By Alex Enumah in Abuja
A civil society organization on the platform, African Centre for Leadership (ACL), has lent its voice to the clamour for restructuring of Nigeria, stating that it is the way to go if the nation must survive, accelerate development and take her place among the comity of nations.
The group also insists that the Nigerian people, down to the grassroots, must have a say in how the nation would be restructured if the goals are to be achieved since, according to it, the nation’s elite have continued to fail in this regard.
Chairman of the group, Dr. Cosmas Ilechukwu, stated this over the weekend, at the 7th Annual Lecture Series of ‘The Change We Need Nigeria Initiative’, in Abuja.
Speaking on the theme, “Restructuring: Whose Nigeria?” the ACL Chairman who noted that the demand for restructuring Nigeria has been rife for some time now, expressed worry that a national consensus on the subject is still not in sight.
He said, “Those who oppose the idea see the clamour as a mere subterfuge of some disgruntled Nigerians to divide the country. However, those who are for it believe that it is the only way to save Nigeria from imminent violent disintegration”.
He traced the current problems facing the country to the incursion of the military into politics, stating that following her independence in 1960, Nigeria operated a federal system of government whereby the federating units were semi-autonomous with their own political and economic systems for some time.
“They were fiscally independent with each being in total control of the resources within its domain and paid stipulated taxes/contributions to the central government in Lagos. This system seemed to have worked for Nigeria while it lasted as people have continued to refer to those days with nostalgia”, he said.