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Restructuring: Viable path to tread: Politics : Nigerialog.com - Nigeria's Premier Online Forum

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Restructuring: Viable path to tread

By: dayan (M) |Time : December 10, 2020, 03:38:20 AM
Femi Adeoti

We are coasting nearer home. We are striving hard to the reality of our existence. We are beginning to wake up from our deep slumber.

Pray it is not too late; the damage is not far-gone. And the monster-barrier has been identified. That is a big plus. And we are moving to its being removed.

Though slowly, with determination, we will surely get there. We only need to be steady in our resolve. That is if we permit it. The ultimate choice is ours.

Good reasons are prevailing. Common sense is gradually creeping in. We are realising our past follies and ignorance. And perhaps, we want to make genuine amends.

We have fumbled and stumbled in time past. Very costly mistakes made; huge errors committed even against and among ourselves. The narratives are changing.

We are turning things around for the good reason. A leaf is the making. Strangely enough, these are happening across the “great divide.” We are beginning to do things the right way. We are summoning all the courage in us; facing the obstacles squarely.

Do we really have a viable choice? So, this mountain must be removed now. It is a thing of great joy to behold our new doggedness.

Mind you, we dare not take things for granted. This is not the time to risk that. Heavens are definitely smiling on us. We should not mess this golden chance up.

Our ugly past must not be allowed to hunt and hurt us endlessly. We carelessly did that several times over in the past. And we had ourselves to blame. Call this newfound grace a divine intervention. You are on spot!

The business of restructuring has become a very serious business in Nigeria. It is our cross and we have got to carry it. The earlier we accept this the better for us all.

It seems the All Progressives Congress (APC) pretends to understand this. Its South West leaders aptly demonstrated this much recently. In their wisdom, they constituted a four-man panel. It is by no means a formidable team. It has some of its best brains. The list is intimidating.

Those who made the list: Chief Bisi Akande, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, Dr Yomi Finnih and Prince Tajudeen Olusi. The personalities are daunting. Akande, former Osun State governor, obviously heads the committee.

He had also held sway as the first interim APC chairman. Even before then way back to the Second Republic (1979-1983), he was Secretary to Government, old Oyo State. That was under Chief Bola Ige as governor. He later became his deputy at the tail end of his tenure.

Osoba is a veteran journalist, a reputable one. He also made his mark as a two-time Ogun State governor. His footprints are indelible. Olusi is a party elder in Lagos State. He was at different times a federal legislator and commissioner. Finnih, a distinguished medical practitioner is a leader of the party in Lagos.

These are the eminent characters that took the restructuring struggle to Aso Rock. Are you still in doubt that restructuring is a serious business?

They confronted President Muhammadu Buhari with facts and figures. They strived hard to convince and win him over. They told him the undisputed reality on ground.

They had the El-Rufai committee report to fall on. It was set up by the APC itself. They opened the report to Buhari. Their candid belief: “That the implementation of the report will douse the tension that has enveloped the country and chart the path to restructuring.

“The report has to do with the future survival of the country and represents the clamour for the redress of the defective principle, the unitary structure that is masquerading as federalism.”

The Akande team subtly reminded President: “The report had been considered and approved by the APC caucus and NEC.” They stoutly stood their ground: “There should be no further delay on its implementation. The party rolled out campaign promises that revolved around restructuring and decentralisation of power to foster true federalism.”

No more delay. They urged Buhari to forward the report to the National Assembly: “It would aid the lawmakers in their consideration in the course of constitution review.”

The Akande team is a complete break from the past. We heartily welcome this pleasant turnaround. APC leaders had differently denied believing in restructuring; particularly those from the South West. They ridiculously feigned ignorance of restructuring and what it entails.

Some of them even vowed they never promised us restructuring. We were sad when we heard such utterances. We became sick and downcast. What have become of some of the so-called notable South West APC leaders? We wondered aloud then.

That is why we careless though this change of heart is coming a bit late. It is almost getting out of hand. All the same, it is better late than never.

Akande & CO is just following the footsteps of elder statesman, Chief Olu Falaye. He is never ambiguous in his ardent belief in restructuring. You would love his bluntness, frankness and openness:

“What we mean by restructuring is going back to the independence constitution, which our leaders negotiated with the British between 1957 and 1959. It was on that basis that the three regions agreed to go to independence as one united country.

“It was a negotiated constitution. This is because, if the three regions were not able to agree, there would not have been one united independent Nigeria. When the military came in 1966 and threw away the constitution, they threw away the negotiated agreement among the three regions, which was the foundation of a united Nigeria.

“Let us go back substantially to that constitution which gave considerable autonomy to the regions.” He was clear in his mind: “For example, each region at that time collected its revenue and contributed the agreed proportion to the centre. But when the military came, they turned it round and took everything to the centre. That could not have been accepted by Ahmadu Bello, Nnamdi Azikiwe or Obafemi Awolowo.”

He was as emphatic as never before: “This constitution we are using was made by the late Gen Sani Abacha, Gen Abdulsalam Abubakar and the military; and (Abacha and those who drafted this 1999 fraud) came from only one part of Nigeria.

“He wrote a constitution that favoured his own part of Nigeria. That is why I am saying, let us restructure and go back to what all of us agreed before.”

So, what are we waiting for? Let’s boldly seize the bull by the horns. It’s a collective responsibility. Let’s go restructuring, the viable way to go. And we will never regret we did.

Source

Re: Restructuring: Viable path to tread

By: dayan (M) |Time : December 10, 2020, 03:58:31 AM
Quote
“What we mean by restructuring is going back to the independence constitution, which our leaders negotiated with the British between 1957 and 1959. It was on that basis that the three regions agreed to go to independence as one united country.

“It was a negotiated constitution. This is because, if the three regions were not able to agree, there would not have been one united independent Nigeria. When the military came in 1966 and threw away the constitution, they threw away the negotiated agreement among the three regions, which was the foundation of a united Nigeria.

“Let us go back substantially to that constitution which gave considerable autonomy to the regions.”

Going back to the NEGOTIATED independence constitution is the BEST possible option for Nigeria for many reasons.

Firstly, it was negotiated over a ten year period, and covered EVERY issue and concern.

Secondly, restructuring into REGIONS as federating units would ensure viability for each region/federating unit, and peace for the whole Nigeria, and also ensure less friction between two "federating units". Viable federating units are building blocks for constructing a strong and viable Nigeria country.

Per the regional structure of the independence constitution, an argument that can be made successfully against making current Nigerian states the federating units is that Nigerians are very funny and petty, as 50 years of history has demonstrated.

Take for example when ex governor T.A. Orji of Abia state retrenched state workers who were not Abia indigenes, never mind that a lot of them come from nearby Eastern states! Imagine such pettiness when there are no regional control of states! In fact, Nigerians are so petty and funny that there can even be a mini-war between state police formations at the state boundaries!

Akwa Ibom and Cross rivers went to a bitter and lengthy court process to settle ownership of some oil fields. Rivers and Bayelsa also dragged some oil wells. Now, imagine state police formations of different states getting involved!

But if there are regional police formations, they can simply step in to restore law and order between "states", while federal police handles inter-regional conflicts and crimes etc.

I guess that Nigerians are getting closer and closer to the truth about how the country should be structured.

But come o ... why hasn't Nigerians seriously looked at the independence constitution all these while?

It remains the only constitution that was THOROUGHLY negotiated under international supervision.
The rest of subsequent "constitutions" have been local Fulani schemes which have clearly failed.

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