Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and the Yoruba socio-cultural group Afenifere have reiterated the need for immediate restructuring of Nigeria, saying anything less will not enhance national development.
They spoke yesterday in Abuja at a public discourse themed: “Moving Nigeria forward” organised by the Fast Forward Nigeria (FFN).
Atiku who was represented by Dr. Umar Garba Pella said Nigeria can only move forward when it is restructured as there no state that cannot stand on its own if the potential are properly harnessed.
“There is no state in Nigeria that cannot stand on its own if it potentials are properly harnessed. We must look beyond oil, the earlier we do that the better,” he said.
He lamented the level of intimidation under the current administration saying, Nigerians had more freedom of speech under the military than now.
He said: “Nigerians must speak out about restructuring, we need to engage each other. There is no longer time. Now Nigerians don’t talk, we had better opportunity to talk under the military regime than under this government. Restructuring has become a mystical word that people don’t want to discuss. I have discovered that restructuring is the only way that will move us forward.”
On his part the Afenifere spokesman Mr Yinka Odumakin, said the problem of Nigeria is not corruption but the failure of subsequent government to run a productive society.
“There is a narrative that may want to tell us that the major problem facing us is corruption, it is impossible to fight corruption with this current political setup. At the heart of Nigeria problem is because we fail to run a productive society, and secondly, poverty. There is no part of Nigeria there will not be affluence under restructuring,” Odumakin said.
The convener Okuma Hembe in his welcome address said there is deep animosity enshrined in Nigeria system because of lack of social security and accountability.
While commending the current administration on it fight against corruption, he however warned that the fight cannot be successful without the provision of social security safety net.