December 11, 2022

Restructuring is not regionalism, says ABC Nwosu

*ABC Nwosu

By Omeiza Ajayi, Abuja

A former Minister of Health, Prof. ABC Nwosu, has advocated an urgent need to restructure the country, saying it is pedestrian to think that restructuring is about asking people to go back to the regions.

“Nobody wants that in a federation,” he stated.

Nwosu spoke at the launch and public presentation of a book “Making Nigeria Work, Pathways to Greatness”, written by Obiora Okonkwo, a professor of Business at the University of Abuja.

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The former health minister, who wrote the foreword of the book, extolled the virtues of Okonkwo, as a rare breed that has successfully combined entrepreneurship, intellectualism and politics for the betterment of Nigeria.

He said Okonkwo puts restructuring in proper perspective by saying that restructuring entails managing all diversities in the country as each ethnic nationalities were created to be in Nigeria, and has an equal right in Nigeria.

“There are no senior and junior Nigerians and there will never be.

“Anything that wants to make for having a senior and junior Nigerian, would be attracting trouble,” he declared.

He said the selfless service of late Chief Michael Okpara ensured that many people benefited from the government and commended the use of Michael Okpara as a model of governance to leaders, adding that anyone who aspires to be like Okpara was on the right track on governance.

The high point of the occasion was unveiling and launch of the book by the former Senate President and Chairman of the occasion, Dr Abubakar Saraki, and the Special Guest of Honour, a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SenatorAnyim Pius Anyim.

Other dignitaries at the event were the Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace, Mr Allen Onyema, Sen. Uche Ekwunife, captains of industry, several politicians, among others.

Earlier, Prof. Okonkwo advocated equitable and fair management of the nation’s diversities as best model to restructure Nigeria.

The 262-page book with 15 chapters, brought fresh insights and incisive reasoning into nagging issues such as how Nigeria’s diverse ethnic groups could be welded into a truly united and peaceful nation.

True Federalism

Okonkwo, who also used the occasion to mark his birthday, said a restructured system would make Nigerians focus more on what happens in their states.

He said the people would hold the governors and state lawmakers more accountable to them than it was currently, focusing attention on accountability to the federal government.

This, he said, would spur collaboration among the states in pursuance of economic development and integration.

“For example, nothing stops the states in the South East from collaborating to build railways or monorails, to connect all state capitals in the region and boost economic activities that will drive development of the region.

“Such collaboration could also extend to the South-South region for mutual benefits. States in other regions could also collaborate to pursue development that are of mutual benefits to them.

“In doing this, states are are now forced to look at their diversities to get integrated backwards and make use of the best, because regions will be in development competition.

“This is the sort of thing that restructuring will achieve. It is not already happening because our current system of government enthrones a leadership recruitment system that does not allow for the best from our diversity.

“When we talk of True Federalism, it does not mean taking what does not belong to anybody.

“It means people having what they should have and doing what they should do.

“The centre has taken so much. The centre still remains, active, with its own dedicated area of activities.

“In true federalism, you have powers in different states doing also what they ought to do given by the constitution.

“There was a negotiated constitution before independence. It helped us, it brought about the fastest development, we have ever seen in this country,” he added.