Former Nigerian Ambassador to the Netherlands, Dr Olatokunbo Awolowo Dosumu, has admonished the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government not to ignore calls for a restructuring of the nation.
General Overseer, the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, had over the weekend stirred up the restructuring waters, urging the Federal Government to restructure the country to forestall the looming breakup of the country.
Speaking on a programme of the African Independent Television (AIT), on Monday, Awolowo Dosumu noted that the voices of religious leaders, political leaders, traditional rulers which had got more strident, in recent times, pointed to the need for the Federal Government to take more drastic measures on the continued coexistence of the nation.
For some Nigerians to rekindle secessionist agitations, she stressed that it was more expedient than ever for the Nigerian government to look at the frameworks upon which the country exists.
Pointing to a medley of political instability, insecurity, secessionist agitations that bedevilled the country, at the moment, she noted that a restructuring of the country would help douse the current tension and drive the nation towards its desired development.
X-raying Nigeria’s 60 years journey, she said it was evident that the nation was more divided than ever before and had failed to experience the course of development envisaged by the nation’s founding fathers.
Awolowo Dosumu said: “Clearly, 60 years ago, we all stood at the threshold of the greatness of our country. Sixty years later, unless we want to deceive ourselves, we are probably not where we ought to be.
“Sixty years later, the country is probably more divided than we would like it to be. The country is not as developed as we had hoped it would be.
“And we know that there is a lot of agitation. There is a lot of insecurity and people are agitating for changes that are quite drastic. So, we need to sit down together and dialogue to see how we can chart our way forward; perhaps to reconnect with the vision of the founding fathers hopefully, that will be the case.
“There have been important voices from the religious sector, even from the government. The Chairman of the Governors’ Forum, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, also made a statement about the need for restructuring in Nigeria.
“We have traditional rulers, religious leaders, political leaders who are inside and outside the government, important voices who also believe that something needs to be done.
“I would like to advise the government not to ignore those voices because these are people that lead several millions of Nigerians and they must have had some input into what they said.
“Nigerians believe that the time has come to revisit the frameworks that administration is basing upon in Nigeria, the legal framework, the constitution. The time has come to revisit those issues and we all know that all is not well.
“So, perhaps the time has come for the Nigerian people to stake their claim on the Nigerian space and to say exactly what they want. And I would like to caution that the voices that are quite strident and calling for drastic measures, ways forward including dismemberment, those voices are getting louder by the day and the voices of those who feel that perhaps we haven’t exhausted the dialogue route are gradually getting drowned out.
“So, time is of the essence; we need to move quickly and do something. The insecurity and genocide that is going on in different parts of the country are causes of concern and I don’t think anyone, old or young, would like to see this continue.
“We must stem the tide of the evil occurrences that appear to be taking over the lives of Nigerians so somebody needs to stand up and make a difference and hopefully the people will line up behind such an initiative and support it and therefore a difference will be made.”
In a virtual meeting convened by Professor Pat Utomi, on October 1, Awolowo Dosumu had joined other members of an Eminent National Elders Group to review challenges of nationhood and chart a new course for a better governed Nigeria.