February 27, 2024

7am yesterday 1st of January, 2018, the President of the federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari while addressing the nation shed a bomb that unraveled the true intent of his administration towards the most sensitive national issue – Restructuring. According to the President, Nigeria’s problem is more to the process and not structure.

Unimaginably worrisome it is, that despite the perceived image of the President by so many Nigerians as a true Nigerian who for no reason would compromise the interest of the nation out of ethnic chauvinism or egotistical reasons, especially, as a man whose first address to the country, following his victory in the 2015 presidential election paraded him as a nationalistic leader devoid of all sentiments. Mr. NIGERIA, would at this point in time, deny the lucid truth of the direly needed restructuring of the country.

At this juncture, I find it worrisome that our President does not understand that the present structure of Nigeria is more of unitary than federal which Nigeria professes to be operating. The exclusive list bearing most of the functions and jurisdictions that in the true sense of federalism should be left to the federating units, absence of state police, central planning, annexing and controlling of the economy, and non-devolution of power which were the features of the 1999 constitution authored by the military are more of unitary features than federal.

So worrisome, that His Excellency does not understand or pretend not to understand that major national challenges such as Corruption, terrorism, mono-economy, ethnic cleansing, and overall underdevelopment of the components and entities that sum up Nigeria is caused by the current structure, as it is configured in a way that “robs Peter to pay Paul”.

It is equally worrisome that the President’s gesture to the issue of restructuring is a clear betrayal of the confidence and mandate cheerfully bestowed on him by the generality of Nigerians without reservation, as his actions lend credence to the allegations perpetually levied against him as a Fulani apologist who would go to the extreme to satisfy his Fulani interest at the detriment of other ethnic groups. This is so because it is clear that several years of Hausa/Fulani military leadership, especially, the regime of Abacha and later Abubakar which authored the constitution arrogated much power to the North at the expense of other regions of the country. And this interest, PMB continuously serves with his conspicuous unwillingness to pave way for restructuring.

No wonder that despite convincing testimonies of the potentialities of a true federalism all around the world to propel development, the current dispensation seems not interested in keying into this advantageous adventure, but rather sacrifice the general interest of the country to service a secluded inordinate interest of a section of the country where the helmsman belong. Obvious than ever that the North, like most people have alleged, is afraid of restructuring.

However, the President should by now be aware that the issue of restructuring is but a necessity, which the right thinking Nigerians would not sacrifice, not for any reason. As a crop will be victimized, no matter how strong it is, by unfertile land, and also, a house cannot soundly stand on an improper foundation, so also, will a country not thrive on a poor structure. Suffice to say that Nigeria cannot attain her dream of a peaceful, progressive and developed nation without addressing her problem of poor and unbefitting structure.

This is therefore a call on the President to desist from cajoling Nigerians as the genuine truth of the matter has been unraveled. Nigerians of this century are too smart to be deceived by a cartel of solipsistic men disguising as genuine nationalists and advocates of incorrupt, equitable and justice oriented leadership for Nigeria. In the interest of peace, unity and overall development of the country, the President and other stakeholders are enjoined to support the conditioning for restructuring the Nigerian polity. This is of more good than harm, it’s the best the Buhari’s administration could do for Nigerians, to keep its name on the good side of history.

I join the conglomerate of Nigerians in saying that the Restructuring question is but a determining force in who becomes the next president of Nigeria come 2019, as the nation under no circumstance will vote no leader who would not identify with the genuine demand of the masses. The masses have come to the understanding, that for undue pressure to be subdued and subsided in the country, Nigeria must be restructured. At least, to address the question of marginalization and overzealousness which has been the contending issue, breeding crises and cessation threats among the components of Nigeria. I believe in a peaceful Nigeria, I believe in true federalism, I believe in a restructured Nigeria.

 

Abubakar Abdulbasit Olokuta

January 2nd, 2018

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