Restructuring: What ex defence chief Akinrinade said to Buhari

General Alani Akinrinade, a former Chief of Defence Staff on Monday said restructuring Nigeria would benefit Nigerians and it’s therefore unavoidable and inevitable for national consensus to agree on the issue.

While stressing the need for state police, Akinrinade particularly urged President Muhammadu Buhari to initiate a bill to unbundle the overburdened centre by removing some of the items in the current Exclusive List.

Akinrinade who served in the capacity as between 1979 and 1980, called on the Federal Government to make quike steps in doing the needful about the country’s restructuring, in a lecture “Restructuring and the Dawn of a new Nigeria” he delivered in Yenegoa, Bayelsa State, during Governor Seriake Dickson’s 6th anniversary.

 

Proponents of restructuring, who formed a panel of discussants include, a former governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife; President of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Mr. Shettima Yerima; Spokesman for Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin; and the founding President, Nigeria Oral Literature Association, Prof. Godini Darah.

“In the last few weeks, a national consensus seems to have coalesced around the issue. Restructuring is unavoidable and inevitable for Nigeria. It is not a done deal yet; neither are the procedures and modus operandi cast in marble.

“But with the All Progressives Congress committee on the subject turning in one of many of the cardinal imperatives of restructuring report with a bold approval and the Peoples Democratic Party buying substantially into the project through its legislative caucus, a new vista of bi-partisan cooperation has been opened.

“If we cast our mind to the recent battle for restructuring in Nigeria, we see all the rich ironies of history in slow motion. Four years ago as the battle for the restructuring of the nation raged unabated, then President Goodluck Jonathan convoked a National Political Conference with the express mandate to look at the grave political issues facing Nigeria and come up with an acceptable solution.

“Given the urgency of the situation, one would have thought that the convener would have acted with express resolve once the conference turned in its report. But for reasons best known to him, Jonathan delayed and prevaricated until he was defeated in a landmark presidential election, which for the first time in the history of the nation had the opposition winning by a landslide.

“In his own case, and as if the government is a radical discontinuum, President Muhammadu Buhari would have nothing to do with the conference report. In fact, it is on record that the former infantry officer went as far as to flatly assert that he would make sure that the report ended up in a permanent cooler – the archives. This was not just a case of benign indifference but active hostility.”

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