…suspects clamour is another strand of opposition
By Lawrence Olaoye
The Presidency has said that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was not opposed to restructuring of the country but will never agree to anything that will lead to its break-up.
Special Adviser to the President on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, made the clarification at the weekend at a lecture organised by The change we need Nigeria Initiative tagged ‘Disintegration or Restructuring: Which way Nigeria.’
Adesina noted that the nature of the clamour for restructuring in the country has begun to raise suspicion especially with the calibre of its champions.
The Presidential spokesman said those with the loudest voices on the matter were those in power for 16 years but are now in opposition.
He cautioned that the country could be restructured without necessarily talking about disintegration.
Adesina insisted that Nigeria has been undergoing restructuring since inception and has passed through serious transformation.
He said Nigeria began from the amalgamation of 1914 with independence in 1960. From 12 to 19 and thereafter to 36 states.
He said the country tinkered with parliamentary system but now is practicing federalism. Adesina recalled that the country at a time practised diarchy under the administration of former Military President Ibrahim Babagida.
All these, according to him, fell under restructuring of the country maintaining that the nation remains a work in progress.
He said “Restructuring will come, this country will be renegotiated, restructured but then we will not disintegrate.
“I begin to get suspicious at times that is this call for restructuring another form of opposition? When you found people who have been in power for 16 years now being champions of restructuring, so I begin to suspect that restructuring is becoming another form of opposition in Nigeria.
Nigeria will eventually be restructured. This Government is not opposed to restructuring but the government is opposed to anything that will splinter the country.”
Dr. Cosmas Ilechukwu, who is the General Overseer of the Charismatic Renewal Ministries (CRM), Chairman, Africa Centre for Leadership and also a panelist at the lecture insisted that the nation must restructure for it to survive.
According to him “Nigeria is a nation of destiny.” He however regretted that the body language of the leadership only accentuates the division among the people.
He described the amalgamation of the country in 1914 as not a a mistake but a blessing.
Ilechukwu maintained that the fact that the country could be together for more than 100 years indicated that it could be united.
He concluded that restructuring was imperative for the country to remain one and united.
Yinka Odumakin, Publicity Secretary of the Pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere, said only those benefitting from the lopsidedness of the country would oppose the call for restructuring.
He maintained that restructuring of the country would make every part to be productive and prosperous as each would be able to develop at its own pace.