Former Head of State, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, has lent his voice to the call to restructure Nigeria.
Babangida said restructuring the country will ensure true federalism, devolution of power and creation of state police.
According to him, the Nigerian federation, as currently structured, is in need of reforms that will emphasise the individual strength and advantages of the component units so that governments can really work to improve the lives of Nigerians.
The elder statesman also called for an end to current agitations for secession and hate speeches by different groups across the country.
In a statement he personally signed titled: “I Am A Nigerian,” the former military president, popularly known as IBB advocated for restructuring of the country in a way that will result in devolution of powers and more responsibilities to the states while the Federal Government will be vested with the responsibility to oversee our foreign policy, defense, and economy.
In the statement, IBB made a case for restructuring Nigeria for the following reasons:
– “For example, restructuring has become a national appeal as we speak, whose time has come. I will strongly advocate devolution of powers to the extent that more responsibilities be given to the states while the Federal Government is vested with the responsibility to oversee our foreign policy, defence, and economy.
– “Even the idea of having federal roads in towns and cities has become outdated and urgently needs revisiting. That means we need to tinker with our constitution to accommodate new thoughts that will strengthen our nationality.
– “Restructuring and devolution of powers will certainly not provide all the answers to our developmental challenges; it will help to reposition our mindset as we generate new ideas and initiatives that would make our union worthwhile.
– “The talk to have the country restructured means that Nigerians are agreed on our unity in diversity; but that we should strengthen our structures to make the union more functional based on our comparative advantages.
– “Added to this desire is the need to commence the process of having state police across the federation. This idea was contained in my manifesto in 2010 when I attempted to contest the presidential elections.
– “The initial fear that state governors will misuse the officers and men of the state police has become increasingly eliminated with renewed vigour in citizens’ participation in, and confidence to interrogate power.
Babangida is the second politician from the northern part of the country, after former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, to support the call for restructuring. Most leaders from the region have often strongly condemned the call for restructuring.
According to them, restructuring would threaten the unity of the country.
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