Mr Segun Adeniyi, the spokesman to late President Umaru Yara’dua, has called on Nigerians of all backgrounds to see themselves as allies and strive for a better country.
Adeniyi made the the call on Monday in Lagos in a paper he delivered at the “The Platform,” an annual programme organised by Covenant Christian Centre to awaken national consciousness.
He said the challenges facing the country would be surmounted if all Nigerians approached them with unity of purpose.
Adeniyi declared that the country’s problems were not rooted in ethnicity or religion, adding that Nigerians playing ethnic and religious cards were part of the problem.
“The problems of the country are not caused by ethnicity or religion, but by poor leadership.
“So those who are directing their anger at people from other ethnic groups or faiths are missing the point.
“Once the leadership lives up to its responsibilities to the people, most of these challenges will be solved,’’ he said.
He condemned the activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), saying the agitations of the group lacked focus.
He explained that the approach adopted by the group through the use of violence and hate speeches to pursue its agenda, not only threatened unity but also smacked of ethnicity.
He said that it was wrong for IPOB to create the impression that the rest of the country was against the Igbos.
He said that the group squandered an opportunity to raise genuine concerns about the South-East zone by resorting to hate messages.
Adeniyi also described as `unfortunate’ the quit notice issued to Igbos by some Arewa youths to leave the North.
He said that the action of the youths was condemnable as the activities of IPOB.
The former presidential spokesman urged Nigerians to have positive outlook about the future of their country and demand accountability from their leaders.
He advised that, instead whining and resort to distrust for others based on religion or ethnicity, Nigerians should rise up and contribute their quota to national development.
Adeniyi urged governments at all levels to be more alive to their responsibilities to deliver democratic dividends.
He stressed the need for the Federal Government to restructure some of its Ministries, Departments and Agencies for efficiency, adding that some of the agencies were redundant and constitute drain on national resources.
Adeniyi also urged the federal government to consider the report of the Oronsaye committee on rationalisation of MDAs to save cost and make governance more effective.
In his paper entitled “Federalism is Restructuring, Restructuring is Federalism”, the Vice-chancellor of Igbinedion University, Prof. Osaghae Eghase, said restructuring was a continuous process in a federal arrangement.
The professor of Comparative Politics said the process should be adopted in response to changes in the arrangement.
He said that most of the people agitating for restructuring had no legal right to do so as they were not representatives of the people.
He explained that only members of National Assembly have the mandate to advocate for restructuring as they were the constitutional representatives of the people.
“Most of the people calling for restructuring have no legal right to do so because they have no mandate of the people to do so.
“It is the National Assembly that has the right to bargain to do so, but whether they are willing or not is another issue,’’ he said.
The don expressed disappointment that governments at all levels were not responsive to the yearnings of the people.
Eghase submitted that with the best political system and economic policy in place, development would elude the nation if resources were not judiciously utilized.