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Published On: Tue, Feb 13th, 2018

Ex Defence Chief, Akirinade urges Buhari to kick-start Nigeria’s restructuring

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By Our reporter Yenagoa

A onetime Chief of Defence Staff, and Chief of Army Staff, Rtd General Alani Akirinade, has asked President Buhari to immediately commence the process of restructuring Nigeria by sending a bill to the National Assembly which should whittle down the powers at the centre.
The retired General who spoke when he delivered a lecture tilled:
Restructuring and the Dawn of A new Nigeria”, to mark the 6th Anniversary Celebrations of Governor Seriake Dickson administration in Bayelsa state, at the Banquet Hall Government House , Yenagoa Monday afternoon also commended Governor Dickson for sensitising the issue of restructuring which would make everyone concerned understand the issue at stake properly.
The retired Army General who went into historical background of restructuring, blamed President Buhari for keeping the 2014 National Conference report in the cooler when he came on board as President, urged him to immediately send a bill to the National Assembly to start the process.
His words: President Buhari should go immediately for the clusters of consensus and low hanging fruits by initiating a Bill for the structural unbundling of an overburdened centre through the removal of several agreed items from the current Exclusive List and their devolution to the constituting states in a way and manner that does not enfeeble or endanger the manifest destiny of the nation”.
Describing restructuring as a constant and ceaseless self-invention, a precondition or sine qua non for survival, Akirinade noted that the struggle for restructuring has been with Nigeria since the period of amalgamation of the Southern and Northern protectorates of Nigeria.
“.Ever since the amalgamation of the Southern and Northern protectorates into a unified country known as Nigeria. In fact in the Crown Colony of Lagos, restructuring has been going on since the naval bombardment of the city in 1862,” he said.
“The colonial authorities were constantly tinkering and searching for the most convenient mode of administration for their prized overseas possession. It briefly led to the anomaly of Lagos indigenes being regarded as British citizens while the rest of the country endured colonial subject hood,” He added.
According to him, the actions of the colonialists “ was the first major battle of restructuring and it led to the regional federalism that Nigerians enjoyed in the run up to independence and for the first five years after independence until the military put their dirty boot in.”
General Akinirade,however, after taking a cursory look at the issue of restructuring noted that : “ As a matter of fact, there ought not to have been a quarrel about restructuring in the first instance, saying “It is a just and fair portion for all sections of a multi-ethnic and multi-religious nation weld together by colonial fiat in the sense that it unleashes the genius, the creative spirit and the visionary energies of the people within the nation space without any discrimination.

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