More prominent Nigerians have added their voices to the call for the restructuring of Nigeria, including former Vice-President, Alex Ekwueme; Afenifere chieftain, Ayo Adebanjo; and a former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana.
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar recently championed the calls for the restructuring of Nigeria.
The trio made the call on Sunday in Enugu at the 17th Annual Convention of the Igbo Youth Movement.
The convention was themed ‘Still in search of true federalism’.
Others who called for restructuring of Nigeria in line with “true federalism” at the event are governors of Anambra State, Peter Obi and Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife, and Niger Delta activist, Ankio Briggs.
In his speech, Ekwueme said that Nigeria was mature enough to go back to the principles and arrangement that was ignored by the founding fathers.
The former Vice President noted that his imprisonment in 1984 at the Kirikiri prisons gave him an opportunity to think about Nigeria and her problem.
“The six-geopolitical zonal structure will take care of minorities in both the North and the South.”
“It was on the basis of that (balancing interest of minority and majority) that I came to the conclusion that we should have six regions or geo-political zones as you call them as of the 1994 constitutional conference – three in the North and three in the South.”
“From the south, you have the South-West, the Yoruba; you have the South-East, the Igbo; and then you have two minority groups, Mid-West and COR (Calabar, Ogoja and Rivers) as South-South.”
“In the North, you have the North-West, which is Hausa/Fulani; then the North-Central, Middle Belt, which is the aggregation of minorities, and then in the North-East again, minorities predominated by Kanuris in Borno and Yobe and then other minority groups.”
On his part, Adebanjo traced the origin of federalism in the country to the pre and post colonial constitutional conferences.
He said Nigeria should be restructured to correct the mistakes made by the military.
“The autonomy the regions enjoyed under the federal constitution gave each region the liberty to develop at its own pace according to its priority.”
“It is my strong view that restructuring will put a stop to the various acts of uprising in the country today, be it Niger Delta Avengers, MASSOB, IPOB or the mew agitation for the state of Biafra.”
“This will require a change of our constitution to allow for the restructuring of the country under a truly federal system.”
“Then, and only then can we have peace in the country; without which, there can be no progress.”