I believe Nigeria needs Restructuring – President Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari Friday in Abuja says the contentious issue of restructuring, true federalism or devolution of powers remains a constitutional matter, with which only the National Assembly can deal, reiterating his position on devolving more power to the people.

President Buhari received members of the Nigerian Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) led by Co-Chairmen, Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar and President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), His Eminence, Rev. Dr. Samson Supo Ayokunle, at the State House.

At the meeting, the President said:

“On the contentious issue of restructuring or true federalism or devolution of powers, like you all know, this is a constitutional matter with which only the National Assembly can deal.

“I remain an unapologetic believer in devolving power to the people and that is why I signed the Executive Order granting autonomy to State Legislature and Judiciary. Unfortunately, this was met with some resistance at the state level and led to a more than two months strike action that has cost the country a lot of pain.

“Luckily the National Assembly has nearly completed the constitutional review process, which I hope would address some of the burning issues agitating the minds of our people.’’

President Buhari assured that efforts were already on to create a more conducive environment to address both direct and indirect causes of challenges including areas of job creation and employment generation, while appreciating religious leaders for their significant roles in national development, particularly in shaping perspectives.

“Your role is critical in putting the correct perspective out to Nigerians,’’ he said.

Restructuring Nigeria Will avoid Breakup-Pastor Adeboye

General Overseer, The Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, has warned the Federal Government of Nigeria led by President Muhammadu Buhari, to give Nigeria a lasting solution to secession agitations and its economic challenges by restructuring the country as soon as possible to forestall possible break up.

Adeboye noted that the restructuring of the country must be done “as soon as possible” to forestall a breakup of the various social-ethnic components that make up Nigeria, saying that the United States of Nigeria is likely to survive than our present structure.

Pastor Adeboye stated this at a 60th Independence Day Celebration Symposium co-organised by the Redeemed Christian Church of God and the Nehemiah Leadership Institute held on Saturday.

At the Independence Day symposium themed, ‘Where will Nigeria be in 2060?,” Adeboye proposed the adoption of a merger of the British style of government and the American system of government to pave the way for Nigeria’s future.

Pastor Adeboye wondered why Nigeria cannot practise a system of government-unique to us, According to him, “Why can’t we have a system of government that is 100 per cent Nigerian, unique to us? For example, we started on with the British system of government, somewhere along the line, we moved over to the American system of government.

“Can’t we have a combination of both and see whether it could help us solve our problems because in Mathematics if you want to solve a problem, you try what we call Real Analysis, then if it doesn’t work, then you move on to Complex Analysis and see whether that will help you. If that fails, you move on to Vector Analysis and so on.

“I believe that we might want to look at the problems of Nigeria in a slightly different manner. Some people feel that all our problems will be over if Nigeria should break up. I think that is trying to solve the problems of Nigeria as if it is a Simple Equation. The problems of Nigeria will require quite a bit of Simultaneous Equation and some of them are not going to be Linear either – forgive me I am talking as a Mathematician.

“Why can’t we have a system of government that will create what I will call the United States of Nigeria? Let me explain. We all know that we must restructure. It is either we restructure or we break, you don’t have to be a prophet to know that one. That is certain – restructure or we break up.

“Now, we don’t want to break up, God forbid. In the restructuring, why don’t we have a Nigerian kind of democracy? At the federal level, why don’t we have a President and a Prime Minister?

“If we have a President and a Prime Minister and we share responsibilities between these two so that one is not an appendage to the other. For examples, if the President controls the Army and the Prime Minister controls the Police. If the President controls resources likes oil and mining and the Prime Minister controls finance and inland revenue, taxes, customs etc. You just divide responsibilities between the two.

“At the state level, you have the governor and the premier, and the same way, you distribute responsibilities between these people in such a manner that one cannot really go without the other. Maybe we might begin to tackle the problems.”

Adeboye noted that the place of traditional rulers must be recognised and restored in governance.

He added, “If we are going to adopt the model, then we need to urgently restore the House of Chiefs. I have a feeling that one of our major problems is that we have pushed the traditional rulers to the background and I believe that is a great error particularly for a great country like Nigeria.

“I find it very ridiculous that one will ask a traditional ruler to inform the chairman of his local government before he travels.

“Go to any town in Nigeria, everybody in the town knows the paramount ruler in the town and they respect him (but) many of them don’t even know the name of the chairman of their local government.

“The traditional rulers are the actual landlords, they control the respect of their people. Their people will listen to them much more, I am sorry to say than they will listen to some politicians.”

“Without any doubt, we must restructure and do it as soon as possible. The United States of Nigeria is likely to survive than our present structure,” he concluded.