NIGERIA RISK BREAKUP WITHOUT RESTRUCTURING
The handwriting is clear. The cloud is gathering. Our dear country Nigeria is sitting on a gun pounder, waiting to explode.
Nigeria has remained in the tunnel of misery, including fighting an avoidable civil war which claimed over a million lives.
The drum of war is being played in many parts of Nigeria, the Yoruba (YOLICOM) from the South West, IPOB/MOSSOP from the South East, the Niger Delta, MOSOP/MEND and others from the South-South and the catastrophe of possible civil war must be avoided through proactive means with urgency and decisive measures of restructuring Nigeria.
In my last article, I commended the thoughtfulness and bravery of Nigerians who are presently championing the call for the restructuring of Nigeria and urged them to continue speaking truth to power.
I want to reiterate that Nigeria must get rid of Unitary System. It will kill Nigeria. We must restructure now with six equal regions!
If Nigeria fails to listen to the voice of reason and equity and restructure, it will be the last straw that may break Nigeria.
Currently, the North has 19 states, mostly unsustainable, while the South has 17 states, some likely, not sustainable as well. Interestingly, there are more senators and representatives from the North who are constitutionally empowered to make laws that govern the conduct of all Nigerian citizens.
Furthermore, the North has 19 states with 419 local government districts, 58 senatorial seats and 191 House of Representatives. On the other hand, the South has 17 states with 357 local government districts, 51 senatorial seats and 169 House of Representatives.
I submit that the North is reaping where they have not sowed at the expense of the South whose sweat and labor and resources are channeled to the North through an unjust structure, policies, and laws.
This aberration was the handiwork of the Military which imposed the 1999 constitution designed to favor the North at the expense of the South and orchestrated with impunity.
Therefore, the adoption of this flawed constitution creates an unjust system that benefits the North, making it difficult to change through a constitutional means.
The current Nigerian structure imposed by the Constitution is unjust, inequitable, unfair and unbalanced and must be changed to address the challenges of the current disposition.
The military constitution imposition must be done away with along with the unitary system which is counterproductive to a democratic dispensation form of government.
Nigeria must be restructured to fast-track economic growth and entrepreneurial productivity and development.
Restructuring with true federalism option and regional autonomy (Six Regional Zones: North East, North West, North Central, South West, South East, and South-South) may be the only solution to the Nigerian impasse.
It is on this and other bases that restructuring Nigeria into six autonomous regions, three from the North and three from South will proffer a lasting solution, unity, peace, economic productivity, growth and sustainability of the Nigerian entity.
Otherwise, Nigeria risks the dilemma of nonexistence and destruction.
Lastly, the United Nations together with the United States of America should intervene in setting up a national conference to prevent further escalation and the possibility of arms struggle, war, and disaster of imaginary proportion.
Prof. Babs Onabanjo, President: Nigerian Alliance for Democracy (1993-1999)