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Who is afraid of restructuring Nigeria?

The recent call by former Vice President Atiku Abubarkar for the restructuring of Nigeria appears to have ruffled some feathers, but the question is why the antagonism?

This is because evidence on ground clearly shows that all is not well with the entity called Nigeria as presently constituted. Ever since it got her independence in 1960, and practiced democratic governance for only six years, a fratricidal war broke out that claimed millions of lives especially those of Igbo extraction.

Indeed it has been an unwholesome tussle between various ethnic groups in the country to get power at the centre. The coming to power by the military intermittently escalated the anomie of the fragile peace existing among the ethnic groups that made up Nigeria. Since that incursion by the military to power, the country has only known the peace of the grave yard.

The only attempt made to cement the republic was the 1963 constitution of the First Republic that gave regional powers some level of autonomy until the rascality of some politicians triggered a stalemate in the Western region house of parliament.

Accusations and counter accusations have been the in-thing among the ethno chauvinistic elements about the anomalies confronting the country. Ushering of a democratic rule in 1979 was short-lived as a result of massive corruption by the so-called elite after five years of democratic experiment. This gave rise to a long period of military rule but Nigerians hopeful of a successful transition programme under former military ruler, General Ibrahim Babangida, had their hope shattered when Babangida truncated that adjudged freest and peaceful Presidential election of June 12, 1993. The undeclared winner of the election, MKO Abiola, after declaring himself as the President of Nigeria, was hounded into prison where he eventually died.

Nigeria became a pariah country under despotic regime of late Head of State, General Sani Abacha. It was quite traumatic for Nigerians then, until when finally the military government of General Abdulsalami Abubarkar handed power back to a military man in civilian uniform, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.

It was therefore a surprise when the recent call by former Vice President Atiku for restructuring the country was greeted with antagonism. Recall that the clamour for restructuring the country became louder after the annulment of the June 12 Presidential election.

From then till date, the country had been rocked by several crises like the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East; killings by Fulani herdsmen; ethno-religious clashes, militancy in the Niger Delta among others. There have also been agitations by groups hinged on perceived maginalisation in the system like the agitation for resource control by oil producing states, and pro-Biafra agitation which was initially championed by Ralph Uwazurike through Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) but now spearheaded by groups such as the Biafran Independent Movement (BIM) and Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). The list is endless.

These crises and agitations are clearly a result of injustice in the system as well as imbalance of the federation and heighten the need for restructuring of the country. There is therefore no doubt that those who are opposed to the call for restructuring of Nigeria do so for selfish reasons. Such persons do not mean well for Nigeria.

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