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Prominent Nigerians fear further trouble with current structure

Prominent Nigerians have predicted further doom for Nigerians in the next few years, saying that the country may disintegrate if the Federal Government continues to ignore agitations for restructuring the country.

They spoke Wednesday at a book launch titled: ‘Roundtable Discussion on Economy and Restructuring in Nigeria’, published by an Ilorin-based tabloid, The National Pilot, held at the Sheraton Hotels, Ikeja.

They noted the Federal Government’s refusal to yield to the yearning of Nigerians tantamount postponing the evil day. They insisted that the current state of affairs in the country has made restructuring and a return to regionalism as practised in the first republic, inevitable.

In his contribution, the Oni of Ife, who was represented by Segun Layade, the Alara Oodaye of Ife, said restructuring has become inevitable and an overwhelming view of Nigerians at the moment considering the lopsided structure of the country .

“Restructuring has become inevitable, it is long overdue considering the state of things”, he said.

Ore Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Gani Adams said that the Yoruba nation has gone beyond restructuring, and is currently pressing for self-determination.

Adams maintained that the unfolding events in Yorubaland has made him reluctant to speak on restructuring, pointing out that the opinion of Yoruba people is that they have graduated from restructuring to self-determination.

According to him, “They can talk about skewed federalism but federalism is now. And even if Nigeria decides to restructure, we must have to borrow the content in our constitution in 1960 and 1963. How we started as Nigeria. We had a constitution before our independence.

“If we must restructure, we have to borrow the content of the constitution that presented Nigeria as a nation in 1960 and our republic constitution in 1963. It gave room for regionalism, allowing the federating units to thrive. It gave room to the federating units to develop at their own pace.

“We had six federating units that were agreed in the constitutional conference in 1995. The minimum demand from the Yoruba nation, if we must talk restructuring, is that the six regions must operate as federating units”.

He, however, said there could be room for negotiation, pointing out that the country must be sincere about restructuring.

“In war, we can prepare for negotiation, after war-war; you can now jaw-jaw on the negotiation table because politics is about the locality.

Also speaking, Olabode George, a former deputy national chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) blamed Nigeria’s economic crisis on the current structure of the country, adding that the current system was defective.

George, who was represented by a chieftain of the party in Lagos State, Remi Akintoye said the country must diversify the economy to survive.

Book reviewer, Aloysius Okolie, who is a professor of political science from the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), cautioned against equating restructuring with secession, saying that the refusal of the country to practice true federalism has affected its stability and given rise to current agitations for restructuring.

Earlier in his vote of thanks, editor-in-chief of The National Pilot, Billy Adedamola said the need to continually review Nigeria’s progress as a nation and harness solutions toward curing its multiple challenges necessitated the book.

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