Nigeria must restructure now —Anyaoku

Former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, has declared that Nigeria cannot attain political stability and economic development unless it restructures its existing governance architecture.

He said for the country to move away from “do-or-die” politics and unlock its socio-economic development potential, it needed to devolve more powers to all the six recognised geopolitical zones.

The elder stateman spoke at the United Nations International Youth Day on Friday, with the theme:“The Road to 2030: Eradicating Poverty and Achieving Sustainable Production and Consumption.”

Anyaoku stressed that the 2014 national conference was not the answer to the restructuring that Nigeria needed, adding that while state policing and fiscal arrangements recommended at the conference were a step in the right direction, the proposal for additional 54 states negated the idea of a vibrant federalism for the country.

“The restructuring that I am advocating should pose no threat to Nigeria’s unity. On the contrary, it is the continuation of the ongoing agitations in different parts of the country which are encouraged by the present governance structure that will most probably lead to the undoing of the country’s unity,” he said.

He acknowledged the importance of the Nigerian youth in national development, highlithing three areas of essential national action that would contribute to reducing the level of poverty in the country.

According to him, “Youths must seek to play active roles in politics, which include governance, social change and societal values and ethics.

“They should also be involved in economic activities, especially entrepreneurship.”

He tasked young people to mobilise themselves and channel their youthful enthusiasm into clamouring for a restructuring of the country’s governance in order to realise a truer federalism that would give the country greater political stability and faster socio-economic development.

He called for a social change among the people which, according to him, will stamp out corruption that pervades all levels of the society.

“Corruption pervades all levels of the society starting from examination malpractice in schools and educational institutions through bribery and seeking of gratification before performance of one’s obligatory duties,” he said.

He decried the outright embezzlement and stealing of public and private funds.

“Corruption pervades because the Nigerian society now worships wealth and has put its possession over and above the possession of good character.  Hard-work is no longer recognised as the only path to success in every human endeavour,” he said.