Give restructuring a priority, Adebayo urges Buhari
Former minister for Communications, Chief Cornelius Adebayo has cautioned the government against refusal to restructure the country’s polity noting that the present structure was retarding the growth of the nation
He argued that until the leadership of Nigeria revisited the issue of restructuring, “an agitation before independence,” the neglect would continue to slow the pace of socio, political and economic developments of the nation.
According to him, the clamour for restructuring has been part of the country’s history even before independence, stressing that the problem was created by the rush of “let-us-get-independence first” and that it has not been sorted out up till date.
“So there must be restructuring. All nations are teaching us everyday. The United Kingdom is not a federation. They have restructured to the level that Welsh, Irish and Scottish have self-determination. The English does not dominate them. It came to a point that the Scots had to decide whether to walk out or not.”
Adebayo said it was a matter of choice for each people where they belong, what role they play in government and who rules them. So restructuring is crucial adding: “It is part of what we fought for. I was the secretary of the movement national reformation and NADECO was about the struggle for the restructuring of Nigeria. Until Nigeria is restructured we won’t have democracy, as it should be. So that must be taken into consideration and addressed.
“That is one area where I have not been very happy about with what Mr. President has said about the last confab. The issue involves restructuring and a balanced federation. A federation in which every unit is satisfied that it is having what is best possible for it.”
The former Governor of old Kwara state particularly canvassed the position of the people of Kwara saying “there are nations and I am talking in the conventional sense of the word, who want to be together. My people in Kwara state want to be part of a Yoruba nation within a federation. So long as there are such desires, they must be addressed, the people are not happy.
“My position remains what you would expect it to be. With all modesty I was one of the leaders of the Middle Belt Forum and I remain one of the leaders of the Forum. I was at one time chairman of the political committee of Afenifere. I remain a very firm believer in Afenifere and the course of Yoruba nation. I believe Kwara wants and desires the best share of what this country has to offer.
He advocated the devolution of power from the centre noting, “Power is too heavy in the hands of the Federal Government of Nigeria. There must be devolution but before that there must be restructuring so that the oppression of the minority within a unit can be stemmed. I want the restructuring of the Nigerian federation to be a priority of the current administration.”
Besides, the former minister who bemoaned the state of the Nigerian economy blamed successive past leaders for the nation’s present economic recession. However he commended the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari-led government in trying to fix the problem.
Also he called for a frontal tackling of the problem of unemployment in the country just as he expressed optimism in the ability of the nation to overcome it as some other countries of the world have done in the past.
According to him, the high rate of unemployment in the country was having negative consequences on standard of living of the citizens but pleaded that there was need for Nigerians to endure for the dark moment to pass by.