President Muhammadu Buhari addressed Nigerians today after arriving from London…
By Abdulkabir Olatunji
There are always buzzwords within the Nigerian polity at any point in time and currently, the popular one is ‘restructuring’. Former, Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Ohaneze Ndigbo, Afenifere and other groups have all called for restructuring as the panacea for solving Nigeria’s problems. Even the APC during the 2015 general election promised restructuring of the country.
However, the problem I have with this line of reasoning is that it actually fails to address the real trouble with Nigeria which is its people. It is tempting to identify our problem as that of poor leadership but if you consider the fact that leaders do not fall from outer space and emerge from among us the followers, you will understand the limitations of this line of thought.
A look at history shows several attempts to restructure Nigeria. In 1963, Nigeria abandoned the parliamentary system of government for the presidential one as it became a republic. Late Gen. Aguyi Ironsi when he came to power in 1966 essentially turned Nigeria to a unitary state, that failed too.
We used to have a regional form of government, that was dropped in favour of states. I can go on with the different attempts to restructure Nigeria that have all failed to lead us to the promised land.
The answer is simple, we the people of Nigerians have mastered the art of sabotage. We excel at undermining systems with our primitive greed, corruption, tribalism and nepotism. Until we significantly shed these negative attributes, we will not experience true progress and development.
Every country, institution and even individuals require positive change from time-to-time and the true reforms and restructuring that we require as a nation will evolve over time rather than be contrived for personal interests and gain which seem to be the motivation for those clamouring loudest for restructuring Nigeria at the moment. We need to change ourselves first and make the most of what we have at the moment before any restructuring will add any value to us as a people.