By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Former Governor of Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Mimiko on Thursday declared that restructuring of Nigeria is the only way to reshape the country for economy development and good governance.
Dr. Mimiko said this in Ibadan while delivering his keynote address at the 2018 Yoruba Youth Assembly Lecture with the theme: “National Development, Restructuring and the Yoruba”, held at the Premier hotel.
The former governor stressed that there is every indications that Nigeria needs restructuring as the present system of government in the country is not serving us well and as well as translating into lack of progress for Nigeria as a whole..
According to Dr Mimiko, going by the present situation in the country, it is glaring that Nigeria peace is fragile and that there seems to be nothing like the future for the country and its youths, adding that the country may not move beyond its extant mediocre performance level in development and nation-building as long as it continues to sustain its present structure that is defective and iniquitous.
Emphasizing that the critical ingredient that has made it impossible for the country’s rise to the fullness of its potentials, ‘is the warped structure upon which it is predicated.” Dr Mimiko said an arrangement that allows the Yoruba to use their initiative in the development enterprise, within the context of a federal Nigeria, promises to serve the nation quite well.
“We would be able to return to our culture, which is premised on social development, and bring back such values that made for social harmony in the past. The good thing about all of these is that, as it is with the Yoruba, so it is with all other ethnic-nations in the regions, those not as homogenous as the Yoruba inclusive.”.
He noted that if Nigeria is restructured along this pattern, it would serve as an immediate catalyst for national development and resumption of the development enterprise in Yoruba land, adding that the agitation for restructuring would make no sense if it does not provide the unimpeachable basis for deployment of governance structures for the betterment of the lives of the people, which he said “is the critical element that provides justification for the restructuring advocacy.”
“The advocacies for restructuring, greater democratization, a cleaner electoral process, etc., would amount to nothing if they do not translate into observable good life for our people, and strengthen national unity across our country,” Mimiko said.
Speaking on the report recently submitted by the All Progressives Congress (APC) committee on restructuring, Dr Mimiko Mimiko maintained that the APC led government was never commited to restructuring considering the President Muhammadu Buhari’s stand as contained in his New Year message that it is the process of governance in Nigeria rather than the structure that requires some tinkering.
“Rather than waste useful time tinkering with process, the appropriate thing to do is a wholesale review of the nature of the structure, such that it is reconfigured to be able to deliver on its mandate. That the President’s political party, APC, came out very quickly to attempt a reformulation of the President’s proposition is needless, as it is doubtful if the party is in a position to veto the president of the nation.”he said.
Dr Mimiko stated further “that President Buhari made his statement in spite of the bold and unequivocal commitment of the APC manifesto to restructuring is also indicative of the questionable pattern in which the party swept its way into office some three years ago. APC can, in the circumstances, safely be accused of promising what it never intended to do,”.
The former governor stressed that the APC committee’s report will
stoke the already settled controversial dichotomy on onshore/offshore oil production revenue, saying, “while it is noteworthy that the report seemingly endorsed Resource Control Principle, it has brought back the sensitive and controversial onshore/offshore dichotomy issue.”
“While I agree that the fears of all part of the country must be allayed as regards resource control, it is important to note that every part of our land is well resource endowed. With the recent advances in power storage technology in batteries, and progressively reducing cost of renewables, we must be constantly reminded that fossil fuel will soon become truly fossil.”
Dr Mimiko then urged the APC and the President to put its house in order and stop echoing different positions on restructuring, send the bill of its position on restructuring to the National Assembly and use its influence and dominance of the legislative arm at the Federal and State levels, to ensure the swift passage of the bill within the next 2 and 3 months.
“With its control of the legislative house at the Federal and State level, the APC has capacity to actualize its restructuring agenda before the next (2019) election. Then and only then, to my mind, can the nation believe that the born again restructuring mantra is not another vote catching gimmick”.
Other speakers at the program me included Secretary General Yoruba Council of Elders, Dr Kunle Olajide, Professor Akin Onigbinde and Akogun Tola Adeniyi.