By Gabriel Enogholase
BENIN—AN environmentalist and human rights crusader, Dr. Godwin Ojo, has said that Nigerians must be allowed to speak now on the issue of restructuring and how the different ethnic nationalities in the country can live with one another in peace and unity.
Dr. Ojo, Executive Director, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth, ERA/FoN, while declaring open the National Environment Conference in Benin City, Edo State, yesterday, said: “Nigerians should engage more on national issues. Whether the call for restructuring is superfluous or genuine, let us engage. Whether there is nothing wrong with the structure of the Nigerian state or it is the Nigerian mindset and attitude that requires restructuring, let us engage.
“I do not subscribe to the belief that Nigerians talk too much and take no action. The reality is that we talk too little, hardly enough to sustain a discourse and bring it to a satisfactory logical conclusion. I, therefore, hope that the debate on restructuring will not fizzle away or remain inclusive.
“For ERA/FoN-led CSO coalitions and allies, we believe that any process for the restructuring of Nigeria must have at its core some basic elements. First, there is the need to institute the twin ideas of post extractivism and a pragmatic synergy transition process as a defining principle of state policy.”
He insisted that on the form of economic restructuring, issues such as deficit of governance at all tiers of government, infrastructure deficit, dysfunctional health and education sectors, near absence of public transportation and the ecological crimes that now litter and define the once lush Niger Delta environment, desertification in the North should be discussed.