Nigeria could end up like Somalia if we fail to restructure – Victor Attah
Former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Victor Attah, has warned that Nigeria could end up like fractious, war-torn Somalia, if the nation failed to restructure to achieve true federalism, stressing that time is running out on the country.
Attah gave this warning in Abuja on Wednesday in an interview with reporters, during the conferment of the award of the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star by the Emperor of Japan bestowed on former Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma in recognition of his ceaseless efforts in promoting trade and investment between Japan and Nigeria.
Attah blamed the insecurity ravaging the country on the lack of a proper system of governance adding that Nigeria abandoned the path of federalism agreed upon at independence and deviated into a unitary system that has failed. “We started this nation as a federal assembly of various regions, every region was at a very large extent autonomous and ensured that security was maintained and then suddenly we changed it to a unitary system. So that is the problem,” he said.
The former governor, who presided over Akwa Ibom between 1999 and 2007, noted that it had become necessary for the nation to restructure in the face of the myriad of problems ravaging the nation.
“We must restructure this country back to a federal system otherwise we are going to end up with a lot of problems. In fact, I move on to say that there will be no Nigeria even to restructure if we don’t do it quickly,” he said.
Attah also praised the launch of the Western Nigeria Security Network code named ‘Amotekun,’ stressing that it is a sign that when the time for an idea has come and one tries to resist it, the idea will manifest itself.
“Amotekun is the beginning of restructuring and it will continue. Nigerians, better take warning and do it constitutionally and properly otherwise it will be total havoc and we can end up like Somalia,” he again warned.
Speaking further on the conferment of the honour on Udoma, Attah described the former minister as “an exceptional person”, stressing that he deserves the honour as the first Nigerian to be so honoured.
He also lauded the Japanese government for the honour on Udoma and encouraged them to strengthen their belief in Nigeria as the nation remains the hub of investment despite the insecurity.
“My word to the Japanese people is: whatever happens, do not be discouraged because Nigeria still is the one place you can make the best returns in your investments. This insecurity we are having now is a temporary thing it will go. So, I want to hope that there will be greater Japanese involvement and investments in the progress of Nigeria,” he said.