Published On: Wed, Dec 13th, 2017

I fear Nigeria might break up- Awolowo-Dosunmu


By Obinna Ezugwu

Dr. Awolowo-Dosunmu

Daughter of late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Dr. (Mrs) Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu has expressed deep concerns about the survival of Nigeria, noting that the country may likely disintegrate if not restructured.

“I don’t even want to imagine it (Nigeria not being restructured) because we have come to a breaking point,” a visibly worried Dr.  Awolowo-Dosunmu reiterates as we sat with her at their Ikene country home in Ogun State. “My worst fear is that this country would be dismembered, and we would become a country where you have pockets of warlords within such a vast area.”

A former Ambassador to Holland, Awolowo-Dosunmu has been at the forefront of the campaign for restructuring. She insists it is the only thing that can save the country from collapse.

“The refugee situation would be unbearable. In fact, life would just be unbearable. Those are my very worst fears, but I’m confident that we won’t let ourselves degenerate to that level. But obviously the level of anger, pure anger that is building is worrisome, and like I said before, things won’t have degenerated to this level if things were going well, if people had jobs to do.”

Not everyone has shared this view nonetheless. There are those who insist that what the country needed was good leadership and even if restructured, the country would still have challenges if the leadership is not gotten right. But she maintained that such argument is flawed.

“When you have those smaller units like the zones and they have the powers, and the people know that this is where our solution lies, it would be much easier for us to call our leaders to order under that kind of arrangement,” she argues. “It would be easier for us to insist on accountability. Right now, because of this unitary system, we have a coalition of people who think differently from what we want. And we are all screaming but they are not hearing us.

“But if we have a bad leader in the South West for example, or a crop of bad leaders, and we know that these are the ones that we can hold accountable for our suffering, then you know how it would be. Nigerians are not stupid, it is simply because power is so far away from them and they appear helpless. That’s why it looks as if they cannot do anything.”

There has been a bit of controversy over what to restructure actually means. In arguing against restructuring, some of its opponents have maintained that the country has already undergone restructuring. In fact, President Muhammadu Buhari had when signing a recent local government autonomy bill into law, said it was part of restructuring. But for the former diplomat, there shouldn’t be any confusion about what restructuring entails.

“When we say restructuring, we are saying we want to go back to the federal system of government which we had before independence, at independence and after independence until 1966. The components of federalism are very simple; first of all, a federal structure recognises the constituent units as equal partners to the central government. You also hear about devolution of power, resource control, and so on… these are elements of federalism, it comes as a package,” she explains.

“When you talk about federalism, all those elements have to be present. If we say we are practicing federalism right now, but there is no resource control, there are not enough powers guaranteed to the constituent units to work and to deliver to the people, then you don’t have federalism, which is why we talk about true federalism. Strictly speaking, there is nothing like true federalism or untrue federalism, once you have a federal structure, it has to contain in it devolution of power.

“In order words, the constitution empowers the administrators of the constituent units to do certain things and to deliver, truly, to the people. And in order to do that, they need the funds, so there need to be resource control. Before 1966, each of the regions had its own constitution; they were able to retain a significant portion of the resources they generated in their areas. Constitution guaranteed them the powers to do so much. What I’m saying in essence is that a federal system must devolve power to the constituent units and must guarantee resource control. The federal government in those days had duties of foreign affairs, defence, ports, railways and few others, but everything else was administered from and within the constituent units which were the regions at the time.

“People also talk about what will be the constituent units this time, but those are matters of details. I think we all recognise that there are six zones now, and a lot of things are done on the zonal structure. For us in the South West, the region works best for us. You notice that all the governors have spoken about it, and they have opted that the zones should be the constituent units. Our own realities may be different from those in other zones, these are details that we need to talk about in order to accommodate the peculiarities of different zones.”


© 2017, Hallmarknews. All rights reserved. Reference and link to this site is required if you wish to reuse any article.

Reactions from Facebook

comments and opinions

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Most Shared

Recent posts

  • China offshore oil coy to invest $3bn in Nigeria

    The China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) is to invest an additional three billion dollars in its existing stakes in offshore oil and gas operations in Nigeria. Mr Ndu Ughamadu, the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) spokesman said this in a statement on Sunday in Abuja. Ughamadu said Mr Yuan Guangyu, the Chief Executive Officer […]

  • Ecobank risk assets deteriorate as Kie bows out

    By FELIX OLOYEDE The exit of Ecobank Nigeria’s erstwhile Managing Director, Charles Kie, has raised a groundswell of speculation in the financial community as sector analysts believe that his exit was abrupt, untimely and suspicious. Over a period of two years, Kie had succeeded in reversing the banks bedraggled balance sheet and profit and loss […]

  • Blood, blood everywhere: Herdsmen, rustlers on the rampage

    –  Violence, a well-articulated plot to grab land – Expert  By AYOOLA OLAOLUWA Nigeria is gradually descending into a Hobbesian state with the growing killings in the Middle Belt, in addition to the destruction of lives and properties in the North West and Boko Haram insurgency in the North East. Defenseless citizens are being killed like […]

  • 2018 budget in jeopardy

    . Delay alone has reduced performance by 13% – Experts By UCHE CHRIS In all likelihood the 2018 budget will end like the three previous budgets of the President Buhari administration: a failure. Having been passed seven months after its presentation and half year gone; and with all the controversies surrounding its passage by the […]

  • MTN to miss market listing target

    By OKEY ONYENWEAKU A weak domestic economy in Nigeria may force telecommunications giant MTN to shift its earlier proposed August 2018 date for a local listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). Analysts believe that the date shift will allow the parties to the Offer plan a more successful listing arrangement that would guaranty full […]

  • APC crises widen: Amaechi battles for relevance, Modu-Sheriff is new strongman

    By OBINNA EZUGWU Key actors in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) managed to keep up appearance to allow for a smooth transition at the party’s recently held national convention. Except for the exchange of blows among Imo and Delta States delegates, the convention was largely a success. But beneath the facade of orderliness, tensions […]

  • INEC declares Fayemi governor-elect in Ekiti

    The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared Kayode Fayemi of the All Progressive Congress (APC) winner of the Ekiti Governorship Election held on Saturday. INEC’s Chief Returning Officer for the election, Professor Idowu Olayinka declared the result on Sunday. According to the Returning Officer, Kayode got 197,459 votes to defeat the Deputy Governor of […]

  • President Muhammadu Buhari said on Wednesday that Nigeria will soon sign up to a $3 trillion African free-trade agreement. Nigeria is one of Africa’s two largest economies, the other being South Africa. Buhari’s government had refused to join a continental free-trade zone established in March, on the grounds that it wishes to defend its own […]

  • PDP meets Obasanjo for advice on how to beat Buhari in 2019 polls

    The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) will meet with former President Olusegun Obasanjo in Abeokuta on Saturday to seek advice on how to achieve victory in the 2019 polls and beat incumbent Muhammadu Buhari. The National Chairman of PDP, Uche Secondus, made this known in Abeokuta while addressing journalists after a […]

  • GTBank Launches Social Impact Challenge, Aims to Fund Community Development Projects Nationwide

    Following more than two decades of consistent investment in community development, Guaranty Trust Bank plc is taking its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) another step further by launching a Social Impact Challenge that will fund dozens of innovative ideas designed and executed by members of the general public. Tagged #SimpleChangeBigImpact, the Social Impact Challenge invites individuals […]

  • Akpobome gives indigent girls educational lifeline

    Akpobome gives indigent girl The hope of indigent girls who have been struggling with their education has been rekindled as Mrs. Mary Akpobome, former executive director, Heritage Bank and her husband,  Mr. Atunyota Akpobome, fondly called Alli-Baba have jointly floated The Purple Girl Foundation with the purpose  of helping them live their dreams. Giving reasons […]

  • Buhari’s NLNG signature project back on track

    President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated the board, management, staff and shareholders of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas company (NLNG), the NNPC and other Joint Venture partners, Shell, Total and AGIP on the signing of the contracts for the Front End Engineering Design (FFED) of Train 7 of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Project. The President […]

  • Buhari creates unit to snoop on illegal money transfers

    President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit bill (NFIU) 2018 into law, creating a body that will henceforth monitor illegal money transfers and money laundering. The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Sen. Ita Enang, confirmed this development while briefing State House correspondents in Abuja on Wednesday. […]

  • NCC wades into MTN’s labour issues

    The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Monday said the organisation has opened talks with critical stakeholders on MTN’s labour issues. Mr Tony Ojobo, NCC’s Director of Public Affairs, made this known in a statement by in Abuja. “NCC under the leadership of Prof. Umar Danbatta has opened talks with other critical stakeholders  through the office of […]

  • Weak purchasing power responsible for slowing inflation rate, says Chukwu

    FELIX OLOYEDE The continuous decelerating inflation rate in the country was largely due to weak purchasing power amongst Nigerians, said Johnson Chukwu, Managing Director, Cowry Asset Management Ltd. Speaking on the theme: “Economy: H1 2018 review and prospect for year end” at the second edition of the Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa (BMIA) Cohort 4 quarterly […]

  • Global outrage grows over incessant herdsmen killings

    …there is anarchy in the land – Utomi   By OBINNA EZUGWU The incessant killings in Nigeria by Fulani herdsmen seem to attracting more global attention as U.S. and U.K. have taken the government to task to stop it. During his recent visit to the U.S. by President Buhari, American President Donald had expressed concern […]