What Nigeria must do to progress – Dickson, Akinrinade, others

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The Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, on Monday reaffirmed his position that restructuring holds the key to preserving the unity, stability and economic prosperity of the country.

Mr. Dickson stated this in Yenagoa while speaking with journalists shortly after his administration’s 6th anniversary public lecture, with the theme, “Restructuring: The Way Forward For Nigeria”.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Francis Agbo, quoted the governor as saying that those championing the restructuring crusade are the true patriots of an egalitarian, just and fair Nigeria.

He called on all well-meaning Nigerians to support the restructuring movement towards actualising the Nigerian project.

“Those in support of restructuring and constitutional amendment to address the imbalances in our nation are indeed believers of the Nigerian project and not the other way round.”

Proponents of restructuring who formed a panel of discussants include, former Governor of Anambra State, Chukwuemeka Ezeife; President of Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Shettima Yerima; spokesman of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin; and founding President, Nigeria Oral Literature Association, Godini Darah.

They emphasised the need for more interactions amongst Nigerians, particularly the northern people to assuage the fears and misconceptions surrounding the issue of restructuring.

According to the panellists, a restructured Nigeria will promote self-reliance, productivity, proper utilisation of resources and reduce undue centralisation of power at the national level.

They also gave thumbs up to Governor Dickson for playing a vital role in the ongoing debate for restructuring the country, noting that the Ijaw nation had always been in the forefront in the quest for true federalism.

Delivering the lecture, Alani Akinrinade, a retired general, called on the federal government to take immediate steps towards restructuring the country in the best interest of the citizenry.

While stressing the need for state police, Mr. Akinrinade particularly urged President Muhammadu Buhari to initiate a bill to unbundle the overburdened centre by removing some of the items in the current Exclusive List.

“By decentralising and devolving power from a bloated and overburdened centre to the margins, genuine federalism aims to liberate the local genius of the people and unfetter their creative and enterprising spirit.”

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