Elder statesman and former governor of Old Anambra State, Chukwuemeka Ezeife, has reiterated the need for Nigeria to be restructured.
Speaking at a book launch “We Can’t All Be Wrong, Nigeria and the Restructuring Debate,” by Dr Ethelbert Okere, in Abuja, Ezeife said Nigeria would break if not restructured.
The elder statesman blamed past military governments for the current structural defects generating problems in the country.
He maintained that restructuring remains the only panacea to Nigeria’s problem of disunity, adding that the current structure, which confers undue advantage on certain regions, portends danger to the existence of Nigeria as a country.
According to Ezeife, “What we mean by restructuring is returning to a structure agreed by our founding fathers; a structure that worked and the World Bank commended Nigeria. We mean a structure which were responsibilities, where all the money used by the government came from the regions.
“The people monitored what the governors did with their money then. It is not about going to Abuja, to get federal revenues and spending them as they choose, without any supervision from anybody. We are talking about returning to a structure which vested powers on the regions as federating units.
“We must go back to that structure, do what we used to do then and things will begin to work again. Otherwise, we are just waiting for extinction of this country. I want to challenge all of us that believe that the amalgamation of this country in 1914 was a disaster.
“It is not true because God used the instrumentality of British imperialism to give Africa a rallying point and big brotherhood…”
“That is exactly God’s purpose for Nigeria. He made Nigeria the greatest concentration of blacks on the face of the earth. Have we imagined what these tiny ethnic groups in Nigeria would have done if we did not amalgamate? God gave us everything to achieve the assignment he gave us- planet, geophysical structure, no earthquakes, no volcano, no hurricanes, no typhoons and other tsunamis.
“Remember that the northern military created more states and local governments with all of them getting money from the federal government. We must understand why some people are unhappy. We must find a way of making them less unhappy but talking against restructuring is talking arrant nonsense.
“For instance, Lagos has 20 LGAs like Sokoto state at one time, but today Lagos still has 20 LGAs while Sokoto has 89 and all of them are getting money from the centre. It is the unfair advantages pile up on some groups of Nigerians by some region in uniform. We must therefore restructure to know where the problem is.
“The military which ruled Nigeria all these while ruined Nigeria. Restructuring means retracing our steps to see how we can make the country meet her mandate destiny and God’s intention and purpose for her. I don’t want Nigeria to break up but the only way to avoid that is through restructuring.”