The former President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, who has been at the forefront of renewed calls for a reconstituted Nigeria since the beginning of the year has again restated his position on the issue saying that Nigeria as currently constituted is an entity that is rooted in corruption, impunity and injustice and thus must be reconstituted.
See Also: Senate Calls For SGF’s Resignation
Atiku Abubakar, who served under former President Olusegun Obasanjo from 1999-2007 made the statement on Monday, 12th December, while expanding on a paper titled: “Nigerian Federalism: Continuing Quest for Stability and Nation-Building” at a forum in Abuja, adding that the current system is the bane of Nigeria and not the individuals running it.
The former leader was quoted by Oriental Times as saying;
“Political and civic leaders from across the country must come together, discuss, negotiate and make the necessary compromises and sacrifices needed to restructure our federation to make us a stronger, more united, productive, and competitive country.”
According to Mr. Atiku, there is an unending cry of marginalisation from every section of the country, a situation, he said, was as a result of the shortcoming in the nation’s constitution.
“No section of this country can claim correctly that its people are better served by the current structure of our federation. When we were not dependent on oil revenues and when the federating units had greater autonomy of action and were largely responsible for their affairs, they, that is our regional governments, did not owe workers their salaries for several months.
“They did not shut down schools and universities for several months because of teacher strikes and inadequate funding. Take a look at the industries that the regional governments established and ran and the quality of schools that they established, and see if you can see a state government or a group of state governments that have bested them since the emergence of our unitary federalism.
See Again: EFCC Ordered To Unfreeze Fayose’s Accounts
“And also ask yourself which of those establishments taken over or established by the federal government since, has performed as well as they did under our pre-1966 federal system.”
Atiku Abubakar maintained that Abuja should be ready and willing to give up some of its powers to the remaining 36 federating units, explaining that this is not a call for the break-up of Nigeria, but only a call for the imposition of a system where transparency, efficiency, and equity will be superior.
He further stated that national unity does not mean the absence of disagreement or agitations, ‘In fact, disagreements and peaceful agitations indicate vibrant and living relationships. The key to making national progress is to manage those disagreements in peaceful and mature ways,’ he said.
In June, he used his remarks at a book launch, also in Abuja, to call for a more federal system which would put to rest the disparate yearnings of Nigerians from all sections of the country.