The Presidency has described the call for restructuring Nigeria, particularly from those who were in power for 16 years as suspicious. Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, stated this yesterday even as he said that the Muhammadu Buhari’s administration was not opposed to restructuring but is opposed to anything that will splinter the country.
Adesina spoke at the Change We Need Nigeria Initiative 8th Annual Lecture Series with the theme: Disintegration or Restructuring: Which Way Nigeria?
The presidential spokesman who described the theme of the lecture as timely, said restructuring doesn’t necessarily need to be accompanied with disintegration, noted that Nigeria has always restructured but has never led to the country falling apart.
Adesina said, “In the history of Nigeria there was a time where the various people and communities lived in this space that is today called Nigeria. And then the colonial masters came, formed what is called the northern protectorate, southern protectorate, that was restructuring of what has subsisted. And then in 1914 precisely, the northern and southern protectorates, were amalgamated into one country, that was another restructuring. Did it come with any saber-rattling or did it send the country into tailspin, no? And then we we got to a point that we had regionalism in the country, the regions were formed and we begin to grow, that was another restructuring, it happened almost naturally and each region began to work on its own pace.
“We will get to where we are going on restructuring and Nigeria remains one united indivisible entity. That is my thought. And from the first paper I have heard I know this issue will be dissected properly today and at the end we will come up with something that is pragmatic, something that is not emotive, something that is not knee jack, something that can take this issue and clamour for restructuring forward.”
But in his response, Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu who was represented by his Chief Press Secretary, Godwin Adindu, disagreed that restructuring was an opposition thing. He said, “restructuring is not an opposition thing, it is what we all need so that we can move the nation forward. Restructuring is not the demand of the opposition.”
The Afenifere spokesman, Yinka Odumakin, also disagreed with Adesina that restructuring was an opposition thing. He insisted that Nigeria’s unity is negotiable warning that those kicking against it risk disintegration.
He said, “The unity of Nigeria can be negotiated. It is fallacy to say it can’t be negotiated. By restructuring we are saying Nigeria should move from money sharing economy to a productive economy. If we refuse to take this national course, I’m sorry to say time is running out of Nigeria.
“Let us restructure Nigeria now, return to the Nigeria our founding fathers initiated. Our best is in the past. Let us join hands to build a Nigeria that we will all be proud of.”
The guest lecturer, Dr. Cosmas Ilechukwu, said restructuring will be good for Nigeria. He said, “By restructuring I mean a reorganization of the governance structures of Nigeria to make it a more viable and more prosperous nation where the different nationalities will proudly call a home.
Any construct that will occasion greater efficiency and economic viability will be okay. The six regional structures that seem to have gained reasonable mileage among a large segment of our population should be constitutionalized. I will support the call for a six-regional arrangement with some minor readjustments.”