

“As such, it has become imperative and in the interest of all to live together as one united family under one indivisible and indissoluble country with justice, equity and fairness.

“While the unity of Nigeria should not and cannot be compromised under any circumstance, it has become apparent that the foundation upon which Nigeria was built at independence in 1960 has been eroded.

“There is a need to return to the original dream of true federalism which was a product of negotiation, compromise and accommodation,” he said.

The retreat witnessed presentation of papers from prominent Nigerians on various subject matters, including “Sustaining National Unity in a restructured Nigeria”.

Others are: “Provisions for National Unity in the 1999 Constitution (Amended), Between the Dreams of pre-Independence Nationalists and Restructuring: A Critical Look at the Past and Present, Imperatives of Restructuring in Multi-Religious Nigeria.


What Restructuring is Not By Muyiwa Olumilua

Restructuring is not the complete and utter breakup/ breakdown of a system. Because of the arbitrary use of the term in the media, restructuring has come to mean different things to different people. To some politicians, restructuring means a dismantling of the status quo and an avenue to strip them of all access to pilfer public funds.

To this end they will vehemently fight it. To the youth, restructuring can mean that they finally get their voice heard and can be allowed to run for office; to this end they may clamour for it. To the women folk, restructuring can mean increased participation for them in government; to this end they may welcome it. To the elderly, restructuring may mean a return to the days of a regional control of government; to this end they may receive it with a sense of longing.

According to Collins Dictionary, to restructure an organisation or system means to change the way it is organised, usually in order to make it work more effectively. First, restructuring implies change. Change not chaos or anarchy or destruction. Change. Restructuring the Nigerian polity is a process that would require a change in how the system operates. Change is a term rather familiar with the Nigerian people. The current government rode on this mantra to come into existence. Nigeria as a nation has undergone various metamorphoses since her inception as a sovereign entity. Much of this change has not been pleasant. Nigeria underwent a period of military rule in her nascent history which was marked by flagrant abuse of human rights, widespread graft, economic sanctions and fluctuations in economic growth. The civil war came to be as a result of discontent and a feeling of marginalisation among the Igbo. The two-and-a-half-year saga saw Nigeria undergo a period of change albeit for the worse. Lives were lost, families torn apart, properties destroyed and a people divided. The root of the agitations experienced today stemmed from the negative changes felt from these times.

Restructuring from the second part of the definition provided implies changing a system so that it can work more effectively. Clearly, the change implied here is positive. So when we use the term “restructuring” we mean a positive change that would impact the nation for the better. Over the past few months, there have been various calls for restructuring. These calls have also enjoyed generous support from strong quarters—from political to business quarters. Unsurprisingly, some have described these calls by some political authorities as background setups for coming campaigns. Regardless of what the motivation might be, the topic is one that should not be swept under the carpet. It needs to be discussed extensively and intelligently in a manner that would yield lasting positive results. Varying views on the topic have emerged from the different geopolitical zones of the nation. The most prominent view, given the aggressive push, would probably be that purported by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) movement. To this group, it can be deduced that restructuring means secession. This would bring us back to what restructuring is not. Restructuring is not the complete and utter breakup/ breakdown of a system.

To some social commentators restructuring—majorly from the South-West—should be focused on the reestablishment of regional governments. While the establishment of regional governments may pass as restructuring, it carries one major flaw: it may create more room for tribal sentiments to fester at the expense of national unity. This in turn would defeat the very purpose for clamouring for restructuring which is to improve the system and not make it worse.

At this juncture, the pertinent question is what should we actually be clamouring for in our demands for restructuring? For us to properly articulate our calls, we must understand why there are calls for restructuring in the first place. The people, especially the common man, are not enjoying the benefits of governance. Against this common background, I would be sharing my opinions on how we should approach restructuring in the Nigerian context.

The approach should be two-pronged in nature; political restructuring and economic restructuring. Both would have to go together, as one without the other would only lead to another vicious cycle. In the political light, in line with the general call; for the devolution of powers from the centre to provide states with more power, the states need to demand actively for more. By active demand, we need states to go beyond debates and paper calls for devolution of powers. We can take a cue from the Lagos State government, which ironed out issues on certain activities that were described as reserved for the Federal Government through the courts. Similarly, autonomy must go beyond state governments down to the local governments.

In essence, as we push for legislative reforms for devolution of powers, the state and local governments must begin to demand more, given the available legal provisions. With this approach, political restructuring would be kick-started in a longer but easier and more efficient manner compared to the use of debates and violent protests. A strong foundation for further devolution of powers beyond the scope of present legal provisions would be laid down through this approach.

Further, in the economic light, with this proposed foundation, we must work tenaciously towards resource control. Our constitution would need to redefine who owns resources in each Nigerian state. The general ownership of resources has led to the creation of a nation housing many states which are not economically viable, as many are dependent on the economic activities of a few. Is this to suggest that states should not make contributions to the centre? Absolutely not, but this should be restructured in such a way that the states hold back a larger percentage–to be shared in a manner that would benefit host communities and local governments.

This is pertinent to the economic viability of our states, hence, the strong need to move beyond debates and kick-start the political leg of this journey.

Evidently, power on its own cannot effect positive change. The true determinant of change is what the power is used to do. Hence, with newly attained powers, state and local governments would definitely need to focus on harnessing economic potential of devolved power in a manner that would promote economic development at the grassroots. Remember, it was pointed out earlier that the foundation of these calls is based on the disparity between the expected benefits of governance and the actual citizen experience. Hence, we need governments that would put these powers to good use.

For this to be effectively managed, the judicial and legislative arms would need to be more independent and effective. Without this, when we finally devolve powers, we would only be creating demigods out of the god we have vehemently fought against over the years.

More importantly, as I conclude this, leaders need to restructure their minds. Without the restructuring of the mind, the will to govern effectively would be nearly absent. Hence, leaders must be ready to place the needs of those led first.

Olumilua is a governorship aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress in Ekiti State

Are We Tearing Ourselves Apart for Wrong Reasons? By Samuel Akinyele Caulcrick

As the call for secession or restructuring, depending on which side of the divide, continues unabated, the underlining cause for agitation is, as usual, glossed over. It is the economy – Stupid! Most people pivot their comments on ethnicity and religion. However, contrary to the general positions, this writer does not believe it is all about the exclusion of one’s tribe or religion, but the exclusion of one’s social class that has always bedevilled our space. It is about the marginalisation of most people’s station in life within the community that cuts across all the religions and all the tribes in Nigeria.

This writer also has a firm belief that Nigeria’s problem is wrongly diagnosed. Roughly 600 positions are up for the presidential appointment in a given dispensation. These presidential appointments have never benefited other individuals, not even remotely, apart from the friends, family, and friends of friends of the President. Nigerians have always carried daggers ready to stab one another if the appointments do not have their religious, or ethnic or regional association. Millions of Nigerians that do not have access to the necessary needs to survive also belong to various tribes, religion, and regions. Why is that not dividing us? Nigerian elites are not bothered by the exclusion of the majority of the people in Nigeria from Nigeria’s petrol-economy.

A drive from any rich area through the general areas to most airports in each state within the federation of Nigeria tells a lot about the real ailment in Nigeria. The sullen faces one sees depict that there is marginalisation alright; it is that of the station of the majority in life, and not their region or their religion. There is no argument going on whether the economy is working well for the generality of Nigerians. For so long, Nigeria has focused on the macroeconomics and microeconomics and has ignored welfare economics. Welfare economics is the branch of economics that deals with normative issues. Its purpose, unlike the others, is not to explain how the economy works, but to assess how well it works. Nigeria needs to revisit welfare economics to review and update our economic directions. Our renowned economists had, for reasons best known to them, ignored welfare economics that some highlighted during the debate that ushered the Structural Adjustment Programme in 1986. It is the reason why we have not realised that whatever we have had not worked well for most Nigerians. Consequently, the majority of the people, living in Nigeria, have found themselves, due to no fault of theirs, outside of the Nigerian economy, or at best on the periphery.
Nigeria has veered off the course charted by the country’s founding fathers. It was exhilarating to listen to arguments those days by the likes of Sam Aluko on the economy. Years had gone by when bold economists were never afraid to come out of the cupboard and challenge populist economic theories. The government’s action of relieving the likes of Ibrahim Ayagi of Continental Merchant Bank, and Oladele Olashore of First Bank, from their posts immediately after the SAP debate, because they opposed, at that time, the IMF’s neoliberal economics must have sent a negative signal to other economists. Today, economists have littered Nigeria’s landscape, but these are “Twinkle, twinkle little superstars” – graduates of faculties of social sciences of Ivy-League colleges. And, you wonder all these qualifications for what? It is time the country jettisoned the classroom stuff and reasoned out of the box. Why would those who should talk, hide in the closet? Where also are Nigeria’s graduates of the best world’s faculties of engineering? The Nigerian socio-economic woes are becoming insurmountable, and their solutions have graduated beyond the classroom environment. Our professors have mortgaged their souls for porridge.
To come out of this economic quagmire, Nigeria needs these so-called experts to commence debates on how to get the country out. COREN, for instance, needs to get out of their shells and, at least, come up with gadgets that will ease the way the lowly among us do menial tasks. For crying out loud, most of these fellows graduated with flying colours – at least on paper. The engineers do not need power, either electrical or political, to devise or design better ways of doing things better. In other countries, economists and engineers, in their separate fields and sometimes together, argue from both sides of schools of thought to forge a way forward. In Nigeria, all the so-called professionals and professors echo the same things and no innovative away of improving our lifestyle. Everybody waits for the government that is largely populated by the flotsam and the jetsam of our society; devoid of developmental arguments. Everyone considers it wise to conform to a familiar theme; afraid to differ. Nigeria’s economic growth, without delusions, is glossy painted and that is why it has not translated into jobs or joy. The country’s earnings are majorly from oil receipts (about 96 per cent) by foreign companies that operate 90 per cent on the other side of the Nigerian economy. Since the 70s, the Nigerian economy has been running on rents like the legendary “omo oni ile,” somewhat without real productivity. It is the reason many public holidays outside of oil production have not affected the economy.
That Nigeria needs to diversify its economy, sounds like a broken record, as if individual businesses are not diversified enough. We are bamboozled every day with economic and technical jargons that have not improved the living standards of Nigerians – both wealthy and poor. It is not that the rich live a real life, they are only able to afford what ordinary people in some countries have taken for granted; ours is an alternate lifestyle to the good life. The Nigerian economy has faltered long enough; electricity that the rest of humanity has taken for granted has become a puzzle and unattractive to investors. Every Nigerian knows how to produce electricity with over 60 million owning their generators; it is the production of electricity of better economies of scale (the commercial power) that has eluded us. To say there is nothing wrong with us in this country is to put it mildly. The madness is such that even the privileged amongst us still live below par when compared with the living standards of the less privileged in some sister countries – where you turn on any switch, there is always electricity; you open any tap, potable water runs always.
We are so busy trying to survive individually, and recently trying to tear the country apart, with little or no capacity left to nation-building. Those in positions of trust and responsibility often lace their decisions with personal interest. So, for many years in the country, we gleefully continue to panel-beat unworkable systems; mostly, only beneficial to a few individuals as against the majority. Marginalisation of the majority of us, irrespective of tribe or religion, has taken a backstage, while the elites want us to believe that it is the exclusion of our tribe that should take the centre stage.
Nigeria embraced the neoliberal economics, through the implementation of SAP, in June 1986, and consequently, that policy’s tripartite conditions of deregulation, privatisation and fiscal austerity were institutionalised. Contrary to expected results, the policy only attracted investors in the mercantile sector of the economy (stock trading, banking and general buying and selling), and before long everything consumed in the country has to be imported, including food. Meanwhile, longtime investors in the factory floor sector of the economy disinvested, or at best moved their production plants to storage and joined the bandwagon of importation of finished goods, including what they were set up to produce in Nigeria. The results are not farfetched, such as the decline in the aggregate requirements for power energy to manufacture finished goods, hence the unattractiveness of the power sector to potential investors. Another is the creation of national wealth; while the mercantile sector of the economy generates an enormous commission, there is little-added value to the wealth of Nigeria since most of the trading is local. There is also the issue of job creation for Nigeria’s teeming youths; the factory floor option (agriculture, manufacturing, education, and mining) creates more jobs than the mercantile sector. The agriculture and manufacturing sectors have faltered harshly as they struggle to have access to foreign exchange that is needed for raw materials, mechanised plants, and spares. The present initiative of encouraging farmers back to the farms therefore is a step in the right direction.

Restructuring Is Not Desirable – Col. Ajayi

A retired Colonel, Gabriel Ajayi has flayed those calling for the restructuring of the nation, saying, Nigerian should rather devolve less power to the central government, as the nation had restructured times without number.

Col. Ajayi stated this during an interview programme on the Osun State Broadcasting Corporation (OSBC) on Wednesday. According to him, while the rest of the world presently engage in developmental agenda, Nigeria is engrossed in religious polarisation, ethnic division, tribal sentiments and such others.

He added that after the independence, the country had metamorphosed into regions, then to states and creation of more states, saying restructuring in the real sense of it requires fundamental change in the economy of the country, so that the unity could be realised.
“The restructuring that Nigerians are asking for, is not painful but the manner and the way we are asking for it is suspicious.

The retired Army officer added that clamour for seccession and restructuring should not have arisen, if the country is good, as no one would like to opt out, but our leaders pretend and act arrogantly as if nothing had happen wrong with the polity.

He spoke further that rather than agitating for restructuring, the amount of money and resources that is concentrated in central should be less and the nation should fixed some of its deteriorated infrastructure and give everybody sense of belonging in the nation.
Speaking on the era of military rule and the democratically era in the nation, Col. Ajayi refused to admit that the long rule of the military rule was responsible for the comatose situation of the nation’s economy.

Tracing how the nation fare from independence till date, he condemned “the lackadaisical attitude of political class that took the mantle of leadership from the colonial master”, saying they did not see themselves equal with the generality of the people through their various policies and programme.

He added that the elected politicians in the state and national assemblies contributed in no small measure to the destruction of the nation.

He also stated that the collapse of the Nigeria currency and non productivity nature of the nation also added to the nation’s myriad of problem. Col. Ajayi said, “no amount of cohesion can put us together, except we deliberately reason together, get our house together with the perception that God has plan for the black race through Nigeria, the largest and populous black country in the world and that there is hope for our future”