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Why, how and when should Nigeria be restructured?

Prof Amin Zaigi

Nigeria was the creation of the British colonialists.

They subjugated different nationalities and forced them into an inglorious and incompatible marriage for the administrative convenience of the British.

The creation of states and local government areas was very uneven. While states like Kano, Katsina etc in the north have over 44 LGAs each, which feed fat on the federation account, the producers of the wealth are marginalised and squeezed, etc.

Today, there exists six geopolitical zones. Each of these can exist in a semi autonomous way. Paying taxes or remittances to the centre. This also includes control over police, armed forces etc.

State governors though called chief security officers of the states, cannot and do not even have control over the Commissioners of police in their states. So, Nigeria should be restructured today before it slides into full blown war.

Prof Amin Zaigi  (Lecturer)

 

Hon. Tilley Keghen

There have been growing agitations for restructuring of the country but my conviction is that, discussion on restructuring will not help except we first of all restructure our minds and the time is right now because some of the challenging issues at the national level still exist at the state and local government levels. For instance, in some states, it is not easy for some persons to win an election because of where they come from, the language they speak or their religious belief.

Take a look at how local government elections are conducted at the state level. Why is it difficult for an opposition party to win a chairmanship or councillorship seat in a state, despite the fact that the same party probably secured seats in the state assembly elections organized by a federal body? This shows that restructuring alone may not solve all the anomalies in the system.

Hon. Tilley Keghen (Politician)

 

 

Samuel Onche

Restructuring will bring greater accountability and transparency to governance, and as well devolve power and responsibility to the people. This will help evolve a better culture and quality of leadership and will also foster competitive development between the regions. Restructuring will cause a reduction in the costs of governance at both the centre and the regions.

Restructuring should not just be about the constitutional tweak, but about cultural revolutions. It should not just be based on reshuffling a few responsibilities or resources, but about disrupting the authoritarian politics which our democracy has inherited from its military and colonial rulers in the time past.

Given the reality of non performance and horrendous massacre in the communities across the country by armed herdsmen, Nigeria should be restructured in 2023, since it takes up to two years, to make any amendment in the constitution bill after it is passed.

Mr Samuel Onche (Car dealer)

 

Prof. Ihaji Ihaji

Restructuring, means different things to different people.

While some think restructuring is going back to the past where it was northern, western and southern regions, others think it is resource control.

We must understand what type of restructuring that is being clamoured for before we begin to advocate for same in the country. Most persons want restructuring for their selfish gains and the masses do not understand.

Nigerians do not need a restructuring but an attitude change where sectionalism and nepotism are not the order of the day.

The security challenges, the Fulani herdsmen crisis, corruption etc cannot be restructured. It is the mind of man that can bring a change in the system and that is what should be the focus.

How do you restructure Boko Haram or herdsmen crisis? Incidentally, all these security issues in the country are being sponsored and sustained by the man who in turn disguises to call for restructuring.

Prof. Ihaji O. Ihaji (Lecturer)

 

Hon. Teghtegh Tim

From my personal point of view, restructuring Nigeria is long overdue. The political structure of the country as presently obtained, has failed to deliver to our minimum expectations. The concentration of power at the centre makes a total mess of the federal system that we are supposed to be practicing. Power should be devolved to the federating units to make them truly functional, talking about true federalism.

States should be allowed total control of the resources in their respective areas and only pay taxes to the central government. That way, development can be engendered faster at the grassroots levels of our society.

Closely related to the aforementioned, is the issue of the control of security. I go wholly with state police. The present population density of our society cannot sustain the argument for a mono – Police force. The governors should be in control of the security architecture of their states to make for quick, effective response to security challenges.

Hon. Teghtegh Tim (Political analyst)

 

Rev’d Canon Simon Kpela

The country should be restructured because certain people are marginalized. It has become clear that Northerners are owners of this nation at the expense of many. Here in the Middle Belt, particularly the Benue province, we ensure food security for the whole nation and elsewhere in the Eastern part of the country, the Igbo supply the nation with technology yet, we are not recognized. The country seems to belong to a very few heinous cabal with all key positions given to Northerners who are Muslim faithful.

We should follow the tenets of the constitution that allows for devolution of powers to federating units. There is need for real federalism, if we had real federalism, there will be no agitations. Real federalism was what we had before 1966 when the regions had their own institutions. The issue of restructuring has been documented since the 2014 Abuja confab so, it should be implemented now without further delay.

Rev’d Canon Simon Kpelai (Cleric)

 

 

 

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