…. Releases 10 years proposal on Restructuring
Ayodele Samuel, Lagos
Senior Pastor of the Latter Rain Assembly, PastorTunde Bakare has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to commence process of restructuring the country, while releasing a ten year framework proposal in accomplishing the task.
Bakare who was President Buhari running mate under the defunct Congress for Progressive Change CPC in the 2011 general election said the President is not opposed to restructuring.
Bakare during an Independence day address in his Lagos said from his interactions with President Buhari in the past seven years, “the president want agitations managed through appropriate constitutional channels, he also wants a clarification of demands in concise terms, as well as propositions on practical pathways towards achieving those demands.”
He said President Buhari must arise and seize this opportunity to build a great nation, with the confident assurance that “there is no army powerful enough to stop an idea whose time has come.”
He urged the North and South to come together to the table of brotherhood and negotiate the destiny of a New Nigeria with mutual respect and trustful give and take void of mutual suspicion.
“We must think, not as sectionalists but as nationalists; not as skeptics who only see obstacles, but as optimists, who see opportunities; not as politicians, mindful only of the next election, but as statesmen mindful of the next generation.”
In his proposal, Bakare calls for the creation of a Presidential Commission for National Reconciliation, Reintegration and Restructuring by the president through an executive order, in full consultation with the Council of State and the National Assembly.
He said the Presidential Commission should be given the mandate and the powers to facilitate, within ten years, the evolution of a functional and acceptable geopolitical structure subject to constitutional provisions while the 1999 Constitution is progressively amended.
The proposed ten-year transitional window is expected to kick in from 2018 to 2028. I understand that this translates to the administrations of at least two, or at most four, presidents spanning three election cycles. Therefore, if the policy is flagged off by the current administration, there is the clear danger of policy discontinuity unless the process is institutionalized.
The Commission, Bakare said shall undertake a geoeconomic and geosocial path to geopolitical restructuring by creating geoeconomic frameworks, mending geosocial faultlines, and attaining a geopolitical climax.
He said the federal government will progressively devolve powers to the existing 36 states, which will themselves progressively evolve into a zonal arrangement. To facilitate this, we propose the creation of 6 zonal commissions to be headed by zonal commissioners appointed from each zone, to work with the 36 state governors to facilitate integration. The zonal commissioners will be charged with a mandate to map out the economic potential of each zone, design or update, as the case may be, a zonal economic master plan, and coordinate federal and state efforts towards transitioning into zonal economieswithin ten years, thereby harnessing the comparative resources of each zone to achieve globally competitive economies of scale and scope.
The climax of the work of the Presidential Commission will be to codify the geoeconomic and geosocial outcomes and facilitate their evolution into vibrant geopolitical zones as federating units, each with rich sociocultural expressions and viable, world class economic clusters, all knit together by a strong federal government. The geopolitical zones will have the power to organize the constituent states and local governments as districts and counties based on the models created by the geoeconomic and geosocial aspects of the process. By the tenth year, the codified outcomes will be presented to the president who, in conjunction with the National Assembly, will have, within the ten-year period, championed the necessary constitutional amendments for progressive development of good governance, including allowing for a referendum in which the Nigerian people will eventually adopt the framework as a new constitution for a New Nigeria.