The road to meaningful restructuring

[FILE PHOTO] Nigeria’s vice president Yemi Osinbajo

Restructuring is not an end in itself. There are fundamental matters that must be addressed as dispassionately espoused by renowned human rights campaigner and good governance advocate, Femi Falana, recently in a paper he delivered at the 19th Mike Okonkwo Annual Lecture in Lagos. According to Falana, no meaningful restructuring that would ensure unity and political stability could be achieved without first addressing issues like power democratisation and wealth re-distribution.

Falana is not the only one with this view-point, his late comrade in the struggle for good governance, Bamidele Aturu who passed on four years ago and was not around to witness the current arguments between former vice president Atiku Abubakar and the current VP Prof. Yemi Osinbajo on what amounts to proper restructuring, but he also shared this position when he declared some years before his death that; “If every street (in Nigeria) is made a local government as part of efforts to take governance to the grass-root and for rapid development, if the indices for good governance such as no-to-corruption, transparency, accountability, judicious deployment of resources, ensuring justice, equity and fairness in the new structures, visionary and committed leadership, fearless follower-ship that knows its rights and ready to stand for it at all times, restructuring would have no meaning and would be an exercise in futility; all our collective struggles over the years would be in vain.”

The above certainly must be what Osinbajo was emphasising in his address at Minnesota, which his predecessor misrepresented in order to score some political gain. In an environment where corruption in leadership is the order of the day, an environment where corruption has been elevated to a way of life, no amount of restructuring would achieve the ultimate goal of good governance.

Or how do we explain a situation as it used to be with the National Assembly that Appropriation Bills would not be passed unless members were ‘settled’; the National Assembly where budgets are padded, the National Assembly where a senator takes home every month about N13.5 million. This is the Senate of those who are now apostles of restructuring. Definitely Nigeria cannot afford to go into restructuring with these baggage.
  It is better imagined how much these looted funds in one guise or the other could have helped to transform the lives of the vulnerable and poor people in the country.

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