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Restructuring Nigeria as a political solution

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By Abraham Adekunle

Geopolitical restructuring towards a brighter and newer country.

As Nigeria commemorates its more-than-50-years independence, it’s crucial to reflect on the historical milestones that once marked it as the “Giant of Africa.” The era between 1950 and 1960 witnessed remarkable achievements in education, health, agriculture, sports, and infrastructure, positioning Nigeria as a beacon of progress on the continent. However, the trajectory took a dramatic turn on January 15, 1966, with a coup led by army majors, setting the stage for a series of political upheavals that shaped the nation’s governance structure. There is the need for comprehensive geopolitical restructuring in Nigeria, drawing insights from historical events and contemporary challenges.

The ascendancy of Major General Aguiyi Ironsi after the 1966 coup marked a pivotal moment in Nigeria’s political evolution. Ironsi’s suspension of the Nigerian Constitution and consolidation of power towards a unitary system set the country on a path that would impact subsequent administrations. The counter-coup of July 29, 1966, led to the emergence of Lt. Col. Yakubu Gowon, initiating a series of military regimes that endured until Alhaji Shehu Shagari’s civilian administration in 1979. The oscillation between military and civilian rule, punctuated by coups and counter-coups, defined Nigeria’s political landscape.

Democracy’s struggle amid years of military rule.

During the era of General Sani Abacha, there was widespread condemnation from civil rights groups, demanding a return to civilian rule. The transition in 1999, however, was accompanied by the adoption of the 1999 Constitution, criticized for its over-centralized structure, contributing to economic challenges, insecurity, disunity, and ethnic tensions. Recognizing the urgent need for change, President Goodluck Jonathan convened a National Conference in 2014, aiming to address the country’s challenges. The consensus that emerged from the conference advocated for the restructuring of Nigeria along the lines of true federalism, emphasizing decentralization of governance, judiciary, and devolution of powers to states as Federating Units. This idea found support among various socio-political groups, former heads of state, and prominent figures across the nation.

One of geopolitical restructuring proposals is enhanced security. It can enhance internal security by increasing the quality and quantity of the police force. Each state should establish three layers of security personnel – state police, local government police, and community police. This decentralization not only improves security but also generates employment opportunities. Another is economic Prosperity. Devolving fiscal powers to states can boost revenue by allowing them to explore and develop mineral resources within their borders. This includes bitumen in Ondo, natural gas in Enugu, lithium in Kwara and Kaduna, uranium in Bornu, and gold in Oyo and Zamfara. These states would also have the freedom to develop their agriculture sector, attracting local and international investors.

Some of the proposals regarding restructuring in Nigeria.

Again, in implementing this policy, we must consider ethnic equity. To ensure a level playing field in presidential elections, the rotational presidency concept, proposed by the 2014 National Conference, could be adopted. A six-year, one-term presidency that rotates among the geopolitical zones aims to promote ethnic equity and inclusivity. There must also be geopolitical party structure. Addressing the disparity in the number of states among the geopolitical zones is crucial. A restructured model should ensure more equitable representation in the National Assembly, reducing the potential for disaffection between the zones.

Another aspect is in INEC reforms for electoral credibility. Abolishing the positions of INEC Chairman and Commissioners, and decentralizing the Federal Election Board to states and the Federal Capital Territory, could enhance the credibility of elections. The establishment of State Election Commissions, representing major political parties, would contribute to fair and transparent electoral processes. The National Assembly must also be restructured. Streamlining the National Assembly by abolishing the House of Representatives and increasing the number of senators per senatorial district could significantly reduce the cost of governance. This restructuring aims to create a more efficient legislative body, saving the nation billions annually.

Related Article: Group urges Tinubu to heed to restructuring

Nigeria stands at a crossroads and the call for geopolitical restructuring gains momentum. The proposals outlined seek to address longstanding issues and provide a foundation for a more productive and equitable union. It is now incumbent upon the citizens, as ‘We the People,’ to exert pressure on the leadership and initiate the process of decentralization by re-evaluating and nullifying the undemocratic 1999 Constitution. Through collaborative efforts, Nigeria can embark on a new journey towards prosperity, unity, and effective governance.


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AN-Toni
Editor
1 month ago

Restructuring Nigeria as a political solution. – Geopolitical restructuring towards a brighter and newer country.Express your point of view.

Taiwo
Member
1 month ago

Nigeria’s restructuring as a means of political resolution. Restructuring geopolitically to create a more promising and modern nationIt is important to consider the historical turning points that formerly distinguished it as the “Giant of Africa.” Nigeria emerged during the 1950s to 1960s as a symbol of progress on the continent after achieving notable strides in the fields of education, health, agriculture, sports, and infrastructure.

Kazeem1
Member
1 month ago

Following the summit, a consensus was reached that emphasized decentralization of administration and called for Nigeria to be restructured along the lines of real federalism.The likelihood of discord among the zones should be decreased by the reorganized paradigm, which should guarantee a fairer distribution in the National Assembly.

Adeoye Adegoke
Member
1 month ago

Restructuring Nigeria as a political solution can indeed have its benefits. Geopolitical restructuring has the potential to create a brighter and newer country by addressing issues of governance, resource allocation, and regional disparities. It’s important to have a system that ensures equal representation and opportunities for all regions, fostering unity and development. However, it’s also crucial to approach restructuring with careful planning, open dialogue, and consideration for the diverse interests and needs of all Nigerians. It’s a complex process, but if done right, it can lead to a more inclusive and prosperous Nigeria.

SarahDiv
Member
1 month ago

The call for geopolitical restructuring in Nigeria reflects the nation’s historical challenges and the need for a more equitable and efficient governance system. Proposals for enhanced security, economic prosperity, ethnic equity, INEC reforms, and National Assembly restructuring aim to address longstanding issues. As Nigerians, it’s crucial to advocate for change, reevaluate the current constitution, and work collaboratively towards a more prosperous and unified future.