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“Time Has Come To Restructure Nigeria”

Former Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Alani Akinrinade (retd) and other prominent stakeholders on Monday told President Muhammadu Buhari to brace up for restructuring, insisting that it was time to unbundle Nigeria and make it beneficial for everyone.

Akinrinade, who delivered a lecture in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, to mark the sixth anniversary of Governor Seriake Dickson’s administration, specifically urged Buhari to initiate a bill in the National Assembly for power devolution.

“President Buhari should go immediately for the clusters of consensus and low hanging fruits by initiating a bill for the structural unbundling of an overburdened centre through the removal of several agreed items from the current Exclusive List and their devolution to the constituting states in a way and manner that does not enfeeble or endanger the manifest destiny of the nation,’ he said.

Several people trooped to the Banquet Hall venue of the lectire to listen to the retired general, who revealed the historical origin of restructuring with a conclusion that the survival of the country depends on it.

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Traditional rulers, former governors, political appointees and lawmakers attended the lectire lecture titled: “Restructuring: the way forward for Nigeria.”

Former Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, President of Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF), Mr. Shettima Yerima; Spokesman of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin and founding President, Nigeria Oral Literature Association, Prof. Godini Darah, were panelists for the lecture.

Dickson led his Deputy, John Jonah (retd) and members of his cabinet to the lecture while the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Mr. Kombowei Benson, was accompanied by other lawmakers.

Akinrinade, whose lecture was punctuated intermittently by applauses, maintained that restructuring was inevitable and unavoidable for Nigeria but said it was not yet a done deal.

Listing the expectations of a restructured country, he said: 

“I hope to live to see the day in a properly federalized and restructured Nigeria, the return of the groundnut and cotton pyramids to Kano wrapped with colourful hides and skin, huge cocoa plantations to the west, the palm oil and kernel industry to the East and the appearance of yam skyscrapers in Makurdi, Gboko and Jalingo

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“Governor Seriake Dickson sir, I hope in my lifetime, that you or one of your successors will transform from an administrator to a true governor that will not need to look elsewhere to adequately protect and safeguard his people and their properties.

“That will be free to plan and execute without hindrance the utilization of her natural resources including oil and gas to the benefit of Bayesians first, and observing and enforcing best practices for environmental protection.

“That can fully embrace self- reliance without the encumbrances of some dubious, resource wasting institutions like NNDC, Ministry of Niger Delta etc. housing at great expense, jobbers in Agbada and Babanriga, masquerading as board members, ministers etc. but cannot differentiate between the abode of oysters crayfish and periwinkle, nor the difference between a luxury cruise ship, which they know well at your expense and a canoe.”