I have always looked at the issue of restructuring with consternation. I am a stickler for status quo. Let’s not shake the table otherwise we will continue to shake it at every little tremor.
My position was hinged on the erratic process of decision staking in our polity. Watchers of the Nigerian political milieu will agree that such heavy decisions are usually not taken from an outward holistic point but driven by very shallow and oftentimes near sighted prisms.
So, when the whispers for restructuring started even as early as the IBB days, I stood firmly against it. My thrust being that the issue is really that of leadership. My argument is very clear, if you do not strengthen the process from the point of leadership, no matter the level of structuring or restructuring we will still find ourselves with mud on our collective faces.
Take the state creation madness that has been our folly. From regions, to twelve states to 19 to the 36 we have today, we still find ourselves in the dark corridors of underdevelopment, corruption and debilitating poverty.
So, how a devolution of powers or resource control or even going back to the regions will lead us to Eldorado is something I really do not understand.
But this Buhari misstep has really thrown up how negative consequences of inept leadership combined with a flawed structure can actually lead to the demise of a great nation.
Leaning on a flawed but well intentioned constitution and structure, this leadership has taken nepotism, flawed appointments and obviously short sighted policies to the point where the nation is tethering on tenterhooks.
This situation has shown just how powerful the centre is, and in the hands of myopia you get a great disservice to the rest of the nation.
This has led to a rethink of my initial position on restructuring. Power must be devolved; the states must be given a greater role in the structure and the centre pushed to a coordinating role.
Wounds have to be healed by giving all federating sides a full sense of belonging and this can only happen through empowerment.
Let the States have their tendencies and something like an equalization fund be set up and administered at the centre to bridge those States that, either due to natural geographical positioning or dearth of natural resources cannot meet its obligations.
The positive in all of these is that the ineffectiveness of the Buhari Government has thrown up more than ever before the very urgent need for restructuring.
Author: Joseph Edgar
Articles published in our Graffiti section are strictly the opinion of the writers and do not represent the views of Ripples Nigeria or its editorial stand.
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