By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has declared Nigeria needs to restructure to avoid the various failed state prophecies, which was first advanced by an American think-tank against Nigeria in 2006.
Atiku, while saying that Nigeria is not yet a failed state, quickly added that the nation is at the risk of becoming a failed state, “if we do not resolve our foundational challenges that make it rather difficult for the central government to discharge her responsibilities effectively.”
The former Vice President made the declaration in a statement personally signed by him yesterday in Abuja.
Atiku, who was the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the 2019 general elections, stressed that Nigeria needs peace, unity
and prosperity, stressing that all these virtues are dependent on Nigeria having social justice.
Accirding to him, wthout justice, there cannot be cohesiveness in a multi-ethnic and multi-religious nation as Nigeria.
The former Vice President noted that if
half of Nigerians expend their energies pulling Nigeria in one direction, and the other half counter by pulling her in the other direction, “our motherland will never know peace, unity and prosperity”.
His words, ‘Nigeria needs to restructure to avoid the various failed state prophecies, first advanced by an American think-tank against Nigeria in 2006. Most recently regurgitated by the Financial Times of London, about a month ago.
“To be forewarned is to be forearmed.
“ What is a failed state? A failed state is a political sovereign geographic territory whose government has deteriorated to a level where it cannot fulfil a sovereign government’s basic responsibilities, such as the security of life and property, and upholding law and order.
“Nigeria is not a failed state. However, we are at risk of becoming a failed state, if we do not resolve our foundational challenges that make it rather difficult for the central government to discharge her responsibilities effectively.
“We should have done this long ago. I can only point to the Chinese proverb that says “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
“We ought to understand that the collapse of Nigeria into a unitary system was an ad hoc temporary solution to a challenge that emerged after the January 15, 1966 coup decapitated the central and most regional governments. It was not meant to be a long term solution.
“ Lessons have been learnt since that time, and nobody would be foolhardy enough to repeat such unfortunate actions that took Nigeria through such difficult periods.
“Moreover, our institutions are now much stronger than they were during our infancy.
“In proof of this assertion, I cite the recent multi-partisan rejection by the National Assembly of a certain nominee of the President.
“We did not have a strong Parliament to act as a check on the Executive in 1966. “We had the institution, but we did not have the strength in the institution. Now we do.
“ Nigeria is now of age. It is now time to trust the component units of this federation with devolution of powers from the central government to handle issues such as policing, in tandem with the Federal Government.
“Because let us face it, if we keep on doing what we have been doing, we will keep on getting what we have been getting. Or worse, we will experience the law of returns.
“This is because the second law of thermodynamics is clear. The total entropy of a system either increases or remains constant; it never decreases.
“In simple terms, what this means is that, unless we halt the entropy, things will not improve”, he said.