Physical map of Nigeria showing a single united entity

 Although personalities have been calling for restructuring of Nigeria, recent calls for separation by various ethnic groups and regions present a present danger to the country’s existence as a single corporate entity. In your view, can regional autonomy – where regions are strengthened to harness comparative advantages to develop themselves and only contribute to the centre – help avert a collapse of the current federal structure?

ABIMBOLA AKOSILE

* In actual sense, regional autonomy should make for a sense of belonging with quality impactful development initiatives, but the quality of ‘power-drunken’ leadership instituted may hijack this and plunge each region into worse abyss than we are already in as one Nigeria.

Miss Nkeiruka Abanna, Lagos State

* Presently, the Nigerian state operates a federal system; which was brought by the British colonialists who yoked us together to become Nigeria state, and brought discontent among the various component units. Restructuring will collapse the current federal structure, because it will revert the power sharing, administration, rule and laws, governing, some leadership roles, affecting the living and standard of an average citizen, have effect on the educational structure, leadership power and sharing economy, political interference and trade and business and indirectly cause a lot of society disorderliness which is going to pose a serious danger to an individual, even this present government. The best way is for Nigeria is to conduct an urgent election whether we want to live together or not. But I sense something like that coming out very soon and the earlier such is done the better.

Mr. Michael Adedotun Oke, Founder Michael Adedotun Oke Foundation, Abuja

* I am so afraid that with the way Nigerians think and are so deep-necked in ethnicity, religion and selfishness among other divisive factors, regional autonomy is an automatic breakup. In fact it’s the easiest passage to separation. Don’t trust any Nigerian on this topic because 95 per cent of Nigerians are tribal/regional warriors!

Mr. Sonny Okobi, Lagos State

* Sure, it will. Those agitating for regional autonomy are fighting to see that these regions are empowered to be stronger not to depend on the Centre for every of their needs. All the regions in this country today have different natural resources namely: cocoa, groundnut, cotton, tin and ore, gold, silver, columbine, ginger, oil etc. But we’ve turned out all these for oil, denying the inhabitants of these areas or regions, their natural gift. In fact that has caused our hate for one another and our daily fight. We must go back and develop our natural resources in our regions and leave oil alone.

Hon. Babale Maiungwa U/Romi, Kaduna

* Yes, regional autonomy will prevent Nigeria’s possible breakup as rightly advocated by patriotic personalities for overdue restructuring of Nigeria. It will lay to rest all agitations for separation by various ethnic groups and regions e.t.c clamouring for such autonomy dangerous as it is to Nigeria existence as a single corporate entity. They must be strengthened for healthy competitiveness. The last national conference report should be implemented in line with the above. It worked for Nigeria in the past.

Mr. Apeji Onesi. Lagos

* It will; it is corruption that is warring against the truth, which is not the will of God towards mankind. We tried to fulfill the lust of the flesh and worldly living.  Well-meaning Nigerians have bared their minds. Government should not allow environment to determine our mental state of being, by allowing enthusiasm and love to grow cold. Once dead all the corrupted wealth acquired will be left behind while one faces judgment of God.

Mr. Dogo Stephen, Kaduna State

* Regional autonomy and Nigeria’s break-up or non-break-up is a salient topic for the times. Regional autonomy should prevent Nigeria’s break-up but the question is: Would it prevent Nigeria’s break-up? In the past fortnight we have had quite a number of quit notices and frankly the response of government doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. Let us hope and pray for the best outcome all-round.

Mr. E. Iheanyi Chukwudi, B.A.R, Apo, Abuja

* Theoretically, Yes! Regional autonomy should prevent Nigeria’s break up because it would satisfy the yearning of the larger population who feel cheated and marginalised. Practically, No! It won’t because of the inordinate desire of irresponsible political leadership in Nigeria which seeks to create fiefdoms to satisfy their goals of stealing from the public till. Continuous division via State and Local Governments creation has failed to satisfy the Nigerian politicians desire to own political territories that offer nothing to the larger society.

Mr. Utibe Uko, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State

* No. It is a gradual means of disintegrating Nigeria. Fear, disaffection, un-patriotism, disloyalty, disunity, avarice e.t.c. will characterise such regional governments and can escalate an avoidable complex security challenges therefrom. Successive administrations and all their national confabs failed to enforce a true unity by regional autonomy. Why waste vital time, funds, energy, resources e.t.c.?

Miss Apeji Patience Eneyeme, Badagry, Lagos State

* If we were strictly adhering to the federal character law, we would not even have had any of these agitations. Any form of restructuring will take time, and is highly unlikely anytime soon. The problem we have at the moment is due to the total disregard for the federal character act that is enshrined in the 1999 constitution. This has taken place over the years but came to a peak over the last two years. No one even knows whether the federal character commission is still operating in Nigeria. One of the primary functions of this commission is to promote, monitor and enforce compliance with the principles of proportional sharing of all bureaucratic, economic, media and political posts at all levels of government. All Osinbajo needs to do at the moment is to ensure strict compliance and most importantly enforcement of this law in all federal ministries departments, agencies and our security services. This is the fastest way to give everyone a sense of belonging. Osinbajo should revive the federal character commission and give them teeth, so they can bring the necessary balance they were set up to achieve. The federal character commission should be the most active and important government agency at the moment in Nigeria.

Mr. Buga Dunj, Jos, Plateau State

* Ideally, such regional autonomy will surely address the restructuring calls and help calm some frayed nerves around the country. More power to the six regions will allow each of them to look inwards and harness their identified strengths and resources for maximum output. This is where comparative advantage comes in, and if this is properly channeled, all regions and citizens will be better for it.

Mr. Olumuyiwa Olorunsomo, Lagos State

THE RESPONSE

Yes, it can: 4

No, it cannot: 1

Others: 6

Radical tip: Breakup tip!

Total no of respondents: 11

Male: 9

Female: 2

Highest location: Lagos (5)

Next Week: How Can Nigeria Achieve True Federalism?

Amid various allegations of marginalisation from different ethnic groups and geographical zones and widespread inequalities in income, social and educational levels, there have been calls for restructuring of Nigeria and establishment of true federalism across the country, to ensure that each zone or ethnic group has a true sense of belonging to the federal structure, and an accompanying slice of the national cake. To you, how can this true federalism be achieved in Nigeria? What is the best tip to do this?   

Please make your response direct, short and simple, and state your full name, title, organisation, and location. Responses should be sent between today (June 22 & Monday, June 26) to abimbolayi@yahoo.com, greatbimbo@gmail.com, AND abimbola.akosile@thisdaylive.com. Respondents can also send a short text message to 08023117639 and/or 08188361766 and/or 08114495306. Collated responses will be published on Thursday, June 29