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Afe Babalola seeks national conference to restructure Nigeria

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[FILE] Aare Afe Babalola, SAN

Foremost legal luminary, Afe Babalola (SAN), has called for convocation of a National Conference “with a mandate to explore means of restructuring the country.”

He made the call in a New Year message tagged: “Seek the immediate restructuring of the country first and other things will fall in place.”

According to him, 2019 should be a year to achieve the dreams of “our founding fathers” by restructuring Nigeria in a manner that will allow each constituent unit to achieve its socio-economic potentials.

He said: “Though tongues may differ and perspectives may not always align, most, if not all Nigerians, believe that it is still possible for the country to become the political and economic heavy weight nation that it was projected to be at independence.”

He noted that until the Berlin Conference of 1884, there was no country like Nigeria.

But the Europeans brought together major ethnic groups to create an artificial country, despite their differences.

Babalola explained that the Europeans’ major objective in bringing them together was to allow for a more viable commercial enterprise, and not because of any need to build a nation.

“This arrangement was bound to bring and indeed had brought problems of integration and evolution of a true national identity,” he said.

The founder of the Afe Babalola University (ABUAD), Ado Ekiti said the time has come for Nigeria to become a nation, adding that this is only possible through restructuring of the country.

He expressed belief that most Nigerians are interested in a democratic government that can turn the country into a nation properly so-called.

To make this a reality, there is the need for concerted effort of all, the governors and the governed alike, in addressing many of the factors, which are holding us back as a nation.

While criticising the “huge cost” of running the government, he asked for a return of parliamentary system.

“I have questioned whether we can afford the current set up of 36 states, the majority of which rely only on allocation from the federal purse to survive?

“Why do we appear so comfortable with a system in which the executive and legislative set-up at the federal level is replicated across all the 36 states with a retinue of commissioners, special assistants, assistant special assistants, and aides,” he asked.

“I am convinced beyond all doubt that the only change that can change the country for the better, and pave way for the evolution of one nation is the change that changes the structure of Nigeria,” he added.


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