Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife has questioned why the north is against the issue of restructuring when all other regions in the country are calling for it.
Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife
In an interview with The Punch, the former governor of the old Anambra state said things were not right in Nigeria and this was due to the current structure.
Ezeife said history has shown that Nigeria was better off during the period of regionalism where each region was autonomous.
He said: “The issue is that time is running out on Nigeria. It is either we restructure now and survive or we don’t restructure and disintegrate. The restructuring is simple. It is not a matter of inventing new ideas or arrangements. What we call for is merely going back to Nigeria, as agreed by our founding fathers. That is what restructuring actually means. Nigeria was a truly federal system and it was made up of three regions as federating units: East, West and North. Later on, Mid-West was added, making four — three in the South and one in the North.
“Things were going well; regions had their own constitutions. They were autonomous; they were growing at their own pace and resources for maintaining the federation were contributed by the federating units. After the (1967-1970 Nigerian civil) war, the system became even more unilateral, arbitrary and dictatorial. It is therefore surprising that without much consultation as usual, many states were created by those who controlled the (levers of) power, so that, today, we have 36 states plus Abuja (the Federal Capital Territory).”
On whether Nigeria may go to war if the demands of pro-Biafra agitatirs are not met, Ezeife said: “No, no, no. I don’t think that anybody in his right senses will go for war. War is out of it. Anybody who is talking about war doesn’t know what he is talking about and I don’t support anything violent. It’s an empty threat. Nigeria should be wise not to go to war. People who want us to have another civil war hate the country.
“Things are clear now. (Former Vice President) Abubakar has come out to support restructuring. Even Ango Abdullahi, who sometimes makes it difficult to understand statements, is also in support. So, I don’t think we are in such a difficult situation now. It’s a matter of facing realities, hoping and praying to God, and taking the right decisions. I mean, what is the problem? Why is the North reluctant? Is it because the North is getting many advantages from the existing situation? The North has been resisting restructuring; the APC has been resisting restructuring. Even if I were in the APC, I would know what the interest of the country is and the interest of my own part of the country. This party system is changing; I think people are not free at all (to serve their people’s interests).”
Meanwhile, Senator Shehu Sani representing Kaduna central constituency hinted that the recent moves by his party the All Progressives Congress (APC) at restructuring Nigeria might be a fake one.
In a Facebook post on Saturday, July 22, which the outspoken senator titled: “Timetable for Restructuring”, he noted that the recent setting up of a committee to look into how to restructure Nigeria was being used to buy time.
He said this would continue till 2018 when it will change into a campaign mode and the restructuring will die in 2019 during the elections.