‘Why Restructuring Is Inevitable’
POLITICS DIGEST – The Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Gani Adams, said it has become imperative to restructure Nigeria in the next three years; otherwise the future of the country would be in jeopardy.
Aare Adams made the remark in Lagos at the launching of “Roundtable Discussion on Economy and Restructuring in Nigeria”, a book by National Pilot Books, a a subsidiary of National Pilot Newspapers.
He said he was reluctant to speak about restructuring “because the prevailing view of our people, particularly those in the Diaspora, is that we have graduated beyond the restructuring we have been clamouring for since 1991 through Alao Aka-Bashorun to self-determination”.
He added: “If Nigeria is not restructured within the next three years, I suspect the future of this country would be in jeopardy. If we must restructure, it is better for us to borrow the contents of the Independence Constitution of 1960 and the Republican Constitution that our forefathers wrote in 1963, which gives room for federating units to be semi-autonomous, which gives room for regionalism, and which gives room for every federating unit to develop at its own pace.
“Nigeria has six federating units that were adopted at the constitutional conference organized by the Abacha regime in 1995 or 1996. The six zones can be made the federating units or regions. That is the minimum demand of the Yoruba nation.”
Adams said the Yoruba nation is prepared for negotiation because all politics are local and that there is no way Nigerians can achieve the unity of the country without taking cognizance of the interests of its constituent parts.
Prince Charles Akintoye, who represented the former Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) National Vice Chairman (Southwest), Chief Bode George, said there is a need for restructuring “because the structure we have now in Nigeria is totally not working and change is the only constant thing in life”.
Akintoye said a number of factors affected the current that necessitated a change. This, he said, includes population growth, neglect of agriculture and the over-reliance on oil revenue. “If we want to continue existing as a nation, we must restructure,” he added.
The Alara Oodaye of Ara Kingdom, Ife, Oba Adebisi Layode, who stood in for the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, said under the current structure things are skewed to favour a section of the country, to the detriment of the rest of the country.
He said Nigeria must re-introduce history into the curriculum of schools so that the youth will know their rights.
Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief, Billy Adedamola said the book is a product of a one-day roundtable discussion on the economy and restructuring. He said Nigeria has been going through a series of problems that border on the economy.
He added: “That is the bane of our national development. None of our leaders has been able to find a solution to the challenges bedevilling the country. As we speak, there is uncertainty about the unity and continued existence of Nigeria.”