APC Community leader writes Speaker Gbajabiamila, says it’s time to Restructure Nigeria
By Prince Wale Arogundade
Our party, the All Progressive Congress as at 2015 raised new hopes for change among many Nigerians, one of the promise we made the Nigeria people was the restructuring of the system, that will enable every citizen of the nation be entitled to growth without ethnic, religion or political sentiments.
Within the space of 2015 to 2019, we blamed the National Assembly under the leadership of Saraki/Dogara because of the routinely clashed with the executive. We were made to believe that their leadership refuse to provide support to the executive to have a better Nigeria.
In 2019, when the Lawan/Gbajabiamila led National Assembly emerged, experts projected that it would ease the working relationship between the National Assembly and the executive. Then, our party, APC is uncharacteristically holding all the top leadership of the legislature.
Personally, I have watched your activities as the Speaker and I would like to commend your leadership acumen even though I have my reservations on what I believe to be an ‘autocratic leadership’ you portray.
However, we have three years more to write the wrongs. It is time for your leadership to lay the foundation and restructure the country. For the avoidance of doubt, re-structuring is not about the re-drawing of state or regional boundaries. The restructured Nigeria that a large number of Nigerians talk about, is a Nigeria that not only provides opportunities for everyone to work but even more specifically challenges every layer of governance to demonstrate the capacity to create wealth and jobs for the citizens.
Restructuring is not just about the devolution of powers to the states, it is about transforming the respective roles of the federal, state and local governments to perform more efficiently in matters of territorial as well as economic governance.
Above all, when we talk about restructuring, we are not talking about just constitutional tweaks, we are talking about a cultural revolution. It is not about re-shuffling a few responsibilities or resources, but about disrupting the authoritarian politics our democracy has inherited from its military and colonial rulers of past.
Till date, our economic and political structures are defective, resulting in weak economic management systems which, in turn, prevent all levels of the Nigerian government — federal, states and local governments, from operating at optimal levels.
It is so obvious that the current arrangement can not respond to the needs of the people at the local level. We have all too often lied to ourselves that the politicians sitting in Abuja can effectively respond to the needs of the people. Only the autonomy of the local governments and the states both of which are closer to their people than the Central Government in Abuja can guarantee this and result in more effective decisions.
I strongly believe that the restructuring of Nigeria will foster the spirit of co-operation and consensus in a nation of diverse ethnic groups, cultures, and religions. It is desirable, in fact, you may even say it is required to establish, nurture and sustain a strong and effective democratic government.
In this continuous dialogue, we should remind ourselves that restructuring is not a new or strange phenomenon. The National Assembly and all other stakeholders, we will lead the process of genuine and transparent constitutional amendments, in order to provide the necessary stimulus and focus on how to restructure Nigeria that would work for all.
The purpose of my letter is to urge you Mr Speaker, implore you to take the bold first step. The just concluded #EndSARS protest is just a tip of an iceberg if our party refuses to do to the needful as soon as possible.
Accept the assurance of my esteemed regard Mr Speaker.
Arogundade is the Coordinator, Sanwo Olu Ambassador, a grassroots organisation in Lagos