Tuesday, 6 October 2020

Convener of Nigerian National Conversation frowns at zonal restructuring

6 October 2020

The convener of the Nigerian National Conversation, Princewill Odidi, has frowned at what he refers to zonal restructuring of Nigeria NEGROIDHAVEN can say. For him, it makes no sense. 

Odidi who reacted recently via social media in response to Pastor Enoch Adeboye's call for restructuring and Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari's swift reply in the negative, observed that he is not in support of restructuring especially along zonal lines.

For Odidi, if Nigeria proceeds with restructuring along zonal contours the graft, political corruption, incapacity that has characterised Nigeria at the federal centre will finds its way to the various zones. Instead, he suggested the restructure of the federal revenue allocation formula. 

Odidi's words, 'To me as an individual, I really do not support restructuring from the point of zonal disintegration as I feel it makes no sense. Hausas, Igbo and Yoruba forming administrative zones what about the smaller ethnic groups? 

'To me personally, whatever the state governors cannot do for their states now, they still will not do it as a zone. The massive corruption and public theft ongoing in zonal parastatals like NDDC is a classic example that regional disintegration is not the solution to our problems. 

'As I have argued elsewhere, if we disintegrate, it is the same thieves in Abuja that will relocate to their zones to steal and bankrupt the zonal economies with impunity. In my opinion, instead of national restructuring from a zonal perspective, let us rather restructure the federal revenue allocation formula', he said. 

Continuing he said 'Let more of our National revenue go to local governments and let more development and infrastructure developments be assigned to local councils. Let our best and brightest nationwide all return to their local governments and develop from down up.'

Faulting what he called quasi federal structure, Odidi noted that 'This up to down approach were excessive power and budget is located in the central government fuels corruption, abuse of power and calls for disintegration. The current quasi federal structure has been in place since 1966 and we all know it is not working.'

Fews days ago, at a symposium to mark Nigeria's 60th anniversary, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Church of God, RCCG, Pastor Enoch Adeboye called for the restructuring of Nigeria. Adeboye is quoted to have said in part 'We all know that we must restructure. It is either we restructure or we break, you don't have to be a prophet to know that one. That is certain – restructure or we break up.'

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari's Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, while replying Adeboye sounded that 'The presidency responds to the recurring threats to the corporate existence of the country with factions giving specific timelines for the president to do one thing or another or else, in their language, "the nation will break up,"

'This is to warn that such unpatriotic outbursts are both unhelpful and unwarranted as this government will not succumb to threats and take any decision out of pressure at a time when the nation's full attention is needed to deal with the security challenges facing it at a time of the Covid-19 health crisis.

'Repeat: this administration will not take any decision against the interests of 200 million Nigerians, who are the president's first responsibility under the constitution, out of fear or threats especially in this hour of a health crisis.'

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