- Alhaji Atiku Abubakar insisted Nigeria must be restructured to pave way for development
- The former vice president noted that the centre was being congested
- He advised that states be allowed to develop with little interference from the federal government
Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has identified the military rule in Nigeria and the Biafra war as the cause of the destruction of Nigeria’s true federalism.
The Nation reports that the former vice president spoke about this at the 3rd Policy Monitoring Dialogue Series on National Unity, Integration and Devolution of Power/Restructuring”.
Atiku who has been a strong advocate of restructuring said it will restore national cohesion.
He noted that with so much power concentrated to the centre, states were left impoverished and advised that devolving more power to the state will decongest the centre.
Atiku said: “Military rule and the civil war led to the steady erosion of our federal structure.
“The increasing centralisation of power and concentration of resources at the federal level in the context of rising oil revenues and neglect of other revenue sources weakened and relatively impoverished the states.
“As Vice President and Chairman of the National Privatization Council, I saw firsthand what an overly centralized federal government can do wrong.
“Having confiscated the bulk of national revenues, the federal government proceeded to insert itself in a dominant manner in virtually every aspect of our national life, including the economy where it became an investor in all manner of businesses rather than facilitating the emergence of a vibrant and thriving private sector.
“Although we have succeeded in privatizing many public enterprises, we still engage in what I call institutional escapism and duplication/ multiplication.
“Rather than fix existing challenges in existing ministries and departments, we create new ones to carry out the same functions as the existing ones.
“We should try to understand the basis for the agitations and calls for a new compact rather than vilify the agitators.
“It is disingenuous to accuse everyone who calls for restructuring as trying to break up the county.
NAIJ.com earlier reported that Chief Ayo Adebanjo, a chieftain of the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere and elder statesman stated that the country may cease to exist after 2019.
In an interview with Punch, Adebanjo stated that if political leaders fail to heed the call to restructure the country, Nigeria may cease to exist.
He noted that except for a few northern elites like Atiku Abubakar, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (retd.), Gen. Yakubu Gowon (retd.), Col. Umar, etc who have been calling for restructuring, most of the elites of northern origin seem to be irritated by the word ‘restructuring’.
Watch a NAIJ.com TV video below Nigerians expressing their mind about restructuring.