Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and some prominent Nigerians have advocated autonomous stronger states through devolution of powers.
They gave the submissions during the Bisi Akande Colloquium held at Theophilus Ogunlesi Hall in Ibadan to commemorate Akande’s 80th birthday ceremony. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Akande, an APC starlwart, is a former of Osun State and former APC Interim national chairman.
The theme of the colloquium was ‘Nigeria: Achieving National Unity Through Peaceful Restructuring.’ Osinbajo, who was the chairman of the event, said every Nigerian knows that restructuring is very important, but most differ on how to go about it. The vice president, who recounted the Lagos state experience on restructuring under the Bola Tinubu administration, advocated adoption of judicial process in the quest for restructuring of the country. He noted that states should contest the need for restructuring in court than engaging themselves in mere agitation. Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state, who was the keynote speaker, said that the federal government needed to devolve more powers to the states, and the states to local governments. He said that devolution of more powers and responsibilities to states would create many options for productive collaboration between states and federal government. El-Rufai said that restructuring was a nation-building opportunity for Nigeria, despite the tendency of certain sections of the nation’s elite to trivialise it with their opportunism. “Successful restructuring depended on the national resolve to protect the idea of a common citizenship. “A restructuring of mentality and values are key factors in the success of a restructuring of the governance and political structure. “With all sense of responsibility, I believe some Nigerians have made a career and livelihood around “restructuring” without deep thought, or a clear plan or implementation strategy,” he said. Senator Ken Nnamani, former Senate president and a discussant at the event, said Nigerians knew the importance of restructuring and needed not to be tutored about it. “Restructuring is not disintegration, but an avenue for the nation to develop through the federations units. Any party regarding restructuring as its core mandate is not serious. “For anyone to now say, he will restructure Nigeria in six months, the person is just joking,” he said.
He said there were lots of responsibilities that the Federal Government was over-burdened with that needed to be devolved to states. Akande, the celebrant, urged youths in the country to value education over I’ll-gotten wealth. Earlier, Gov. Abiola Ajimobi, the host governor, said restructuring was a sine qua non to building a great nation.