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More Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) and economic pundits have continued to raise issues on the impending danger of destabilization if the structure of the Nigerian federation and by extension is not immediately reformed.
The latest version of the appeals for the restructuring of the federation for the interest of the economy came from no other person than former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar who was a guest speaker at the unveiling of a new national daily, Daily Stream in Abuja recently.
According to him, Nigeria is facing a grim situation that is destroying the tribal and political crevices and the situation has started causing serious economic hardship due to poor trust and faith in government.
Raising issues on the theme: “The challenge of unity, diversity and national development: Nigeria at a crossroads,” he said “The structure of Nigeria’s federation and governance constituted an impediment to its economic development, political stability and social harmony”.
“Changing them would help to place our country on a path to phenomenal and unhindered development. To persist in what we are doing now is to do injustice to ourselves and jeopardise our future. We should endeavour to effect the needed changes by talking among ourselves and across our various divides – engaging in meaningful dialogue.”
According to him, “Unity, diversity and national development are among Nigeria’s greatest challenges. Unity has been a scarce commodity among our country’s diverse peoples and communities, as a consequence of the way and manner the country was put together by British colonial authorities and our collective failure as a people to create a true and viable nation out of the union.
“This has become a major source of disquiet, anxiety and frustration and a veritable obstacle to national development.”
Atiku pointed out that disagreements and controversies over the best political structure to be adopted, size and responsibility of government, the nature of relationship between and among component units, the type and system of government, as well as how resources available in and accruing to the country should be allocated have continued unabated.
“Those controversies have sometimes threatened the very existence of the country. A huge pall of pessimism hangs over a section of the citizenry, and the ranks of those who harbour real doubt about the future of the country swell by the day.”
In his further submission, the former Comptroller General of Nigerian Customs said “The country is truly at a crossroads, and things are made worse by the cocktail of economic, social, political and problems which we have had to contend with, and which add to the abysmally low estimation of our country even by its own citizens.”
However, Atiku proffered solution saying “To retake our position in Africa and beyond, we must elevate and steer conversation away from empty rhetoric and platitudes. We must instigate and see to the full and faithful implementation of profound changes in the political structure, organisation, functions and performance of state, and a radical re-organization of government, its organs and personnel.”