Restructuring: Nigeria Needs To Go Back To The Begining – Femi Falana


Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, has advised Nigeria on the type of restructuring that would be suitable and generally acceptable to all parts of the country.

According to the senior lawyer, what is required is a restructuring that will return the country to the status quo ante bellum

Speaking with journalists  Falana noted that:

The country has to return to the 1963 Constitution with necessary modifications. In the first place, that was the Constitution suspended by the military dictators in January 1966.

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Secondly, that remains the only Constitution that was ever written and enacted by the Nigerian people through their representatives in the parliament.

All other Constitutions were enacted and imposed on Nigerians by either colonial rulers or military dictators.

Restructuring means the devolution of powers in line with the principles of federalism. In the Nigerian context, devolution of powers means that the Federal Government will be in charge of defence, foreign affairs, immigration, inter-state commerce

Fiscal and monetary policies etc, while the states will manage their own affairs and develop at their own pace. But federalism in the First Republic was anchored on an effective welfare policy.

The founding fathers of our country opted for federalism. Ours is not the only federation in the world. The United States that we copy almost recklessly is a federation of over 50 states. If you look at the motto of the United States, it is out of many, one nation has emerged.

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He also said  that the leader of the northern youth group that issued a three months ultimatum to the Igbo to vacate the North does not live in the North but in Lagos

The man who is giving quit notice does not live in the North; he lives in Lagos. I am saying this, Shettima Yerima lives in Lagos. He is a Lagos man. So to live in Lagos and be giving quit notice is not the answer.