Restructuring Nigeria In The Interest Of All, Says Atiku

Former vice president Atiku Abubakar/Photo: AFP

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar says restructuring the country is in the interest of the north in particular and the country in general.

Atiku said this at the launch of a book titled: “The Nigerian Federalism; Continuing the Quest for Stability and Nation Building’’ in Abuja on Monday.

The book, which was written by some federalism scholars in the African Policy Research Institute, was edited by Mr Okechukwu Ibeanu and Alhaji Mohammad Kuna.

Atiku described the book as an important intervention, adding that it would contribute to the ongoing debate on the country`s federalism and possibly settle the issues.

He noted that the structure and practice of Nigerian federalism had been a key topic of discussion and debates since the amalgamation of the north and South Protectorates in 1914.

He said this was with varying levels of intensity, adding that opinions of different section of the country on the topic were all legitimate.

Atiku, however, said what he found odd and somewhat unhelpful was the argument of those who said the country`s unity could not be renegotiated.

He said those with such arguments usually proceeded to equate every demand for restructuring the country as an attempt to break the country.

“As a democrat and businessman I do not fear negotiations. That is what reasonable human beings do. This is even more important if a stubborn resistance against negotiations can lead to unsavoury outcomes.

“I have spoken a number of times on the need to restructure our federation in order to devolve more power and resources to the federating units.

“Recently in Kaduna, I told an audience of mostly my compatriots from the north, where most of the resistance against restructuring seems to come from that restructuring is in the interest of the north and Nigeria,’’ he said.

He maintained that federalism across the world is work in progress, adding that there was no ideal federal system or true federalism as claimed.

“If the problem is just the operators; how come we have failed for 50 years to produce the right people?,’’ the former Vice President queried.

The occasion was attended by former ambassadors and representatives of some government agencies.

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