The ongoing call for restructuring of the country is like a metaphor. Those who have filled the media space, recently, with such rhetoric are just the mask; the personification of the masquerade are the renegade politicians who are soaked in the inordinate 2023 political ambition. From the haphazard manner the proponents are executing this hatchet job smarks the biblical ‘Voice of Esau and hand of Jacob.’ An old African aphorism has it that “if you see a toad dancing on top of water, its drummer is under the water.”
The foregoing explains the script that is playing out. The call for restructuring has become a pawn in politicians’ chess game that they deploy anytime their interest is threatened. The recent calls got to a feverish point because failed politicians deployed their resources to manipulate the gullibles. And the willing segment of the media, as usual, have bought into their mischief.
Nigeria celebrated 60 years of independence recently, which means that in the last six decades the country has been evolving, in other words restructuring. The recent round of agitations/calls for restructuring is short-sighted, unholy, macabre and abysmally incomprehensible.
The call is done in bad fate because the first question that should agitate the minds of Nigerians should be the choice between the so-called restructuring and good leadership. At the moment, Nigeria’s qualms is not restructuring but ernest demand for probity, accountability and transparency in the management of the public resources.
The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has since 2015, thrown everything to the works to ensure good governance is entrenched, which is what Nigeria is in dire need of now, and not vague, clumsy and hazy restructuring, whose proponents can hardly explain to the understanding of Nigerians. Till today nobody has given Nigerians the true meaning of restructuring, despite all the grammar in the ongoing media campaign.
This is certainly another clandestine attempt at heating up the polity ahead of the 2023 general election. Beleaguered and renegade characters don’t like when a process is peaceful. Rather, they will throw tantrums to create chaos, under which circumstance their greedy appetite is assuaged.
For the records, Nigeria metamophorsed overtime, from the Federation of four regions to today’s Federal structure of 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Reasonably so, the reason for the creation of states, beginning in 1967, is more visible today than 36 years ago when Gen Yakubu Gowon first broke Nigeria into a Federation of 12 states.
At 60, more than anytime in history, what Nigeria needs to fulfil its destiny is unity. A cord of three strands cannot quickly be broken. The cumulative desire of the sponsors of deranged idea is to see Nigeria back to the old paths where regions were doing their own thing. The wounds of the Civil War and some unsavoury events in our history that Nigeria is still nursing today emanated from the regional mindset. The idea will put Nigeria’s much sought unity in grave danger.
The disgruntled elements who have made themselves willing tools in the hands of merchants of mischief should be rest assured that given Nigeria’s chequered and painful past, no authority will fold its hands and allow few misguided and deranged elements jeopardise the hard-earned unity of Nigeria.
Reasonably, restructuring a country takes a process and with the collaboration between the executive and legislature, some aspect of our constitution that have outlived its usefulness can be reviewed. Thank goodness that the current National Assembly is led at both chambers by the president’s party, so the process of amending the constitution is made less rancourous.
Patriotic like he has ever been since his military era, President Buhari remains committed to bequeath a Nigeria that all Nigerians at home and in Diaspora will be proud of at the end of his tenure in 2023. Hence, the president will not be pressured into taking any decision that is detrimental to the peace, unity and progress of Nigeria.
It is, therefore, highest order of inanity and absurduty to give the president a timeline within which to restructure or Nigeria will break up! These recurring threats to the corporate existence of the country will no longer be tolerated by well meaning Nigerians, who have the best interest of the country at heart. More distasteful is the fact that the renewed agitation is coming at a time COVID-19 has devastated the socio-economic fibrics of the country.
Distracting the president at this juncture is the greatest disservice any well-intentioned person can do to this country at this trying moment of global apprehension. Unguarded vituperations will only overheat the politity, desecrate the existing unity, social order and impede the president’s momentum.
I think the fact that there are over 200 million Nigerians should be made clear to the proponents of restructuring. The opinion of the few calling for restructuring is like a drop in an ocean. They are in the far minority and as such should allow Nigerians to decide what they want.
These are enemies of the country sponsoring and encouraging discord and anarchy against the government for either selfish ends or as revenge for perceived injuries.
Those of us who understand the situation and strategy of the developing countries such as United States, Russia, Brazil, India, France Italy and Germany know that it is all about how to manage and make good governence work.
Since the Organised Labour toed the path of sense and sensibility last week, seeing reason with the imperatives of fuel price adjustment, and opening a further window of dialogue on the service-based electricity tariff, some groups of Nigerians have been dolorous, disgruntled and disconsolate.
The calls by Pan Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere; apex Igbo socio-political group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo; the Middle Belt Forum and the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) is in order but must be done in accordance with the grand norms of the land so as not to do damage to Nigeria’s interest they claim to be protecting.
The opposition parties, who have found safe haven in the bossom of mischief makers to try to bring down the government, should know that they are first a political party because there is a country.
President Buhari has set the ball rolling for greater Nigeria by instituting mechanisms for good governance. All that is required from all and sundry is unflinching support for the policies and programmes of the Buhari-led government as it strives to regain Nigeria’s lost glory.
– Ibrahim is director of communication and strategic planning of the Presidential Support Committee (PSC).