Former VP Atiku calls for restructuring of the country

Aanya Igomu, Abuja

A former Vice President of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has called for the restructuring of Nigeria’s Federal system of government.

He made the call during the launch of a book titled “WE ARE ALL BIAFRANS” written by Mr. Chido Onumah which held in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city.

Alhaji Abubakar said the current system of government has been a major impediment to the economic and political development of the country.

“When I was invited to Chair this occasion, I immediately understood that the title of the book is a metaphor for the legitimate feelings of marginalization by diverse segments of Nigerians that cut across the country.  Agitations by many right thinking Nigerians call for a restructuring and renewal of our federation to make it less centralized, less suffocating and less dictatorial in the affairs of our country’s constituent units and localities.

“The call for restructuring is even more relevant today in light of the governance and economic challenges facing us.  And the rising tide of agitations, some militant and violent, require a reset in our relationships as a united nation” he said.

He said the government at the centre was too big and powerful and unable to meet the needs of people at the grassroots.

“A smaller, leaner federal government with reduced responsibilities. This means devolution of powers and resources to states and local governments. The result will be a political and governmental system that empowers local authorities and gives them greater autonomy to address peculiar local issues, while enhancing accountability and contributing to the general good of the country.  

“Second, autonomy for the component states and localities to determine their development priorities and wage structures.  Third, a tax-centred revenue base. Modern democracies derive their revenues from taxation whether or not they have fossil fuels and other natural resources .

“Also, an end to the indigene-settler dichotomy. A modern united Nigerian society can only be built on the basis of common citizenship for all based on residency in a state or locality rather than the local government or ethnic group one is born into.” he explained.