Bode George writes Buhari, says restructuring only way to save Nigeria

June 24, 2021
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Former Deputy National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olabode George, has said that restructuring is the only way to save Nigeria, positing that a progressive and graduated restructuring of the union, mandated at the peace table, would strengthen the bonds of the union, rouse individual competitiveness, encourage the stirring of merit, widen the collective economic growth of the country, among others.

George, who is also the Atona Oodua of Yorubaland, said this in an open letter he forwarded to President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, in reaction to the president’s recent statement on restructuring.

The elder statesman, who said he wrote the letter as a junior to President Buhari while in service, however, pointed out that his position on the call was without partisan or ethnic intimations.

George, while making the call, affirmed that it would be wrong and even cynical for anyone to pretend that the present Nigerian structure was smooth and without flaws.

According to him, on the contrary, the very skewed structures are provoking everywhere the glaring indices of terror and widening chaos and across the country.

“It will be wrong and even cynical for anyone to pretend that the present Nigerian structure is smooth and without flaws.

“On the contrary, the very skewed structures are provoking everywhere the glaring indices of terror and widening chaos. From Sokoto to Calabar, from Jigawa to Delta, from Borno to Rivers- the Nigerian- state is sinking deeper into loose banditry and general uncertainties,” he said.

“Virtually everyone is vulnerable. There are no safe havens anymore. The present policing architecture is obviously unsuitable to modern threats and challenges. Policing can no longer be centralized. This is one of the cardinal points why the restructuring of the Nigerian state is important,” he added.

The politician argued that a nation can only be sustained on the platform of equity and fairness and not when some sections of the society felt fettered and squeezed out of the national equation, declaring that power had to be loosened at the centre for the survival of the very fragile union, while the states which he said were suffocated and stifled must be constitutionally empowered to determine their growth and development.

The letter read: “Power has to be loosened at the centre for the survival of this very fragile union. The states must be constitutionally empowered to determine their growth and development. We cannot all be held down by an overarching unitary system that stunts merit and halts individual progress and initiatives.

“Nigeria can only survive when the states can prosecute their individual vision, explore their God-given resources at their own pace without the intrusion of the central organ.

“The states are suffocated, stifled, hindered and cluttered by inimical constitutional constraints that are savaging to developmental enlightenment. We are a nation of nations whose innate diversities should be cultivated as our collective advantages.

“Where we have disparate visions, where we have contradicting values, we can steer towards a unifying compromise without anyone being elbowed out. We can reconcile on the peace table without recourse to sectional triumphalism which invariably fans the embers of violence.

“While I will never support a violent dissolution of the country, I am a strong proponent of a very loose, tight and elastic union where each state can freely assert itself without any overbearing intrusion from an outsider, where the indices of economic advancement are devolved to the states, where policing is enforced as local matters, where natural resources are controlled by state organs and where the collective wealth of a state are sustained and steered towards the development of each state.

“That is not the case now. The subsisting situation is an aberrant unitary constitution that flames anger and distrust, prompting many fissiparous actors who feel that the union has disadvantaged a large section of our society to canvass a separatist agenda.

“But this is hardly a redeeming solution. An angry resort to a dissolution hardly ends in harmony. It often leads to the grim path of war. Surely this is not what we want. A progressive and graduated restructuring of the union, mandated at the peace table, will strengthen the bonds of our Union, rouse individual competitiveness, encourage the stirring of merit, widen our collective economic growth, galvanise the fields of industry, encourage initiatives and ultimately enhance the national harmony.

“To remain on this same spot, to refuse to acknowledge that our nation needs to rectify the glaring wrongs through a new progressive, fair and equitable constitutional arrangement will be to scoff at reality and postpone more compelling and inevitable chaos which nobody wants. History will be more kind to President Buhari should he choose to align with the popular clamour for devolution of powers and progressive restructuring of the Nigerian- state.”

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Bode George writes Buhari, says restructuring only way to save Nigeria

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