By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA – THE FORMER President Olusegun Obasanjo, Friday, warned that Nigeria risks division without renegotiating how it wants to move ahead as one united entity.
The ex-president insisted that the country must continue to renegotiate its unity and give listening ear to the complaints of all ethnic groups in the country.
Doing this, according to Obasanjo, will give the country’s various ethnic nationalities a sense of belonging thus enhancing their effective participation in its socio-economic discussions and national development.
The former Nigerian leader, who spoke at the 7th convocation lecture of the National Open University of Nigeria, NOUN, in Abuja, said he believed that such periodic discussions will provide opportunity for all stakeholders to ventilate their views, grievances and possibly provide superior arguments, solutions or ideas that could positively challenge the existing practices.
Also speaking at the event, the guest lecturer and Vice Chancellor, Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State, Prof. Eghosa Osaghe,whose lecture theme was on: “Restructuring and True Federalism: Nigeria in Perspective”, said the country had come of age to reshape itself in line with modern day reality, insisting that it can no longer shy away from addressing the growing call for restructuring in some quarters.
According to him, the existing federal system of government practiced in Nigeria needed additional deliberate arrangements that require intricate deals, trade-offs and reciprocities to build and sustain.
Hear him:”Secondly, the federal systems are delicate and difficult to manage. This was because their success cannot be guaranteed or taken for granted. Research confirmed that the number of failed federal systems outnumbered the successful ones.
“Restructuring represents a continuous correction, adjustment, and reconfiguration process by which federal system works and reworks its instrumentalities; to guarantee success and efficiencies of federalism.”
He insisted that the federal instrumentalities of governance are expected to respond to changing dynamics, demands and stimuli, which change in consonance with changing imperatives.
Meanwhile, NOUN Vice Chancellor, Prof. Abdalla Uba Adamu, congratulated the erstwhile President and other graduands for the successful completion of their academic programmes and urged them to serve as good ambassadors of the school.
The VC was particularly impressed that Obasanjo, after serving as military and civilian head of state, enrolled and diligently completed doctorate degree programme in spite of his busy schedules.
“It was an indication that no one is too old to pursue education and knowledge. It is also an encouragement for others to disregard and trash the idea of age, challenges and diligently pursue education for self-improvement.
NOUN Registrar, Felix Edoka, however announced that Obasanjo, and 14, 771 other graduands including two prison inmates from Enugu prison, have been found worthy in character and learning to be awarded first and doctorate degrees at the 7th NOUN convocation ceremony scheduled to hold on Saturday.