By Adesina Wahab and Gabriel Olawale
The Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, has said it is clear that the country’s main power bloc is not ready for restructuring, adding that the development could lead to the country ceasing to exist as one in the next few years.
He spoke as the Guest of Honour in Ikeja. Lagos on Wednesday during the public presentation of the book, “Roundtable Discussion on Economy and Restructuring in Nigeria,” published by the National Pilot Newspaper, Ilorin, Kwara State.
“We have graduated from restructuring to self-determination and one of the reasons for this is that the main political block in Nigeria is not ready for restructuring. We have different types of restructuring, and if Nigeria is to be restructured, we have to go back to the 1960 to 1963 constitutions and learn from how we started as a country.
“We need to embrace regionalism that gives each region the chance to develop at their own pace. The consensus of opinions among our people both at home and in the Diaspora is that we go for self-determination.
“Some people misunderstand self-determination to mean it is all about war, no.
“If we go for regionalism on the basis of confederacy, it is okay. If we have a situation that the regions are allowed 70 to 80 percent autonomy to do certain things, that is okay. For the Yoruba nation, the minimum demand is regionalism with autonomy,” he said.
Also speaking, former Commissioner for Agriculture in Lagos State, Prince Dr Charles Akitoye, who represented elder statesman, Chief Bode George, said there was no way restructuring could be separated from the economy.
“The situation we are now is unacceptable. We must reconstruct the country if we want to grow into a nation. We are merely a country now and the process may need some partitioning. It is long overdue,” he said
The reviewer of the book, Prof. Alloysius Okolie, said agitation by people in any society is normal and that it would continue.
“It is unfortunate that people misunderstand restructuring to mean dismembering the country or dividing it into pieces. The refusal to do the needful is the major problem of Nigeria and not banditry or insurgency.
“We need to agree to disagree and disagree to agree. However, people who need to hear don’t intentionally want to hear. Society must continue to face challenges and we must brace up for that, ” he said.
The Managaing Director of National Pilot Newspaper, Mr Billy Adedamola, said it is the responsibility of all to play their roles in ensuring the survival of the country.
“People may ask why this efforts by us? I believe as journalists, our responsibility should not be limited to reporting and working on stories alone. We have roles to play in nation building. Of late, our dear country has been going through crisis never witnessed before.
“The economy is one of the reasons for the crisis in the country and it has been the bane of our national life. No government has been able to find solution to it. While we are grappling with economic matters, the agitation for restructuring came in. There is uncertainty about the continuity of our country as one.
“The book is the outcome of the efforts of experts who sat down and assessed the situation in the country and we hope that policy makers and leaders would go through what has been proffered and make use of them, ” he said