Former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, has said that there is need for change in Nigeria, even as he insisted that Nigeria needs restructuring.
The former Vice-President said this in a paper he presented at the Late Gen. Usman Katsina Memorial Conference, which took place at Umaru Musa Yar’Adua Memorial Hall, Murtala Square, Kaduna state, on Saturday.
Atiku reaffirmed his earlier stand on restructuring of Nigeria while he spoke at the conference with theme, “The Challenges of National Integration and Survival of Democracy in Nigeria.”
“As a country we have struggled to live up to this ideal. We have obviously not done enough to realise national integration, and the survival of our democracy is still a work in progress.
“The cost to us has been enormous. We even fought a civil war to forcibly keep the country together.
“Since the various amalgamations that created the entity that we now call Nigeria, different segments of Nigeria’s population have, at different times and sometimes at the same time, expressed feelings of marginalisation, of being short-changed, dominated, oppressed, threatened, or even targeted for elimination.
“If anything, our unity has been fragile, our democracy unstable, and our people more aggrieved by their state in the federation. The North and Nigeria have not been served well by the status quo and there is need for change.
“Who among us who went to primary and secondary school in the 1960s had much to do with the federal government? Did the northern regional government wait to collect monthly revenue allocations from Lagos before paying salaries to its civil servants and teachers or fixing its bridges and roads?” Atiku asked.
The former Vice President then called on Nigerians regardless of their political leaning to embrace the need for restructuring of the country.
By Ebere Ndukwu …
Ripples Nigeria…without borders, without fears
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