By Christian Chime
The hydra-headed problem of corruption plaguing Nigeria today assumed this iniquitous status because of our I-don’t-care-attitude in addressing our collective challenges in this country.
Our cry for restructuring no doubt wouldn’t have come in a better time than this. My only fear is that nothing concrete will come out of the agitation if we fail to work on our collective mindset of seeing ourselves first from the perspective of ethnicity before nationality. We are very good in identifying problems but lack the sincerity and will to tackle them.
The increasing spate of agitation from different regions and ethnic groups in respect of marginalization and and not being carried along in the scheme of things rends credence to notion by many that the pseudo federalism being practiced should be jettisoned for true federal system where the federating units will contribute a token to the central.
This is the basis for the call on the government to take a step in restructuring the country, which simply means resetting or re-organizing it for better workable means. Restructuring the country will strengthen our democracy and federalism and we must reset our minds to avoid misplacement of priorities on the areas to be restructured.
In order not waste our money embarking on another conference, I advice that the 2014 confab report should be looked into by this administration with a view to implementing it. Again if local governments are granted autonomy, some percentage of the revenue derived from communities should be granted to host communities, especially oil bearing communities for them enjoy some democratic dividends.
Government should boost the economy to enable them absorb our youths, especially fresh graduates into Npower and other social empowerment scheme or employ them through agriculture and technology.
The way the country is treating the goose that lays the golden egg is nauseating and this is making people to lose faith in the government. For instance, in Delta State, Ndokwa nation hosts the largest gas reserve in West Africa but because of their peaceful disposition they have nothing to show for it.
We host the following oil companies, Nigeria Agip oil company, Energia oil, Platform Petroleum, Midwestern Oil and Gas, Pillar oil company, Sterling energy exploration company and so on, yet no federal appointment or development in the area.
Must Ndokwa people become hostile to attract the Federal Government’s attention before they can remember them? The call for restructuring is mainly fueled by marginalization and so if the needs of each federating units is met, agitation will be reduced to a minimal level.
*Christian is an outgoing NYSC member, Enugu State