The call to restructure the country is an ongoing one that is yet to yield the desired outcome. On Tuesday, leaders of the South-South held a consultative meeting at the Government House, Port Harcourt to that effect, with a team of Federal Government delegates including Ibrahim Gambari, Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, and the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege.
The South-South leaders including governors, ministers and other stakeholders from the region insisted on the need to restructure the country and re-introduce true federalism that includes the devolution of powers across federating units
Ifeanyi Okowa, Governor of Delta, who doubles as the Chairman of the South-South Governors’ Forum while presenting the region’s demand, argued that the absence of true federalism is a major factor responsible for the fragile peace in the polity.
“For us in the South-South, the #ENDSARS protest is a metaphor of almost all that is wrong with us, our refusal to properly understand issues, and imbibe and entrench the virtues of justice, fairness and equity.
“The previous system of true federalism was jettisoned and it created a powerful centre controlling and distributing all the resources unevenly.
“There was now a strong desire to restructure the country in order to guarantee peace, security, stability and progress of the nation.”
Many Nigerians believe restructuring does not only benefit a particular region, it is seen as part of the solutions to the country’s many woes that have had a negative impact on national development and the peaceful coexistence of the people.
Studies have also proven that true federalism ensures administrative efficiency and makes room for the equitable distribution of resources across the federating units. Inequitable distribution of resources is one of the major challenges responsible for several ethno-religious crises in Nigeria.
True federalism has the potency to address the problem of resource control. It also brings government closer to the grassroots which makes it easier to address peculiar regional developmental needs including the plague of insecurity ravaging the country at this time. True federalism makes room for easier accountability.
Also, history makes us understand that Nigeria was better off when it was practising true federalism. So, the earlier the country is restructured, the better for us all.
The South-South leaders meeting with FG advocating restructuring is a step in the right direction; it is hoped that it will yield a positive outcome for the country.