Nigeria: Ohanaeze youths seek holistic restructuring
By John Banigo
The Ohanaeze youths leader in Bayelsa State, Arthur-Ugwa, has joined the bandwagon of Nigerians advocating for the restructuring of the country.
He spoke on Thursday, while commemorating the 6th anniversary of the Governor Seriake Dickson-led administration in Bayelsa.
The youth leader of the Pan-Igbo group said that recent comments by the Vice President on the desirability of State Police and the All Progressives Congress Committee report on restructuring were indications that it has gained wide acceptability.
Arthur-Ugwa noted that restructuring essentially entailed devolution of powers to the regions to ensure greater control of resources from where they were derived.
According to him, the various regions of the country would be better off in terms of development as the regions each have comparative advantage in certain sectors they could leverage on to fast-track economic progress.
The youth leader noted that rather than depend on the federal government for sustenance, the regions in a restricted federation would engage in healthy competition in the exploitation and development of its resources.
He said that a situation where the federal government had bailed out the states in excess of one trillion naira in the past two years to stimulate the economy indicated that most states were not economically viable.
He said that the youth body was concerned about misconceptions amid the clamour for restructuring, adding that there was need for clarity and public mobilization.
He said that a restructured Nigeria would give all parts of the country a sense of belonging that would foster harmony and unity.
His words: “Restructuring is a panacea for peace among the federating units and could resolve the various agitations if implemented properly. We however want total restructuring and say no to taking an aspect of it and leaving other components behind.
“There is consensus among all stakeholders on restructuring and the federal government and the ruling party, as well as the opposition party have all endorsed it; that tells you that it is the way to go.
“It is either you restructure or you allow those agitating for self-determination to go. It is either restructuring or no Nigeria.
“However, it must be done in a holistic manner with all aspects of it taken along. It should not be an issue of political and campaign gimmick for political parties to win votes.
“I am urging the federal government to convene a multi-stakeholder forum for Nigerians to be on the same page and have a clear and unambiguous position on restructuring.”