Restructuring Nigeria is requisite – Ekweremadu

The Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu says restructuring Nigeria is indispensable especially for the benefit of a national unity.

Ekweremadu stated this at a two-day Retreat by Southern Senators Forum in Calabar on Friday, and dismissed the fear in certain quarters that restructuring would cause the break-up of the country.

Highlights: He explained that restructuring was not the same as exclusive resource control as the renewed and aggressive search for oil around the Lake Chad, Sokoto and Benue River Basins in recent times appeared to suggest.

According to him, whereas federating units will have more control over their resources in a restructured Nigeria, there would always be an Equalisation Fund to ensure that every region thrives above a reasonable threshold.

He highlighted out that the subject of restructuring appeared to have had divided opinions.
The lawmaker recalled that Nigeria’s independence was delayed till 1960 to give room for more dialogue and ensure that no part of the country was left behind.

He explained that it was the wisdom of the founding fathers that ensured that the current map of Nigeria was retained.

Ekweremadu said that there was no other viable option than restructuring if Nigeria must reap the blessings and promises of self-rule.

According to him, it must be done in a way that every part of the country will have a true sense of belonging.

He urged Nigerians to embark on more responsible and patriotic public discourse and enlightenment to break down the meaning and processes of restructuring, saying that the fears inherent in restructuring needed to be addressed.

The deputy senate president said the Nigeria Police Force needed to be decentralised as a significant component of the envisaged restructuring exercise.

Ekweremadu said that restructuring could only be addressed by adopting a piecemeal approach rather than seeking to do everything or so much at a go.

He called for the devolution of powers to make the centre less attractive as well as a single-term presidency that would rotate among the geographical zones.

The legislator said that such may prove reassuring to ethnic groups and promote national unity and loyalty to the nation, while constituent parts would be reassured that power would come at a given interval.

He commended the forum for raising the standard of ongoing national debate on restructuring, adding that he was impressed by the aptness and auspiciousness of the theme of the retreat – National Unity and Restructuring.

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