Don’t ignore calls to restructure Nigeria, Balarabe Musa tells FG

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A former governor of old Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, has advised the Federal Government not to ignore calls to restructure the country into viable regions.

In a goodwill message at the 18th annual convention of the Igbo Youth Movement (IYM) held yesterday in Enugu, Musa said the country, as presently administered along state lines, had become “unviable.”

He said emphasis needed to be placed on true fiscal federalism and a reversal to regional structures to engender even development across the country.

“As presently constituted, the states are virtually all unviable entities, which are incapable of continuing to exist as viable constituent units of a true federal structure.

“Reverting, to say, a six regional federal structure, would reduce the competitive pressure for power at the centre and redirect more attention to regional political competencies,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quoted Musa as saying there was little doubt that the Igbo ethnic nationality, like many others, had a raw deal in the Nigeria project.

“This had been particularly so since the conclusion of the unfortunate Nigerian civil war and the failure of the state to continue to be faithful to the policy of ‘no victor, no vanquished.’

“At best, the policy of reconstruction, rehabilitation and reconciliation has not been diligently pursued by successive federal administrations.

“I would like to congratulate the IYM for choosing to conduct this dialogue within the context and parameters of national unity and not secessionist disaggregation,” Musa said.

Also speaking, a former governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, said the cost of governance had become “ridiculous and unacceptable.”

Obi said Nigerians must work for the common good of the country and needed to resolve to shape Nigeria the way it should be.

He lamented that corruption by those in authority had taken its toll on the economy, adding: “It is now an achievement for government to put streetlights, while the people do not have electricity in their homes.”

The guest lecturer at the event, Prof Banji Akintoye, said it would be in the interest of the country to establish better administrative structures that would sustain the economy.

Akintoye said the country would be more prosperous if administered along regional lines, adding that the time had come for Nigerians to take back their country.

“We must stop agonising. Nigeria is a great country and we must not allow it to crumble through over-centralisation of governance,” Akintoye said.

The convener, Mr. Elliot Uko, said such discussions had become imperative, as it would further strengthen the unity of the country and give the people a better bargain.

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