PROFESSOR Banjo Akintoye, leader of the Assembly of All Yoruba Groups Worldwide, has called on the federal government to restructure the country. He said Nigeria should be restructured with the objective of giving the country a true and generally acceptable federal structure.
Speaking at the 50th anniversary of the end of the Nigerian Civil War, organized by the Nzuko Umunna and Ndigbo, Lagos, Akintoye said restructuring would enable different sections of the country to develop their resources for the conquest of poverty in their domains, for the elevation of the quality of life of their citizens, and for their contributions to the overall prosperity of Nigeria. According to him, to make restructuring produce a full and abiding good for the country, Nigeria must now, for the first time, correct a serious mistake which it has been making from the beginning, especially from the beginning of independent Nige
“That mistake is that we have been ignoring the fundamental fact that underlies our country. The fundamental fact is that Nigeria is a Country of many different nations, of nations that are in some respects radically different – in their cultures, their political traditions, their perceptions of acceptable reality, their expectations, and their desires and goals. Ignoring this fundamental, we have almost continuously let our country wobble and teeter on the brink of violent implosion, and we have continually inflicted serious pains upon ourselves. We fought and ended a Civil War, but we have never really moved measurably away from the brinks of Civil War.
“We have now seen enough to be convinced that we must not continue to ignore the fundamental. The fundamental will not go away; it is we who must harmonize the structure and management of our country with the fundamental. Refusing to recognize and harmonize with the fundamental would certainly continue our country’s slide towards dissolution, and might soon complete that process. Consciously recognizing and harmonizing with the fundamental would almost certainly give our country a long and stable lease of life.
“But that means that if we do agree and choose to continue to live together as one country, then we all (all sections of our country) must together work out, agree upon, and thoroughly respect the agreed conditions and demands of our living together as one country. We must now, absolutely, and without further delay, address our fundamental and let our country, our Nations, and our people have peace. The mounting mood of our younger generation and our youths – the overwhelming and most heavily distressed majority of our country’s population – is deafeningly, and increasingly impatiently, demanding this. We are already in a crisis.
“If we, in our sober deference to reality, find that we can no longer hold together as one entity, then let us together peacefully find a rational solution, and let us Never Again plunge into any kind of War among us. It is subhuman to continue to suffer pain and brutalization without trying to get rid of it. And it is insanity to keep doing a thing the same way over and over and expect a different outcome. I am confident that we Nigerians can make a success of doing the desperately needful now,” he said.