Ex-Minister Ofonagoro: Only Restructuring Can Ensure Nigeria’s Progress


By David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka

Former minister of Information, Prof Walter Ofonagoro has called for the restructuring of Nigeria, saying that it held the key to Nigeria’s progress and development.

The former minister who was a guest lecturer at Paul University, Awka, where he delivered the institution’s 3rd convocation lecture said there was need to renegotiate Nigeria and run a post-colonial government, different from what the country was bequeathed by its colonial masters.

Speaking on the topic: the imperative of restructuring the Nigerian federation for greater stability, unity and peace, Ofonagoro charged President Muhammad Buhari to seek change, especially being one who is a product of change mantra.

He said, “My paper is no invitation to seccession, we are not talking about how to break Nigeria, but to make Nigeria better.

“Buhari came to power on the mantra of change and he should be amenable to change. We have to negotiate how to run a post-colonial government, different from what our colonial master left us.”

The former minister in his lecture went down memory lane, taking close look at each regime in the country’s history and some of the policies fashioned out by them and how they affected the nation.

He accused top military officers as those against the restructuring of Nigeria, saying that they felt that having been bequeathed Nigeria the  same way, they have the duty of protecting her and handing her over to the next generation the same way.

“They are opposed to restructuring. They feel they got Nigeria like this, and they must keep it the way they inherited it, so that their children can also inherit it the same way.”

Part of the restructuring canvassed by the former minister is the creation of state police.

Ofonagoro said, “There is no way you can bring a policeman from Bauchi to come and catch criminals here. What does he know, what would he do. The state police would be very effective if created and that is the way to go.

“Leave out the Army in domestic policing, let our Army grow like those of nations of the world, let us rather use the police, civil defence for domestic security.”

Earlier, the vice Chancellor of the University, Prof Uche Isiugo-Abanihe told guests that the choice of Ofonagoro for the institution’s convocation lecture was apt, considering his pedigree as a historian and a world acclaimed scholar.

The ocassion was chaired by former minister of power, Prof Chinedu Nebo who congratulated the institution over its rapid growth.