Why restructuring in Nigeria can’t be actualized, by Lai Olurode
A former National Commissioner of Independent National Electoral Commission in charge of Ogun, Oyo and Ekiti States, Prof. Lai Olurode, has explained that restructuring might not take place if it is not “a win-win outcome” for all sections of the country.
He stated this while delivering a lecture entitled, “Nigeria: Development Conundrum,” at the 6th Annual Symposium of the Muslim Student Society of Nigeria, B Zone in Ado Ekiti.
He said: “No one will allow restructuring that gives no gain. It must be a win-win situation. Restructuring is not when you want more money in your pocket, while other parties lose. It must be genuine and foster national unity.
“It should not be punitive; use best examples across the world of systems that thrive in spite of pluralism.” The don also stressed the need for measures to end religious illiteracy in Nigeria as one of the ways to achieving national integration.
He lamented that there was a poor management of the country’s plurality as against the warning in Quran 4:1 and 49:13 and held that “the pursuit of social justice is the foundation for resolving developmental conundrum.”
Another speaker, a lecturer in the Department of Religious Studies, Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti, Dr. Gabriel Jegede, who delivered a lecture on the topic, “The Socio-Religious Dimension of National Integration and Sustainable Development in Nigeria, 1978-2017,” decried lack of proper religious education among Nigerians.
Jegede added: “Lack of sound and proper religious education is the root of religious intolerance, cultism, kidnapping, armed robbery, gangsterism, hate speech, ritual killings and the unwillingness to live peacefully with others” among other anti-social vices.
“These inadequacies are partly responsible for the current threats to unity, cohesion and sustainable development in the country.”
He recommended education as one of the most potent instruments, which the government could use to curb the spate of religious violence in Nigeria is education.
The Catholic Bishop of Ekiti, Most Reverend Felix Femi Ajakaye, in his keynote speech, said Nigerians must detoxicate themselves of stereotypes, biases in whatever form – religion, ethnicity, political, to achieve true national integration and development.
The Amir/Zonal Coordinator of MSSN Zone B, Mushafau Alaran, in his welcome address, said the symposium was organised to contribute to national issues.