Connect with us

Opinion

MY THOUGHTS ON RESTRUCTURING THE COUNTRY

Published

on

Spread the love

MY THOUGHTS ON RESTRUCTURING THE COUNTRY

By Arch. Gabriel. Y. Aduku,

INTRODUCTION:
In the last couple of months there have been strident calls for the restructuring of the country from a lot of people, from different parts of the country. While some of the calls have primordial and political undertones, a lot of the calls are anchored on well-established premise of ensuring the survival of the country. But why are the calls for the restructuring of the country so loud and reverberating across the country? I think it is the failure of the leadership to keenly address the nagging needs of the citizenry and all segments of the federating units. This failure on the part of the leadership and the political elite, essentially, has led to a disequilibrium in the distribution of the common wealth, thereby giving rise to calls for restructuring. Some parts of the country feel alienated in the scheme of things with the attendant calls for self-determination by some ethnic groups, some Nigerians do not feel safe in parts of the country – so much violence and insecurity in the land – and economic marginalization of the majority.
While I subscribe to the call for the restructuring of the country, I do not seem to agree with the voices of those who see restructuring wholly from the perspective of restructuring along ethnic or regional lines. Restructuring along regional divides alone will not achieve the much desired results. It may simply end up as a pyrrhic victory. I also do not think that restructuring the country, so that the regions will have control of the resources in the regions is the best way to go. Certainly, I believe in resource control but my point is that having control of the resources in one’s region is not the panacea to the problem. In fact, it may end up creating more problems. I agree with those who have posited that mineral resources should not be the only and real resources we should be trying to control. I also buy the idea that the real owners of the resources are not usually the real beneficiaries of the resources but the political elite in the host communities or regions.
There has to be a more fundamental peg to restructuring the country if we must achieve the results and benefits of restructuring. For me, the focus remains using the revenue accruable from the resources within our environments for the development of the ultimate resource: human resources.
EDUCATION:
Education is critical and absolutely fundamental for developmental growth and enduring positive progress. It cures ignorance, which is a chronic disease afflicting many in the country. Restructuring the country should start from a fundamental restructuring of our educational system and a massive investment into the educational sector. Let us pause and ask ourselves a question: if we have control of resources in our communities and our youths are lacking in quality education, what would be the outcome? It means we will still be having militancy and other related crises because of inequality of access to quality education and the attendant ability to hone skills and talents. We need to restructure the educational system by rebuilding schools, training and retraining the teachers, re-examining and enhancing the curricula to include, among others civic education, moral instruction, and ensuring access to quality education for the Nigerian child.
It is through quality education that we can lay the foundation for a country where everyone will have equal opportunity to excel. It is the well-developed human resource of a country that can engender a keen sense of responsibility among the citizens, unalloyed commitment to common goals and positive action in governance across all tiers of government. I wish to state emphatically that human resource supersedes mineral resources, which is why we need to restructure the whole gamut of our educational system. Obafemi Awolowo once said and I subscribe wholeheartedly to it, that any system of education which does not help a man to have a healthy and sound body and alert brain, balanced and disciplined instinctive urges, is both misconceived and dangerous. That is the kernel for the urgent need to revamp and restructure our educational system. This restructuring, if properly done, will undoubtedly reduce cries of marginalization, curb militancy, kidnapping and other social vices which are currently threatening our national existence. And we will have the right manpower to drive the wheel of progress.
MORAL REARMAMENT:
In addition to restructuring the educational sector, there has to be a mindful and well-articulated effort to enthrone a positive value system as we had in our traditional societies before the oil boom of the seventies and eighties. We need to have the right social values in place if we have toreap the benefits of a restructured Nigeria. A moral rearmament anchored on waging wars against indiscipline and insincerity can be driven through education, moral suasion and leadership by example, from the family, the community and public office holders. Moral rearmament as a tool for social orientation can, significantly reduce the level of insecurity in the land and usher in a system where positive values are appreciated. Moral rearmament will also aid the enthronement of a just and equitable society where the resources, mineral and all, will be used for the good of all. A society that is dependent on mineral resources alone without a positive value system and strong moral fiber cannot thrive in the comity of nations.
Moral rearmament will not necessarily be a government affair alone. It can be an initiative driven by the government but entrenched in the families, communities, local governments and state and federal levels. It will require a strategic campaign like we had in the War against Indiscipline of decades back and a reinvigorated national orientation movement. It should be a mass movement requiring passionate and charismatic Nigerians to drive the initiative, which will ultimately change the way we view and do things that affect us as Nigerians.
ETHNIC AND TRIBAL COMPLEXITIES:
Most of the fears which tend to drive present day agitations for self-determination stem from ethnic and tribal dominations. The minority tribes are afraid of the dominance of the majority tribes, while the majority tribes are afraid of the onslaught of the agitators from the minority tribes. The fears in most cases are real. I believe that while education and moral rearmament are vital for survival and sustenance, managing the ethnic and tribal complexities of our national life should be tackled through a bottom-up approach in the twin issues of responsibility and authority. Each federating unit should be made and reassured of a sense of belonging through a well-articulated charter of equity. Authority and responsibility should be driven from the local authorities (family, community, town, local government), to the state and the centre. I do recall that in the first republic, communities and native authorities played essential roles in ensuring compliance to, and the enforcement of law, order and values. We can look at such a structure, the things that worked effectively, modify them based on current realities and incorporate them into our national code. When communities and native authorities have a stake in the collective survival of the country, they will play their roles keenly, thus reducing the fears of dominance or stampede, which are fuelling crises in the country.
RELIGION:
I share the opinion of others who have argued that Nigeria should remain a secular state. There should be a distinct separation of activities between the government and religious bodies, irrespective of the faith or the denomination. The government, for instance has no business in funding pilgrimages of any religious faith. A restructuring of the country without taking into account our religious diversity and with a concerted effort by government to ensure neutrality in religious matters will not bring about the much desired growth and development. Instead, it will breed mistrust and discontent because, whether we like it or not, religion is now akin to an opium which government ought, and should be detached from.
DEVOLUTION OF POWER:
Devolution of power is an absolute necessity. The present political arrangement whereby so much powers are concentrated in the states and federal level is unnecessary. It breeds economic waste and is unsustainable. There is so much concentration of power at the centre and unwieldy law making organs, which in reality, especially in the last seventeen years, seem to be more and more detached from the people. A natural realignment of political authorities is the answer to realizing peaceful co-existence. There has to be a conscious transfer of power from the centre/state to local authorities for effective administration of all units. I also think that traditional authorities should be give constitutional roles that can help maintain security, at least.The issue of community policing cannot be put on the back-burner any longer. We need to look at it critically with a view to adopting a workable model of community or state policing for the overall interest of the people. The legislature should be made to be a part-time role at the federal and state levels. The present arrangement where the legislature does part-time work under a full-time garb is a complete drain on the dwindling resources of the country. I also believe that when the legislature is constitutionally made to be a part-time organ of government, we will begin to have men and women worthy of character and imbued with passion for the people and the country in the national and state assemblies.
CONCLUSION:
The above are just a few of my thoughts on restructuring the country and they are, by no means conclusive. It is my considered opinion that political restructuring is imperative, but we also need to pay close attention to the subliminal factors that can make such a restructuring a positive one. It should not be restructuring along geo-political or ethnic/linguistic boundaries alone. We should look comprehensively at our past, current state-nation structure and where we want to be in a world that is now a global village.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Opinion

Jegede vs Akeredolu: APC technically out of Anambra Guber

Published

on

By

Spread the love

Because of Supreme Court judgment on the Status of Mai Buni as National Chairman of APC, one could say that the judgment by extension has technically ruled APC out of Anambra November 6th, 2021 Guber election.

It is a very simple logic to understand.

He can not hold position of the Party’s National Chairman as an elected Governor so even if the APC wins, the election could be nullified on the grounds relating to section 183 of the Constitution of Federal of Nigeria 1999 as amended because you can’t put something on nothing and expect it to stand.

Everything done under his leadership is now under constitutional question and also subject to litigation and could be reversed in court based on todays judgment of the supreme Court.

In fact I believe that the Supreme Court played a fast one on Ondo case for claiming that because he was not joined in the matter.

Supreme court merely found a technical mechanism in the lacuna and exploited it as escape route to save ONDO STATE FOR APC. That case would have still been determined on merit without joining Buni.

My argument is centered on the point that he signed/approved all document and processes that will lead to placing the APC on the ballot for Anambra November 6th election.

Section 183 is very clear and unambiguous.

Any law that is inconsistent with the provision of the constitution of Nigeria 1999 as amended is voided automatically.

The Provisions of the constitution shall have binding force on all authorities and persons throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

High Chief Peter Ameh

Former Presidential Candidate Progressive People’s Alliance PPA

Continue Reading

Opinion

Re: Presidency Should Call Mr. Sunday Akin Dare to Order Before He Embarrasses Nigeria

Published

on

By

Spread the love

****Face your Criminal Trial, Minister Tells Gusau

The Attention of the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare, has been drawn to a publication titled “Presidency Should Call Mr.Sunday Akin Dare to Order Before He Embarrasses Nigeria, By Sylvanus Ofekun”

The piece was published by Sahara Reporters and reproduced by a few other platforms that did not conduct the professionally expected due diligence on the false claims made in the said publication.

The article was shopped to several national publications that turned it down on account of its misleading, libelous and attempt to fraudulently rewrite facts and information that have been in the public domain about the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN).

It is common knowledge that the former AFN President, Engineer Ibrahim Shehu Gusau with his co-travellers is desperate to extricate himself from a contract that he controversially signed the AFN into, which has now placed him in a position of trying to blackmail Team Nigeria into wearing the kits. Ibrahim Gusau has conveniently neglected to tell Nigerians that he and Sunday Adeleye signed a non-disclosure agreement with PUMA, which details are unknown to the Ministry and board members of the AFN.
The Minister and the Ministry will not commit the Nigerian government and Nigerian athletes to a deal of which the Ministry has not sighted the contractual documents that ties Nigerian athletes to a five year contract with PUMA.

As is statutory, the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) is responsible for Team Nigeria’s participation in the Tokyo Olympics, and President Muhammadu Buhari, represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, has formally handed over the team to NOC. Unfortunately, Gusau, as a former AFN President, did not write any official letter to the NOC about the kits neither did he contact the incumbent AFN Secretary General to take them over just as he did not remit them to the known address of the AFN, which is AFN Secretariat at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja. He ran the PUMA deal as a purely personal enterprise, which landed him in trouble with the law.

Engineer Gusau and his accomplices in the controversial PUMA deal were docked before a competent court in a criminal case with suit Number CR/99/2020 IGP Vs Ibrahim Shehu Gusau & two others, for criminal conspiracy, misappropriation, criminal breach of trust and cheating in violation of the Nigeria Penal Code. The trial is ongoing and a copy of the charge sheet is attached to this statement. It is pertinent to await the outcome of this criminal trial before making further clarifications on the extent of treachery that the disgraced former AFN President committed against the Athletics Federation of Nigeria and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The Ministry has adequately apprised the Presidency, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation as well as the Inspector General of Police of the criminality involved in the PUMA deal.

In the interim, it is pertinent to state that while the AFN is one of the 38 federations overseen by the Ministry as enshrined in the relevant extant legislation, the Honourable Minister is not responsible for the day to day running of any federation as this is a responsibility for the various secretariats of the federations. It is therefore uncharitable for Gusau, through his hirelings, to insinuate that the Minister is responsible for his troubles.
Gusau should face his ongoing trial for criminal conspiracy, misappropriation, criminal breach of trust and cheating and not involve the Minister in the mess he got himself into.

Federal ministry of Youths and Sports Development

Continue Reading

Opinion

Senate’s rejection of Lauretta Onochie: A refreshing act of patriotism

Published

on

By

Spread the love

By chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, OFR, Ph.D

Introduction

I think for once, something good has come out of Egypt, at least just for once. The Senate firmly rejected the nomination of Ms Lauretta Onochie as INEC Commissioner representing Delta state. This happened just before the anti-democracy and anti-people National Assembly (NASS) – INEC electronic transmission transfixion debacle. Interrogating this national disgrace is for another piece. But, something positive did  emerge from the “take a bow” 9th Senate of the NASS last week.

Surprisingly this was from the NASS which I had described in an earlier write up as the worst NASS to have emerged in Nigeria ever since the days of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe and Dr Nwafor Orizu during the first Republic. The brightest and most progressive of them all was the Dr. Bukola Saraki and Dr Ike Ekweremmadu-led 8th NASS. It  weaned and nurtured democracy. It stood its ground fearlessly and demonstrated its independence as one of the three arms of Government and a strong building block of our fledgling and stunted democracy.

However I do not agree with the Senate that the real reason for Ms Lauretta Onochie’s, rejection was anchored on the Federal character Principle requirement, because Mrs May Agbamuche-Mbu, A serving INEC Commissioner is from Delta State, just like Onochie. I think that was a mere face-saving device and simulated soft landing strategy for the Senate in refusing to square up to the whole truth of the matter.

65 years old Sexagenarian, Lauretta Onochie, born 19th July, 1955, had fervently and publicly denied being politically partisan during the Senate screening. I could not believe my ears. The whole world knows that she had registered as No. 2 in Ward 4, Aniocha North L.G.A. of Delta State, during the recent APC Nation-wide membership registration exercise. More curious about her incredible and incredulous denial stems from the fact that in an affidavit she personally swore to in the case of LAURETTA ONOCHIE VS EMEKA AGWUONYE (as recent as 30th June, 2021), which is currently  pending before the FCT High Court, Abuja, she had attached her own passport photograph. In that case, Onochie had deposed affirmatively in paragraph 3 inter alia, thus: “I am also a member of the All Progressive Congress and a Volunteer at the Buhari Support Organisation (B.SO)”.

I could therefore not believe my eyes when I beheld her frontally and publicly denying membership of the APC and an ardent supporter of President Buhari.
Onochie’s nomination as INEC Commissioner representing Delta State (and by extension, the South South) had therefore triggered national outrage and ruckus because of her glaring political partisanship. Constitutional, democratic and moral hurdles were thus cited by a cross section of Nigerians, including politicians, Lawyers (I am one of them), the opposition PDP, public officers, analysts and the Civil Society, as afflicting her desperately sought-for appointment. Inspite of this,  Onochie boldly appeared before the Senate for screening.She strangely and imperiously thumped her chest as “Madam Due Process”.
Really? Not so fast, madam! She then lied before a bewildered Nation, “since Buhari was elected as president for the second term, I have removed myself from everything about politics. Since 2019, I do not have anything to do with politics. As I am sitting here, I am not a member of any political party in this country”. I wept for Nigeria and for decent womanhood beholding a desperate old woman lying between her teeth, just to get a mere INEC appointment. At 65! This is the age most Civil Servants retire to their homes. What is in this INEC seat to force a woman to throw away her dignity and self respect? Onochie LIED.

For starters, her recent registration as No 2 in Ward 4, Aniocha North LGA of Delta State, during the recent registration exercise shows the falsity of her declaration. Secondly, an affidavit she personally deposed to in a case in which she is the plaintiff as lately as 30th June, 2021, also clearly affirmed that she is still a member of the APC and a volunteer at the Buhari Support Organisation (BSO). Wait for the icing on the case: on June 24, 2020 ( well after she claimed to have quitted partisan politics in 2019 ) , she had made an outing by tweet on the social media, promoting the APC, and stating that the party was merely going through the pangs of a growth process. This was during the leadership crisis that engulfed the APC, threatening to consume this  party of disparate tendencies. In my humble opinion, this brazen denial of her membership of the APC during her screening demonstrated, more than anything else, her total lack of integrity and moral high grounds in being entrusted with such a sensitive job that borders on midwifing the will of the people. It was impunity taken too far.

Let me be very clear about this. There is nothing wrong about Onochie belonging to the APC, or to any other political party of her choice. There is also nothing wrong with Onochie rolling out the drums to support President Buhari, whether before, during, or after the 2015 and 2019 presidential elections. These are her inalienable constitutional rights. But, she cannot enjoy these rights simultaneously with being an INEC Commissioner. She cannot be a bat who argues that she belongs to the Animal Kingdom, because she possesses mammary glands (breasts), pinnas (ears), and teeth, like those of human beings; but that she is, at the same time, a member of the Birds Kingdom, because she can fly very well. As the name suggests, the Independent National Electoral Commission” is expected to be truly independent. The word “independent” means “liberated”, “unrestrained”, “unconstrained”, “bold”, “individualistic”.
Can 65 year old Onochie, a die-in-the-wool APC fanatic, pick up the Holy Bible (as a Christian) and swear that if she had been cleared by the Senate as INEC Commissioner, she would have been truly unrestrained, unconstrained, bold, individualist, and liberated from the apron strings of Buhari and the APC? I think not, or, do you? Could Onochie have been so independent and liberated from her benefactor ,Buhari, and her political party, in such a way and manner as to take firm decisions in an election against their interest? I think not. Or, do you?

Indeed, Part 1 paragraph F to the third schedule of the 1999 Constitution provides that Resident Electoral Commissioners shall be persons of “unquestionable integrity”. Can Onochie, a member of a political party who is crazily and passionately partisan to her party and her benevolent appointor, the President, be a person of “unquestionable integrity”? I believe not. Or do you? Her mere admission of once belonging to the APC and supporting Buhari, but that she had recanted and renounced them ( even if believable), are the very reasons why she should never come near the corridors of ballot papers and boxes.

The truth of the matter, and I can categorically conjecture why Onochie was rejected, is that she has been one of the most fantatical and consumate supporters; and a vociferous card-bearing member of the APC. She is not just an APC card-carrying member; she has always been the Personal Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Social Media Affairs. She loves wearing a long ankle- length t-shirt emblazoned with a larger-than-life portrait of Buhari. She deifies him; canonises him.No problem about this; it is her right.But, please, Onochie, stay far away, far far away, from the hallowed precincts of INEC. Keep Off please !!!

Onochie has always used the social media outlet to attack every and all Nigerians that dare to disagree with her mentor and deity, Buhari. She  abuses them all. Freely. She deploys  obscene expletives, caustic language, utmost vulgarity and asinine inanities.
Waziri Atiku Abubakar was not spared by Onochie’s putrid vituperations.She accused him of shopping for terrorists in Dubai and being a wanted man. Atiku is in court against Onochie over this. I am his lawyer. Onochie had also attacked me in the social media some years ago, for daring to criticize Buhari, her god. I refused to dignify her with a response, so as not to belittle my humble self. But, she was not so lucky with roaring and cerebral Chief Femi Fani Kayode ( FFK),  whom she dared attack. She had touched the tiger by the tail. FFK would not accept that, not let go. He took her to the cleaners and literally tore her to shreds. With bare knuckles; intellectual superiority. I had guffawed.

Therefore, such a palpably partisan person was not fit for, or confirmable for the sacred position of INEC Commissioner. She would have been the biggest liability to this already baggaged Government. She would have further polluted the electoral process, since she is a known unabashed presidential aid and a card-carrying member of the APC , who can never go against her boss or political party in any matter involving elections. She was brutally partisan. She did so without any remorse, sense of guilt or shame whatsoever. Her rejection was therefore good riddance to bad rubbish.

Whether for reason of federal character (section 14 of the Constitution), or for the reason of her well known unabashed partisanship, the important thing is that Onochie was roundly rejected. Like some people would say jocularly , whether it was Jonah that swallowed the fish, or it was the fish that swallowed Jonah, the important thing is that there was a “swallow”.

My kobo piece piece of advice to Lauretta. Madam, quietly stay put in your propaganda corner with your job as Buhari’s social media attack dog. In this, I believe you have done pretty good. I score you well above average. But, for INEC job, farewell! Goodbye!! Adieu!!!

I therefore salute the Senate of the 9th NASS for developing balls for the first time; at least on this singular occasion. Kudos to the Ahmed-Lawan led Senate on Onochie’s rejection as INEC Commissioner.

Continue Reading

Trending