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Restructuring will end banditry, ethno-religious bigotry, says VON DG, Okechukwu

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The Director-General of Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr. Osita Okechukwu, has reiterated the need for restructuring of the country.

Okechukwu, in a statement, said that the measure would end all forms of insecurity, ethno-religious bigotry and halt democratic recession in the country.

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The VON director-general, who is a founding member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), warned that if more powers and resources are devolved to the governors without checks and balances, the country would further slide dangerously into democratic recession and insecurity.

In the statement, titled: “Imperative of Dual Restructuring,” he canvassed for the strengthening of democratic institutions at the federal, state and local council tiers.

He said: “In this season of amendment of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the good news is the near-consensus for restructuring of the federation in one form or the other.

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“As a supporter of restructuring, the power devolution variant, may I appeal that we all embark on dual-restructuring for national loyalty and good governance.

“My humble appeal is that with this near-consensus for restructuring, we should as a matter of urgent national importance kill two birds with one stone by devolving those relevant items in the Exclusive Legislative List to Concurrent Legislative List.

“And at the same time compel state governors with strict conditions for compliance to democratically unlock the local councils, state legislature and judiciary. That is dual-restructuring for national loyalty and prosperity.”

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Okechukwu, who was asked why talking only about devolution of powers without mention of the clamour for a return to the 1963 Constitution and other matters, said that if the 1963 Constitution was perfect, why did the Republic collapse?

He said that it is pertinent to note that democracy is not a revolution and that all gains made in liberal democracy throughout history are incremental and as such, we cannot amend or alter all demands in one fell swoop.

He, therefore, urged the governors to join President Muhammadu Buhari on restructuring.

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He said: “Buhari believes in a bottom-up restructuring that is why in cohort with Eighth National Assembly, he commenced the first leg of real restructuring in 2018 with amendment, which gave birth to Section 121(3) - Financial autonomy of state legislatures and judiciary. It was when two years down the line, Emperor-Governors developed a phobia to its implementation that he signed Executive Order 10 in 2020.”

Okechukwu said that the best way to restore human dignity, national loyalty, brotherhood and cushion ethno-religious bigotry is to utilise the amendment of the constitution to strengthen democratic institutions at the federal, state and local tiers.

Restructuring will end ethno-religious bigotry, halt democratic recession’ – VON DG, Okechukwu.

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