Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, has warned that Nigeria must embrace the restructuring of the country’s political and administrative system before it is too late.
He said restructuring through national dialogue will allow for greater decentralisation and devolution of powers and therefore address the growing agitations ubiquitous in the country.
The governor stated this on Thursday during the 60th Distinguished Lecture of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs in Victoria Island, Lagos.
The Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum spoke on the theme, ‘Fixing Nigeria For A Better World’.
Fayemi said the agitations and discontent being felt in parts of the country are evident of the structural challenges the country is facing, adding that they can be discussed and amicably agreed upon through effective dialogue.
He said, “Nigeria must as a matter of urgency undertake the following steps for a better world:
“Embrace political restructuring through a national dialogue process before it is too late. The discontent and agitations that are being felt in parts of the country are symptomatic of structural challenges that can be discussed and amicably agreed upon when all constituent units of the Federation come together to discuss and agree on what the Nigeria of their dreams means.
“Addressing the national question will only ensure that we are on a path to greatness and will generate the sense of unity of purpose required for us to attain our best potential;
“Undertake concerted efforts towards revamping structures and instruments of our foreign policy. Here, I refer to modernizing and adequately funding the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, our Missions abroad, as well as institutions such as the NIIA, NIPSS and IPCR. Ensuring that our most gifted hands are recruited into our Foreign Service and related institutions will only result in a better-informed foreign policy machinery.”
Regional socio-political groups including Ohanaeze Ndigbo and Afenifere have consistently canvassed for the restructuring of Nigeria along the lines of fiscal federalism, resource control and state policing but the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has been unyielding and unwilling to initiate significant process for the country’s restructuring despite that it was one of his campaign promises in the buildup to the 2015 presidential election that brought him to power.
Of late, agitations have increased in Nigeria, especially in the Southern part of the country with the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra led by Nnamdi Kanu; as well as Yoruba Nation separatists led by Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho. Both groups are agitating for the secession of the South-East and South-West regions respectively from the Nigerian State. They have complained about perceived injustices, lopsided appointments, insecurity, amongst others. Both Kanu and Igboho have been behind bars for months and are facing terrorism-related charges.
By Kayode Oyero,