ONE thing the Federal Government must know is that the demand for the restructuring of Nigeria does not mean that the country will disintegrate; rather, it will give everybody a sense of belonging so that we can all have equal say in how the country is being administered.
Politically restructuring the country will also bring an end to the agitation for secession by certain sections of the country.
What we must realise is that as a multi-ethnic country, some people will not like the manner in which certain sections are dominating their political affairs, which in turn, reflects in their personal lives. To these people, having a control over their affairs is the only way that they will be politically satisfied.
This is also what happened when the majority of the British people voted to leave the European Union last June. The British people were not satisfied with the way in which the European Union policies were affecting them.
Consequently, the political restructuring I am talking about will pave way for regional governments to have more control over the affairs of their people.
As someone who was around when Nigeria had only four regions, I can testify that we had aggressive economic and infrastructural growth at that time. When Chief Obafemi Awolowo established the first television station in the Western region, the Eastern region also immediately set up its own. For each economic project that the Western region implemented, other regions, not wanting to be left behind, also implemented theirs. Therefore, at that time, the Western region economy was even stronger than that of Spain. If we had continued like that, I know we would have become a developed country by now.
Even the people of the different regions were happy to be Nigerians because of the economic competition which resulted in economic prosperity for them.
Our problem started when we began to create the states, thus making the Federal Government more powerful. Most of these states cannot stand on their own, as they were only created out of ethnic sentiments. It is then important for the Federal Government to revert to regionalism so as to prevent the disintegration of the country, and also to aid massive economic development.
It is necessary that the central government does not see political restructuring, which is being clamoured for, as an opportunity to break the country, but as a chance to further strengthen our socio-economic ties.
- Sanmi Olopade,