With reports of growing militancy across the country, especially in South South, North East and Southeast geopolitical zones, it is time the Buhari administration takes another look at the 2014 National Conference report. Even when its recommendations are not the all-cure for Nigeria’s bewildering mosaic of political, ethnic and religious problems, they remain the only way out of the country’s present quagmire.
Of course, it is not surprising to see why the All Progressives Congress (APC) federal administration has been reluctant to implement some of the confab’s report. This reluctance stems from the fact that many of the party’s chieftains were initially opposed to the conference, which has to do with partisan politics.
Therefore, it is safe to assume that the opposition was not informed by any high motives but more with the politics of the moment that pitted the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against the All Progressives Congress (APC). But with the elections of 2015 over, Nigerians expected that any party that won would eventually take to implementing the recommendations with a view to putting the country’s politics on an even keel and thereby defuse the perennial political tensions and ethnic animosities that have bedeviled the country for long.
Our view is because reason for the conference far outweighs any selfish political interests or considerations. There is no denying the fact that majority of Nigerians have for long clamoured for a new political order that would usher in peace, equity and justice for every citizen irrespective of religious or ethnic affiliation. That is why we do not believe that the Buhari administration is holding to the report out of spite and disdain for the immediate past administration of Goodluck Jonathan. However, it is time to advise that the administration keep its distance from those perennially opposed to restructuring of the country.
Our advise is informed by the widely held fears that the Buhari administration may likely abandon the report put together by more than 500 delegates after five months of painstaking deliberations. Here is why the administration should implement the report.
In more than 600 resolutions, the conference recommended a two-tier structure of federal and state governments that vest responsibility of the administration of the existing 774 local governments in the states.
Foremost, it advocated for the creation of an additional state in the Southeast and 18 others to make for equity and enhance national development. For long, Nigeria has missed every opportunity to ensure peaceful and developmental progress by not restructuring the federation. Result is that Nigeria is today not at peace as centrifugal tendencies are continuing to undermine its peace and stability.
There is no doubt that the country’s federal structure is not working at the optimum capacity the founding fathers envisioned it. Therefore, it would be fool hardy for any government to ignore or shelve implementations of the conference’s resolutions in the erroneous belief that agitations for restructuring would die down.
We believe that the Buhari administration will be in lock step with the yearnings of Nigerians and implement the Confab resolutions. By doing so, the administration would have written its name in gold like the outgoing Jonathan government that instituted the conference.