Nigeria as a country is meant to assume the great role as a catalyst for African renaissance. A catalyst for re-establishing the pride and respect of the black man, destroyed by years of colonialism and slave trade. That’s the reason why we were called giant of Africa.
Years of political upheavals, policy summersault, coups and counter coups, dictatorships, selfishness, ethnicity, nepotism and corruption has stunted our growth, and we haven’t been able to reach quarter of our potentials as a country. The current version and make up of Nigeria is not achieving the desired result, hence the clamour for restructuring.
Restructuring is the term for the act of reorganizing the legal, ownership, operational, or other structures of a company, country or any other thing for the purpose of making it more profitable, or better organized for its present needs.
In Nigeria, restructuring as it is been touted today is exactly what Aburi accord took care of almost 53 years ago. The only reason Gowon made a surprise turnaround is because according to him, Ojukwu
went to Aburi prepared while others were not. It led us to an avoidable war, and today we are all going back to that past we rejected.
Gowon In his first broadcast to the nation after July 26th counter coup says thus: “I now come to the most difficult but important part of this statement. I am doing it conscious of the great disappointment and heartbreak it will cause all true and sincere lovers of Nigeria, and of Nigeria unity, both home and abroad, especially our brothers in the commonwealth. As a result of recent events and of the previous similar ones, I have come to strongly believe that we cannot sincerely continue in this wise as the basis for trust, and confidence in our unitary system of government has been unable to stand the test of time. I have already remarked on the issue in question. Suffice it to say that putting all considerations to the test, political, economic, as well as social, the basis for unity is not there or is badly rocked not only once but many times. I therefore feel that we should review the issue of our National standing and see if we can stop the country from drifting away into utter destruction”.
What he clearly meant here was that Nigeria ought to be restructured, and one Nigeria jettisoned.
Similarly, On 13th September 1966, in the adhoc constitutional conference convened in Lagos by Gowon, he asked the delegates to completely rule out a unitary form of government in all their deliberations. A high powered Northern Nigerian delegation which represented Gowon suggested a system of completely autonomous states, with a common services organization similar to the defunct East Africa Federation. Under the system as envisaged by the North, each region or state will have its own Army, Police, Civil service, and judiciary as well as the right to secede unilaterally from the union.
The same North did a complete turnaround on the 20th of September after the conference came back from a break in other to allow the respective regional governments consult with their people. All they were after was now a strong central government in Lagos and creation of more states.
It was astonishing how they changed from secession to confederation and back to one indivisible Nigeria with a unitary government in such a little time.
By Odumodu Gbulagu
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK