22 November 2017
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, is angered by those linking the call for the restructuring of the country to the 2019 general elections, saying Nigeria and the issues being canvassed are bigger and more important than one election cycle.
Atiku expressed his displeasure on Tuesday at the unveiling and public presentation of a book titled: ‘We Can’t All be Wrong (Nigeria and the Restructuring Debate),’ written by Ethelbert Okere.
Speaking on behalf of the former Vice President, Mr. Oladimeji Fabiyi, stressed that Nigeria should not wait for oil to become insignificant before the country is repositioned.
His words: “There is an aspect of restructuring debate that I find both amusing and disturbing at the same time. That is, the feeling of some that it is about winning or losing a debate or about power play.
“When you hear some speak, they sound as though they are saying I am in power so you can say whatever you like and I won’t accept your position.
“Some have even linked the restructuring debate to the 2019 elections. That is very unfortunate. Our country and the issue being canvassed in the restructuring debate are bigger and more important than one election cycle.”
The former vice president went on to highlight three reasons why he supports restructuring: “It will help to devolve powers to state governments, allowing the federal government to focus on a few nationally critical areas. This will then reduce the focus on the federal government and federal power. It will bring us more in line with federal systems that actually work well. And it will result in greater sense of justice, and peace and unity
“Restructuring will result in financially more viable federating units (stars or zones), with greater autonomy which will allow them to develop at their own pace, address peculiar local issues, and unleash their potential, thus helping the country to reach its potential. Competitive federalism or healthy competition among our federating units will return to our polity.
“It will help to reposition the country economically as oil loses significance as an energy source for the world and the revenue source for our country. Our current structure has been sustained by oil revenues. We can’t afford to wait till oil become insignificant before we reposition our country,” Atiku added.