Sunday, July 23, 2017


zoning, restructuring, federalism

I’m neither a politician nor an elder statesman. But I’m very curious about the word that has been on the lips of most Nigerians, especially the political class, for some weeks now. So, permit me to dabble a bit…

It has now become a popular rhetoric. There is so much talk about this buzz word; but talk is cheap…
According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, to restructure means to change the makeup, organization, or pattern of something… That is a simple definition that will work for me. However, add Nigeria to the ‘R’ word, and the context becomes complex, making it harder to define.

According to Atiku Abubakar (our former vice-president), Restructuring entails decentralization, devolution of power; and deconcentration of the country’s governance through a carefully architected decentralization reform programmes geared towards complete political and economic restructuring.
Also, the APC national Chiarman, Mr. Oyegun, joined the discussion. According to him, ''Restructuring” is the refinement of the institutional structures that undergird the workings of a system in order to either firm it up or prevent it from collapse, or make it more efficient and beneficial to those which the system ought to serve
That is some tongue-twisting verbiage from two eminent politicians. I may have to wrack my brain, and check the dictionary here and then…

What structure is Nigeria operating by?
I know it is supposed to be federalism in every sense of the word. It seems not to be the case, and this is driving the country into a state of chaos! Ideally, the country should have somewhat independent and constitutionally empowered federating units. According to Gbogun Gboro, a public affairs commentator, Each state should have the constitutional power to manage its unique problems and concerns, to develop its own resources for its people, to manage its own security, and to make its own kind of contributions to the well-being of the whole country. The central entity (or federal government) should manage common matters like the defense of the country, the relationship of the country with the rest of the world (or international relations), the country’s currency, the relations between the states of the country, and general principles like defense of human rights.

It appears the Federal government wields all the power and controls all the resources. Trust them, they’ll abuse it one way or another. The states seem powerless in terms of catering fully for the needs of the people in their constituents, talk more of contributing to the progress of Nigeria. These days, most state governments have been reduced to famished dependents who pester Aso rock regularly for monthly federal allocation. With so much money in the federal coffers, it is ironical that federal government is saying I don’t have money…  

The overwhelming majority of Nigerians, the true stakeholders of the national enterprise, feel that the nation does not serve them. It serves probably the microscopic few. Maybe, that’s why the cries for restructuring have become so loud. Think about it: Are the peoples marginalized because of lack of restructuring, or are they marginalized because of bad governance and corruption? 

...while you ponder about the answer, more questions emerge:

Are the federating units coexisting in the first place? Remember, there is bitter malice between Arewa group and IPOB youths in the backdrop of religious and ethnic sentiments. Let me believe that the tension between the north and south is easing up a bit… 

Will restructuring solve Nigeria’s perennial and peculiar problems like corruption

Is it our minds…our thinking… that need restructuring, after all?

Do we need restructuring?
The question is more important than the answer.
Addressing the issue of restructuring could spell the difference between making up Nigeria and breaking up Nigeria…

 Pause and reflect; and thank you for reading my post

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