Restructuring: Osinbajo repent


Let us all repent and do it all over again.  Let’s start talking to ourselves seriously about restructuring. It is the true federalism with no iota of doubt or pretence.

Femi Adeoti

From head to toe, there is nothing federal about our present weird character. This awkward type of our own federalism is heavily skewed and jaundiced. It is nothing but evil.

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and his co-travellers against restructuring cannot feign ignorance of this. They cannot pretend not to be adequately aware of the graphic malfunction.

Expectedly, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is not helping matters.  It is far from telling us the truth about its real intention and position on restructuring. It dangerously keeps going back and forth, double speaking and obviously confused.

One time Osinbajo would speak favourably about restructuring. In another moment, he would eat his vomit. Even more dangerously, the party would opt for a completely different position.

They are giving us wrong signals. That is where we are worried. The Presidency, the ruling party and the government keep on singing strange tunes on restructuring. This drift should not be allowed to continue.

Osinbajo had reasoned aloud: “What Nigeria requires now is not geographical restructuring; but good governance, honest management of public resources, deeper fiscal federalism and a clear vision for development.”

He is no saying anything new or spectacular. This has been the singsong of all successive governments; civilian and military alike. Nothing substantial has changed over the years. They all anchor on real (geographical) restructuring.

APC only continued the trend when it dusted its El-Rufai Panel report last week. It listed “24 items to balance the federation.”  The items included but not limited to; creation and merger of states; devolution of power and resources; power sharing and rotation; fiscal federalism and resource control.

The report was submitted in January this year.  Nothing was said on it until restructuring came alive again. The opposition People Democratic Party (PDP), comfortably cashed in on the APC’s lapses. Its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, lashed out:

“They have restructuring as a weapon of deception. They have no plan to implement anything. They don’t even have the capacity to fulfill the least of their campaign promises. Why are they dancing back and forth?”

We had thought Osinbajo was not to given to frivolities, trivialities and emptiness. His recent actions, inactions and body language on restructuring call for genuine repentance. He is drifting and that could be dangerous if not now, but in the very nearest future.

He should know that we are longing and thirsty for our natural structure, labeled restructuring. We are not asking for anything strange or new. God gave the best structure, but the colonialists came and skewed it to meet their selfish.

You see, the Khaki boys walked us into this mess. If they had been contended with their roles, the January 15, 1966, coup detat would not happen. We would have retained our “beautiful” parliamentary system bestowed on us by the British colonial masters.

We would have been grown and mastered the system. Yes, we would made mistakes; small. But, we would have plucked our wastes and maximized our gains for the benefit of us all.

But the military junta would not let us be.  They sealed our hope completely with their irrational unitary form of government. They turned the country into a single military garrison; where orders flow from top to bottom.

See where it has landed us. It regarded our growth. It opened us to the evils of nepotism, tribalism, favouritism, federal character and the likes. We never knew these even remotely before they struck.  These ills have eaten deep into every sector of our life as a nation.

But we goofed. We hailed the coupists each time they struck. We clapped, danced and even jumped for joy. We urged and encouraged them. That is why they struck many times.

The record is frightening: January 15, 1966; July 29, 1966; July 27, 1975; February 13, 1976 (foiled); December 31, 1983; August 27, 1985; April 22, 1990 (foiled) and November 11,1993.

Unfortunately, our experiences all through have been bitterness, anger and anguish.  What a strangely wired country? The military walked us in this snarl with our eyes wide opened. Great pity!

We insist, that is the very reason Osinbajo & Co. should have a quick re-think on restructuring. It is never too late. We only desire our natural structure that is the heavens’ gift. We want it back badly, and it is not impossible. It is there for our taking, now that we are earnestly asking for it.

We did it perfectly well in the First Republic; and it worked wonders for us. Nature was even at peace with us. We progressed comfortably at our own pace.  Everybody was happy for it.

Let us all repent and do it all over again.  Let’s start talking to ourselves seriously about restructuring. It is the true federalism with no iota of doubt or pretence.

With it, it shall be well with us; and our souls shall find rest.

_____________________________

Help, Ngige in a trance!

A melo-drama is playing out. Somebody, somewhere is lost in a trance. Delay could be eternally dangerous. Help must come in good time before he slips into an unending nightmare.

And this is for real. This man, Senator Chris Ngige, is surprised we aren’t clapping for President Muhammadu Buhari yet. Perhaps, he is on track. That is where he feeds fat, at least for now. And it has to be protected by whatever means possible and available.

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How do I mean? He holds sway as Minister of Labour and Employment; where he labours for Buhari day-in-day-out. He gets rewarded handsomely.

He was in Onitsha, Anambra State, last Sunday. He sat down, took a cursory look of Nigeria and Nigerians. He felt deeply in his “broken” heart that we have been unfair to the President.

He hurriedly assembled some journalists to vent his anger on Nigerians.  He then went into a trance ranting. Courtesy; The Punch: “Nigerians should be clapping for us on a daily basis, and after thanking God, they should thank us.”

Why? We wondered aloud: “Yes, because God has used Buhari and some of us to make Nigeria work.” Great!

Reminded that the general feeling was that Buhari had failed in areas of security and economy. Ngige shut back: “Don’t just talk about that. We are wonderful with the economy; nobody, I mean no person would have done better than this present government in those areas.”

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Can you see arrogance, pride deceit et al?  That is how the warped minds of our leader work.  They opt not to see beyond their noses. Tragedy!

Ngige, may you be in trance haze, for…

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