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Calls for restructuring challenge President Tinubu for early action

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We regret voting for you, Northern Elders tell Tinubu

Less than a year into President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration, the call for restructuring of Nigeria has now re-surfaced, as Nigerians and different groups within and outside the country, are intensifying, the urgent need for it.

The general consensus from those, who have reopened the debate, is that, this is the right time for restructuring and Tinubu is the the hope of Nigerians to do justice to this agitation, which has been going on for decades, especially, since 1993, when Chief MKO Abiola, who won the presidential election, was denied the presidency.

It is also believed that restructuring is consequential to the validity of the Nigeria state, democracy, and a real lasting solution to sustain the unity of Nigeria.

Since the restructuring debate started, the arguments and the concern of different groups, associations and individuals, has been the shape, which it would take, as some believed it must contain power sharing, devolution of political and fiscal authority and resource control, at the state and local government levels.

This, it was argued, would reduce or put to rest the demands and constant conflicts for secession, which has been coming up because of what some people described, as lack of good governance, and lack of social and democratic developments across Nigeria, especially from the geopolitical zones, feeling being grossly marginalized.

As the debate of restructuring hots up again in the last three weeks, the general consensus is that if Nigeria wants to move forward, the present government of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, can’t wish this away, even, as the country is now boiling due to lack of adequate security of lives and properties, economic deprivation and lack of confidence in the central government, based on the the way Nigeria’s federation is presently constituted.

It was argued in many quarters, that why they believed in Tinubu for the restructuring of Nigeria, is the fact that he had been one of the people agitating for true federalism and devolution of power, which could only be achieved if Nigeria is restructured and they have no confidence in any other person to do this, than Tinubu.

They pointed out that he exhibited the traits while he was the governor of Lagos state, with the controversies that trailed the creation of the Local Council Development Area.

This action pitched him against former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who questioned his audacity in doing that. And Lagos State suffered for that bold initiative of Tinubu, as the governor then.

This singular act of Tinubu made him a hero and a brave man, who also went ahead during the same period in office, to create other agencies like LASTMA, KAI, Neigbourhood Watch, within the state. They are now operating independently without being funded by the Federal government.

This initiatives are now being emulated by all the states in the South West and even some states outside the region.

It was also said that his bravery made him to challenge the ways Valued Added Tax (VAT) was being collected and distributed, while his action has changed the whole system.

Although it is being debated in some circles that Tinubu may be dabbling into a dangerous path, as he may not have the muscle to restructure, because, others, before him, had tried without success. But those, who have confidence in his ability, say, he would do it as he is a man, who believes there should not be an obstacle on his way in delivering good governance, to alleviate the suffering of the people.

It was believed that Obasanjo, who reaped from the struggle, which Tinubu was part of in their NADECO days and who ought to have used that opportunity to restructure the country, did not do so due to the influence of some powerful clique in the North, who brought him to power.

Former President Goodluck Jonathan too, who was believed to have moved very close to doing so with his 2014 Constitutional Conference, which came up with recommendations that could have paved the way for restructuring, failed to achieved his mission on that.

The argument was that the conference came too late towards the tail end of his four years and that if he had won a second term, the lofty recommendations of the conference could have changed the system and may be, Nigeria by now, could have been enjoying true federation.

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President Muhammadu Buhari, who used the issue of restructuring to cajole Nigerians, especially the people from the southern parts, who were yearning for it, failed in his eight years to carry it out and he did not even talked about it till he left office, despite the fact that there were requests from different quarters that the recommendations of the 2014 Jonathan’s conference be implemented to make a change and difference in the ways he governed.

Lack of the will by the Buhari’s administration to restructure nearly plunged Nigeria into a serious disaster due to series of demand for self determinations by various ethnic groups in Nigeria.

It is argued that the issue of restructuring, can’t be ignored now, with tensions of insecurity all over Nigeria as the people in the South and the Middle Belt Regions are determined to ensure that the man, who understands what it means to the unity of Nigeria, is at the helms of affairs.

Apart from the joint deliberations of the leaders from the South West, South East, Niger Delta and the Middle Belt, which hammered on the need to restructure, other individuals and groups are on the same page with them.

Also the leader of the Niger Delta Region. Chief Edwin Clark, and that of the Middle Belt, Dr. Pogu Bitrus during their recent separate meetings with their people, spoke in the same vein, that the unity of Nigeria is only sustainable through restructuring.

Again, both the Afenifere, Renewal Group (ARG) led by Wale Oshun and the main core Afenifere, led by Pa Rubean Fasoranti, as well as, the Council of Yoruba Elders, rose from their separate meetings last week, calling on President Tinubu to look into the issue of restructuring, to pave the way for true federalism.

In its latest deliberation at the Ijapo Akure home of its leader, Pa Fasoranti, the core Afenifere, in a statement issued after the meeting by its National Publicity Secretary, Jare Ajayi, the organisation, “reiterated its call for an urgent need to rework the security architecture of the country to ensure that Nigerians can live and move about without fear of being kidnapped or harassed

Reinforcing its call for the restructuring of the country, Afenifere urged President Bola Tinubu to set the machinery in motion for the development of the zones.
Also talking about the present situation in Nigeria, Professor of Law, Itse Sagay (SAN) and Chief Niyi Akintola (SAN) a formost legal luminary, both asked President Tinubu to restructure Nigeria now, for the benefit of the people, the sustainability of democracy, unity and economic growth of Nigeria.

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In his own recent outburst, Primate Elijah Ayodele, leader of INRI, Evangelical Spiritual Church, advised President Tinubu, to heed the calls for the restructuring of Nigeria.

He Said, “there is an error in the country and it has to be corrected through restructuring. All I have said will be happening one after the other, whether the government likes it or not, if there is no restructuring. If the government listens to this crucial advice, it will help the government.”

“Restructuring is crucial for the government as it holds the potential to address the issue of insecurity effectively. By implementing necessary changes, the government can alleviate economic hardships, making significant progress. It is imperative for the government to prioritize and actively engage in the process of restructuring.”

All he would need to do, according political analysts, is just to dust up several reports of some of the constitutional conferences that have been held, particularly, that of the 2014, convened by former President GoodLuck Jonathan, said to be the most acceptable to all sections and Nationalities in Nigeria.

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