Â After a former military ruler and an ex-Vice-President called for restructuring of Nigeria, among other recent calls from personalities and analysts, restructuring of the country appears imminent. Although each analyst and advocate has different suggestions for their calls based on various reasons including location, religion and even availability of natural resources, what is your best suggestion concerning the peaceful restructuring of Nigeria into mutually beneficial and unified structures?
* The clarion call for restructuring Nigeria based on location, resources, religion e.t.c is apt, patriotic and commendable. But regionalism is an easy way to gradually split Nigeria. We must beware and mop up small arms still in circulation, and no more lethal hate speeches from the major ethnic regions. Check smuggling and intensify farming. Export only excess harvest to avoid inflation and starvation especially among the poor.
– Miss Apeji Patience Eneyeme, Badagry, Lagos
* My best restructuring tips are: The North, having the Middle Belt carved out of it; the East, leaving the Ibos alone; the West as it is; and the South West and South South, to make six regions. They are to be supported by the Centre to be viable, independent and competitive so as not to be left behind. If that is done, then we shall have a country that would attract foreign partnership in our development.
– Hon. Babale Maiungwa, U/Romi, Kaduna
* How about defining ‘restructuring’ first before plunging into the unknown? IBB and other elites have different and ‘funny’ ideas about that word.
– Mr. Yomi Oni, Paris, France
* This generation has grown cold in giving praises to God, while at the same time burning churches and mosques and causing hate. There is no true love from such hearts and this government should take a decision on the religious, tribal and other recommendations before it. There is no section in Nigeria that is not blessed with mineral resources either gold, agriculture, etc.
– Mr. Dogo Stephen, Kaduna State
* Restructuring ought to lead to an effective well-run and stable federation with visible developments in the long-term; but that is if all Nigerians are on the same page in its pursuit rather than the mere chant of the concept.
– Ms. Nkeiruka Abanna, Lagos State
* Our respectable former ruler and Vice-President have said their minds on restructuring, but their body language does not show it. There is need for consultations and meetings with stakeholders and our representatives from the National Assembly have to say something about this. We need to also organise town hall meetings to receive inputs from the stakeholders, and learn from successful nations that were able to carry out restructuring. But I wonder whether we can exercise patience to do this. We must take it slowly. Nigerians are not ready
– Mr. Michael Adedotun Oke, Founder Michael Adedotun Oke Foundation, Abuja
* While I wasn’t born during the regional government era, I learnt that most of the feats achieved were during that period. There was healthy rivalry amongst the leaders which contributed to the development of each region. Each region tried to edge out the other development wise. If it worked then, it cannot work now.
– Mr. Akinwale A.A. Adeniyi, Abuja
* Empowerment needs to start from the grassroots by listening to the people, find out what they want, and how do they want to be supported. We don’t need restructuring actually; what have we achieved so far with how we are? Restructuring can’t be achieved because we still have the same people but we need to change our orientation about life. Whether you put different people with same ideas in the same place, it won’t change things. We need a new set of people with new ideas.
– Alhaja Adeyinka Lawal, London, United Kingdom
* Although it is not easy to restructure Nigeria at this stage, if it must be done then let the restructuring be done on economic and social levels. Those who have wealth should be subjected to more taxes to provide safety nets for the poor masses. Also, the local government and regions should be made stronger and with access to more natural resources and allocations from a weakened centre. Let development spread to every corner of Nigeria.
– Mr. Olumuyiwa Olorunsomo, Lagos State
* The best suggestion now is for leaders of the recognised six geo-political zones to consider themselves as already restructured. Let them assemble their best brains and resources, choose their priority programme and project that will be beneficial to the masses, develop it and make life richer for their people in present-day Nigeria, Let’s apply wisdom here; restructuring is not too far from secession and can hardly be achieved through peaceful means in a country like ours.
– Mr. Ikpa Matthew, Asokoro Abuja
* Join the federalist agenda; start from creating governance at local level. The localities create their local government, which then create their state and the state the federal government. At each stage the homogeneity of the people especially in terms of culture and language should be paramount. Ownership of land would be vested in the localities and the individual.
– Mr. Oge Igwe-nnaji, Lagos State
* Talking about restructuring, where are you going to start from? To me, Nigerian people should be restructured first before anything else because a country cannot grow without until its leaders grow within.
– Mr. Bitrus Waziri, Durumi, Abuja
* All types of illegal arms importation and violation must be investigated and outrightly prosecuted. Only peace, love and unity speeches must be aired and or printed in any news media. Deviant media staff must be checked always. Regionalism and ethnicity are complex issues and must be handled with caution, for patriotic restructuring. The youth must unite to lift up Nigeria with wisdom, technology, growth and development as obtained in other climes. God bless Nigeria.
– Mr. Apeji Onesi, Lagos State
* Let us have a civilian government, successfully execute state creation for once. As for budgeting, strong legislation should come into force to enthrone capital expenditure-led money bills.
– Mr. E. Iheanyi Chukwudi, Brainchild Academic Resources, Trademore Estate, Apo, Abuja
* Regional autonomy is expensive. Restructuring may not be possible because some states and regions cannot sustain themselves economically at the moment. Restructuring should only take place at a certain level of our socio-political and economic maturity. At this time, most of the regions are nowhere close to this. Southern Sudan has shown that autonomy alone is not enough to ensure the desired development of a people. More responsibilities should be devolved to the states and a larger percentage of federal allocations given them. This is the only restructuring we need at the moment.
* Mr. Buga Dunj Jos, Plateau State
Top tip: Empower the States
Second: Bottom-to-top governance
Third: Make the centre weaker
Radical tip: Mop up small arms!
No of respondents: 15
Highest location: Lagos & Abuja (5 each)
Next Week: How Can Nigeria Tackle Marginalisation?
The new catchword in Nigeria appears to be marginalisation with nearly every ethnic group from all corners of the nation alleging marginalisation by others, even with quota system still in place in almost every sector or level of government. Aside from the efforts of the Federal Character Commission (FCC), how can such agitations be adequately addressed, to allow the country move forward in her development process?
Please make your response direct, short and simple, and state your full name, title, organisation, and location. Responses should be sent between today (July 6 & Monday, July 10) to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, AND firstname.lastname@example.org. Respondents can also send a short text message to 08023117639 and/or 08188361766 and/or 08114495306. Collated responses will be published on Thursday, July 13