By Olajide Idowu/ Lydia Ngwakwe
Gov. Rauf Aregbesola of Osun and some Nigerians have called for restructuring of Nigeria as the only way to survive running a federalism.
Aregbesola made this call while speaking at the 24th anniversary celebration the annulled June 12, 1993 election of Chief MKO Abiola in Osogbo.
In Lagos some prominent citizens also advised the Federal Government to set necessary machinery in motion to restructure Nigeria on the principle of pluralism and true federalism.
“It is time Nigeria gets restructured in line with the federal system of government being operated in India,’’ Aregbesola said.
He said in India, states were created based on people who spoke the same language and had same cultural values.
“If Nigeria is pursuing “good unity’’, we need to restructure, just like in India; Nigeria’s democracy is a dictatorship of indebtedness.’’
He said that Nigeria should return to a parliamentary system of government if the country did not want to die of indebtedness.
He said that the federal system of government that operates 36 states could not work in the face of the economic realities, adding that the country’s revenue could not manage the system of government it operated.
He suggested that the number of states in the country be pruned to six based on the geo-political zones and each state should have a president elected to serve a single term of six years.
Dr Chiedozie Okoro, the Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Lagos, also advised the Federal Government to set necessary machinery in motion to restructure Nigeria on the principle of pluralism and true federalism.
Okoro made the call in a paper delivered on Monday in Lagos to mark the 24th anniversary of June 12, 1993 presidential election.
He said that the country could be divided into political-economic zones, bearing in mind of the ethnic and religious differences in enhancing cultural identity.
The event, which was organised by the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) in Ogba, Lagos, had as its theme; “MKO: A Symbol of Freedom in the History of Nigerian Democracy’’.
“We need restructuring on the principle of pluralism like what operates in Switzerland which operates the pluralistic system of governance through the collegiate arrangement.
“The country needs to recognise the ethnic nationality in Nigeria; the country can be restructured on the basis of zones.
“Among the six-geo-political zones, we should do a rotational presidency of five years a term and to be rotated among the zones that will comprise the restructured Nigeria,’’ Okoro said.
Chief Gani Adams, the National Coordinator of OPC said that for there to be equity, fair play and justice, there was the need for a restructuring.
“Nigeria is still far from the Promised Land; for a country of so many ethnic nationalities, all yearning for growth and development at their own way, true federalism is the answer.
“We shall continue to drum it into the ears of relevant authorities that no nation can develop optimally when the socio-economic and political activities are lopsided,’’ Adams said.
Similarly, Dr Orji Kalu, a former Governor of Abia, urged the Federal Government to always respect and obey the rule of law at all times.
“Nigeria is in need of healing and in need of rightful democratic ethos; we might be different in tongues, religion and beliefs but not different in laws.
“Laws should be for every citizen irrespective of who you are or the position you have attained.
“The unity of Nigeria should not be questioned; what will unite us as a country is when the masses know that the elites have a common belief and as a result, the masses suffer,’’ he said.
Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin, the President, Women Arise for Change Initiative, also called for restructuring of the country for a better federation.
“Nigeria should be restructured; what has been pulling us back and down is because we have refused to restructure the country,’’ she said.