“Nigeria must restructure to survive as a nation,” group insists
President of the Initiative, Dr Cosmas Ilechukwu, spoke yesterday during the 2016 edition of The Change We Need Annual Lecture Series. He said, “Restructuring is the will of many Nigerians,” adding that if the country must move forward, the government must listen to what the people are saying.
“A situation whereby people in power set limitation on discussion on any subject cannot work. This is a time that freedom of speech is of high premium and people must be allowed to talk,” he stated.
Speaking on the theme of the Lecture: ‘Restructuring: Whose Nigeria?’ Ilechukwu regretted that Nigerian political elites have taken Nigeria for a ride for too long, presuming to speak for a people they are definitely not in contact with.
He said people at the state and national assembly cannot be trusted with the restructuring of the polity, maintaining that Nigerians want to have a say on how it goes with Nigeria.
According to Ilechukwu, “restructuring means empowering other tiers of government so that they can be functionally relevant. State governments will be able to pay salaries and local government would be able to provide basic amenities. The centralization of power is making Nigeria difficult to run well”.
Speaking in Yenagoa, while delivering a paper at a seminar, Bestman said ‘fiscal federalism’ and ‘devolution of powers’ were adopted at the pre-independence conferences in London.
He noted that the implementation of those policies accounted for the healthy and competitive development of the old regional governments before the military intervention in 1966.
Festus, who is also the National President of Peoples Equality Congress (PEC) explained that a restructured Nigerian nation would empower the federating units and guarantee self development based on their natural endowments.