Onaiyekan, Arthur Nwankwo , Oby, Others Call for Restructuring of Nigeria


Jessica Odemwingie, in Abuja

The Bishop of Abuja Catholic Diocese, Cardinal John Onaiyekan has called on all Nigerians to embrace peace and unity and avoid violence in order to achieve the nation’s goal of building one nation and restructuring of Nigeria.

He gave this advice at a one-day colloquium on state of the nation, Organised by the Center For Confederation, Democracy and Good Governance in Africa (CoCDAGGA) yesterday in Abuja.

The Bishop urged Nigerians not to be sad about the current challenges facing the nation but find a different way out, and avoid destruction of life and properties.

According to him, “Nigerians think they are the only ones who have problems; most nations are results of other people’s imposition, they have been put together by others.

“There are those who have been dissatisfied about what is happening, and decided that something must be done by helping each other. And this does not necessarily put them in a position of attack, protest or opposition; rather, it’s a positive thing that will make our country a better place that we all can live in, and the next generation inclusive.”

On her part, the former Vice President (African Region) of the World Bank, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, said that a progressive stable and prosperous society that had built the right institution could distribute economic output in ways that continue to provide opportunity for more to be generated.

She further said that, government should strive to improve the quality lives of its citizens

Also contributing to the discussion, the former Police Affairs Minister, Dr. Ibrahim Lame said that Nigerians tended to deviate from the real issues, as a result of their failure to understand what capacity they had and the capacity they needed to develop the country.

“The capacity of Nigeria has been compromised, diluted and that is the reason why we have lost direction for a long period of time”, he said.

, he said

If we look into the brief history of this country, from when we have our first republic leaders, I can still remember how efficient and courageous our leaders were and how purposeful our society was moving’’, he stated.

Lame said that the process of recruiting leadership had been tampered with in the nation, adding that the distortion started when the military took over power, which compromised and weakened all civil institutions and brought about corruption, which resulted to the inability to guage the civil service, educational institutions, health system and the basic social economic infrastructure of the society.

He added, “We cannot eradicate the issue of corruption easily because it has already acquired a culture. That is why children cannot go to school and learn, we cannot have a government that provides basic facilities.”

Dr. Arthur Nwankwo represented by Dr. Malachi Ochie, who also presented a paper, said that any society desirous of restructuring its economy must first get its political structures right.

He said that Nigeria needed both political and fiscal restructuring and must constitutionally define the federating units.

‘’There are six geo-political zones in the country; they should be constituted into federating units with equal constitutional rights. On fiscal restructuring, there must be a comprehensive overhaul of exclusive legislative list as contained in the First Schedule of the constitution’’, Nwankwo further said.