- Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has again hit hard on those opposing the restructuring of Nigeria
- He described the critics of restructuring of Nigeria as lazy people
- He affirmed that he would continue to champion the course of restructuring even at detriment of his political ambition
The former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar has again lambasted the people opposing the calls for the restructuring of Nigeria, saying that anyone opposed to the current clamour for restructuring of the nation was lazy.
According to a report, Atiku, who spoke last weekend in Abuja while delivering a keynote address at a youth forum, said he would continue to speak against the current faulty ‘unitary federalism’ structure even at the detriment of his political ambition.
NAIJ.com gathered that Atiku said that: “I don’t know what those who are against restructuring are afraid of. Those afraid must be lazy.
“I want to agree essentially that there is every need for us to sit down and talk about our future. This is because the arrangements in the last 50 years or so have not served us very well.
“I am not a product of the current structure of Nigeria. I am a product of regional government. I saw the government at work and I have also seen the current arrangement at work.
“That was why I came out, some people even said to the detriment of my political career, to advocate for restructuring or rearrangement or whatever you call it, of the present structure of the country. I still stand by it.
“But we cannot determine the nitty-gritty of this restructuring until we are able to dialogue and agree on how we want to continue to live together as a country.
“It is good that all the representatives of the ethnic groups agreed that we should continue to live together. I believe it is imperative. But I also don’t believe in the current arrangement, which I have always referred to as unitary federalism, which was a creation of a prolonged military rule.
“It all started after the civil war, when General Murtala Mohammed set up the Constituent Assembly of 1978 and specifically instructed the Assembly to recommend a very strong Federal Government which no component can challenge or try to secede from. He was understandably coming from the perception of Biafra civil war.
“He felt that the war was caused by the region, which felt that it was too independent to pull out of the country. Subsequently, they kept amending the constitution centralising more and more power at the centre,” he said.
The Waziri Adamawa blamed the current political structure on the failure by military government to implement the Constitutional Conference of 1994/1995 recommendation of a single term of six years for the president to rotate among all the six geo-political zones.
“Of course, I was a member of the Constitutional Conference of 1994/1995, and what we actually drafted was not what they eventually came out with. We proposed a presidential system with single term of six years to be rotated among the six geo-political zones of the country.
“By now, about four zones would have produced the president. We also said that after 36 years, we could review that provision if Nigerians believed it is the best season, otherwise we could discard it.
“By the time we won election in 1999, we saw an entirely different constitution. I was told that they set us a review committee headed by Niki Tobi (retired Justice of the Supreme Court), which tampered with the draft and ended up with the constitution we now have today.
“However, on a serious note, we have seen that the fact that a zone produced a president does not mean that he will get the zone developed. Former president Jonathan could not construct a road from Port Harcourt to Bayelsa.
“Even the southwest road we started during our administration, he could not continue. Until former president Obasanjo finished his eight-year term, he could not complete the road from Lagos to Otta where his farm is.
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“Another issue that needs restructuring is the economy. Left for me, I will ask every part of this country to take charge of its resources while the Federal Government should handle defence, foreign affairs, and immigration among others in the Exclusive List.
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com had previously reported that former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar said that Nigeria could be restructured in six months as he identified the issue of resource control as preventing the move.
Watch a NAIJ.com TV video below of Nigerians speaking about restructuring: