– By Dr. David B.A. Olufon
The orchestrated controversies over National Restructuring of Project Nigeria has been narrowed down by debaters, analysts, commentators and critics to mean: one or all of the following: True or Fiscal Federalism, Devolution Of Power From Federal To Federating States, Resource Control, Principles of Derivation, State Police, Rotational Presidency etc.: BUT EVERYONE REJECTED SECESSION, BREAK-UP OR DISMEMBERMENT OF THE NATION AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO ALL THE SUGGESTIONS!
Prominent among all the debaters were the RECYCLED POLITICIANS who have acquired immense wealth through tribalism/nepotism in the award of contracts and lopsided employment opportunities which always favoured some geographical areas of the country above others since independence. BUT HAS ANYONE EVER THOUGHT THAT THE DOCTRINE OF NATIONAL RESTRUCTURING (POLITICALLY OR ECONOMICALLY), SHOULD ISSUE FROM INDIVIDUAL MINDS THROUGH ORIENTATION AND RE-ORIENTATION ABOUT CITIZENSHIP, NATIONAL VALUES, CIVIC DUTIES ETC?
What happened to the RESTRUCTURING of past administrations from Amalgamation to Parliamentary, Regional, Military, and States creation from 12, to 19, 27 and 36, in 157 years of Nigeria as a nation? What was the gain of the common man in all of this past? Did restructuring put food on his table? Where are his ancestors who toiled for Nigeria? Did they not all die in penury and poverty? Where the employment opportunities were for employable and able-bodied citizens in all of the window-dressing antics called restructuring? The unemployment ratio in Nigeria is almost 65% in spite of the efforts of the present Change Administration!
In the beginning, GOD created Man as a TRIPARTITE personality i.e. Body, Soul and Spirit, capable of reasoning constructively, highly sensible to make independent decisions without coercion, pressure, intimidation or harassment by anyone other than his God-endowed Conscience! NOW IS THE TIME TO ALLOW THE COMMON MAN TO DECIDE HIS OWN DESTINY WITHOUT FURTHER MANIPULATION BY THE UNFAITHFUL POLITICAL REPRESENTATIVES AT ALL LEVELS OF GOVERNANCE – ESPECIALLY, THE LEGISLATURE WHICH MUST BE COLLAPSED INTO ONE CHAMBER OF TWO LEGISLATORS FROM EACH OF THE 36 STATES AND WHO WOULD SERVE ON PART-TIME APPOINTMENTS ON BASIC CIVIL SERVICE SALARIES/ALLOWANCES TO BLOCK GOVERNMENT WASTAGES!
The Godly common man is fully aware that the Earth and all its Fullness belong to GOD and that, Unclad he came to the world and Unclad would he return to GOD to give account of his stewardship at the end of his sojourn on planet Earth since it is appointed for Man to DIE ONLY ONCE, and thereafter to be JUDGED! MOST OF THE CONFUSIONISTS AND AGITATORS FOR RESTRUCTURING AND SECESSION FROM NIGERIA ARE CLOSER TO THEIR GRAVES WHERE ALL AGITATIONS CEASE THAN THEY COULD EVER IMAGINE!
What dividends of democracy can the EXPIRED, CORRUPTED, DISILLUSIONED AND UNREPENTANT politicians bring to the table for the INDEPENDENT MIND OF THE COMMON MAN, who is actually the GOOSE THAT HAD ALWAYS LAID THE GOLDEN EGGS SINCE AMALGAMATION IN 1914?
We believe that there is nothing wrong with Nigeria’s present STRUCTURE of 36 States – what is wrong is maladministration by politicians who have FAILED for the umpteenth time to HARNESS the God-given natural resources within their reach to generate massive INTERNAL REVENUES to make the States sustainable economically because of their SELFISH AGENDA TO SIPHON SUCH WEALTH FOR PERSONAL AGGRANDIZEMENT!
We had severally advocated that GOVERNORS of the 36 States should be forced to give account of the Federal Government’s BAIL OUT FUNDS LENT TO THEM FOR THE PAYMENT OF BACK-LOG OF WORKERS SALARIES IN 2015&2016, AND ALSO THOSE OF 35 STATES FOR TWO TRANCHES OF PARIS CLUB REFUND OF SEVERAL BILLIONS OF NAIRA OVER-DEDUCTED THROUGH LOAN SERVICING and it is gratifying to learn that SERAP, – a Nigerian anti-corruption Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has secured a COURT ORDER which must now force the States helmsmen to give account of disbursement of the said strategic funds to SERAP and by extension for public knowledge, since mismanagement of the funds was rumoured in the social media!
On 29th June, 2017, a Lagos Federal High Court, granted leave which now permits Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), to seek and order of mandamus (an order from a court to an inferior government official ordering the official to properly fulfil his official duties or correct an abuse of discretion ), directing the government to publish details of his spending of the N388.304 billion London Paris Club Loan refunds allegedly diverted and mismanaged by 35 States of the Nigerian Federation. In a very brief ruling, the Judge permitted SERAP to proceed with the legal challenge to unravel how those States spent the loan refund. Justice Muslim Hassan, stressed that it was pertinent for the authorities “to come and tell us how they spent our money.” The Governors had claimed that they spent the refunds on strategic social projects! WE WILL ALSO CONTINUE TO ADVOCATE FOR INDEPENDENT CANDIDATES WITH INDEPENDENT MINDS WHO WILL TRULY REPRESENT THE DOWNTRODDEN WITHOUT LET OR HINDRANCE; AND IT IS OUR BELIEF THAT THE ONGOING NATIONAL ASSEMBLY (NASS), 1999 CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT JOINT COMMITTEE WOULD ENSURE THE PASSAGE OF THIS ADVOCACY!
The THREE-PRONGED THRUST of the Change Administration’s effort to revamp the bastardized economy on assumption of governance in 2015, was,
(1) To erase and obliterate CORRUPTION completely
(2) To destroy all manner of insurgency and annihilate the Boko Haram terrorism
(3) Create an enabling and conducive atmosphere and opportunities through massive diversification to Agriculture/Solid Mineral natural resources from the mono-crude oil product, in order to cater for the total welfare package of the TALAKAWAS!
We were therefore not surprised that the arrowheads of the The 2014 National Conference solely organised by ex President Ebele Jonathan, to boost his electoral chances for his THIRD TERM in office have championed the advocacy that the CONTROVERSIAL REPORT OF THE CONFERENCE which was nothing short of a monumental fraud against the electorate and the generality of citizens of Nigeria, should be ADOPTED as panacea for RESTRUCTURING! What an effrontery?
Have the VIPERS not exposed their penchant for greed and avarice once again in order to remain “relevant” from one administration to another? But patriotic Nigerians have not forgotten that the President who rejoiced while Nigeria was devastated by a terrible inferno in the disastrous theatre of BOKO HARAM WAR, only succeeded to BRIBE 492 GOVERNMENT-SELECTED DELEGATES, Conference Officials and Staff with a whooping sum of about N20 billion naira of tax payers money to cater for accommodation allowances, hotel bills, feeding and transportation for the FOUR MONTHS JAMBOREE, AND NOT THE DOWNTRODDEN CITIZENS who make up the 180 million population! Late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Ebele Jonathan, assumed office on 29th May, 2007, and under their watch, the NUCLEUS of the BOKO HARAM CELL, birthed in Maiduguri, capital city of Bornu State, in 2009! Ex-President Yar’Adua passed on in the year 2010, leaving his Vice to carry on the job of the AMNESTY PROGRAMME for Niger Delta Militants and also the COUNTER-INSURGENCY operations against the Boko Haram Religious Sect in the North Eastern State; but sadly enough, Ebele Jonathan cared less in respect of the insurgency!
On 14th April, 2014, there was a twin-bomb attack by Boko Harram terrorists on the Federal Capital Territory’s (FCT), populous suburb of Nyanyan, Bus Terminal, in which not less 79 unfortunate citizens suddenly lost their lives and on the same fateful day, about 275 students of the Chibok Girls Secondary School, in Borno State, were kidnapped by the same group which PASSIONATELY HATES WESTERN EDUCATION!
At one stage, during the castigation of his government’s failure and ineptitude in recovering the captives within a reasonable period, the ex-President said publicly that the reported case of kidnapping was a HOAX AND CHEAP POLITICAL BLACKMAIL AGAINST HIS ADMINISTRATION!
After Jonathan’s exit, the Change All Progressives Congress (APC), Administration which was determined to win the war against the terrorists, discovered that the sum of $2.1 billion US dollars, which was appropriated to purchase ARMS and AMMUNITION to prosecute the war against insurgency was allegedly diverted by retired Col. Sambo Dasuki, the National Security Adviser (NSO), (presently on trial), for the presidential ambition of his boss, Ebele Jonathan in 2015!
Before Jonathan’s providential opportunity in governance, BAYELSA, his State of origin was one of the smallest in land mass and population, which complained bitterly of MARGINALIZATION AND AGITATED FOR RESTRUCTURING. God gave Jonathan a miraculous opportunity to rule Nigeria but he turned out to be unfit for the enormous assignment which has now been given to a more dignified team who are ready to do the will of God for the majority poor masses! In spite of Jonathan’s failure, Bayelsa is also agitating for restructuring – but which type would they vote for this time around?
We must always remember that no people, race, colour or creed possess any land anywhere in the world! From Babel we all migrated on a mission of human government to cohabitate, inter-marry, work together and unite economical for our collective survival! No one can be an island to himself! That is how god planned it.
Allow the common man enjoy all of his fundamental human rights, all dividends of democracy, in the form of good employment with living wages to cater for his family, mortgaged accommodation plan, health facilities, and portable water, good transportation system, adequate security, etc; and he is done with the restructuring! And at the period of elections, he would vote wisely and concienciously for conscientious candidates! A word is enough for the wise!