Ex-commonwealth Scribe Says Nigeria Is Failing, Advocates Restructuring
BEVERLY HILLS, October 10, (THEWILL) – A former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of Nations, Chief Emeka Anyaoku has joined the call for the restructuring of the country along a more flexible fiscal federal state, warning that the country's federal structure as currently composed would not help Nigeria to attain nationhood.
He contended that Nigeria was failing hence the need for a system which would replace the present federal structure, that retains more power and resources at the centre, asserting that the country must be restructured for Nigeria to develop and stay united.
Anyaoku made this assertion in Abuja on Sunday during the launch of a book, 'Nigeria: The Forsaken Road to Nationhood and Development' written by Ambassador Humphrey Orjiakor.
He observed that owing to the dominance of the centre over the constituent states, the country was fast failing to meet the expectations of its founding fathers and admonished those opposed to restructuring to have a rethink.
According to him, “I think that the Nigeria we have with 36 federating units now is not working. The country continues to under-perform because of the 36 states we have now. No less than 27 of them can no longer pay the salaries of their workers.
“The planning of economic development is less efficient on the basis of these non-viable states. If we had six federating units, you would have more viable basis for planning economic development and those who fear that it would mean disintegration of the country are wrong, because the country was doing a lot better at the time of its independence.”
Recalling that the country did better when it was governed along four regions, the former Commonwealth secretary-general argued that the current structure, which was initiated by the military from 1966 was defective.
“What we are doing now will lead us nowhere in terms of development, and in terms of building nationhood to which Nigerians will be proud of to belong,” he said.
Reacting to the opposition against restructuring, Anyaoku said: “We are failing and that is the only argument to present to those who are opposed to restructuring. I think we need to persuade those with hardening positions against restructuring because this country is living in denial of the basic facts of its under-performance.”
He explained that the over-centralisation of power at the centre following the intervention of the military in politics led the country to its present challenges.
He said, “The centre was not that powerful, we have the example of the then leader of the biggest political party in the country, the Northern Peoples Congress, NPC, Sir Ahmadu Bello, who chose to remain as the Premier of the North and sent his lieutenant to be the prime minister of the federation. That was the reflection of the bonds of power and influence between the centre and the region.
“And the Western Region, the Northern Region, Eastern Region and the Mid-Western Region of the country were developing faster than the states created since the military intervened in governance.”