Former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, and Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi have made fresh demands for the restructuring of Nigeria, describing it as a vital tool for development and nation-building.
The two top politicians laid bare their minds during a public presentation of a book titled ‘Remaking Nigeria: Sixty Years, Sixty Voices,’ which was monitored by the news desk of Progressive Impact Organization for Community Development, PRIMORG, Thursday in Abuja.
Atiku, who chaired the book launch stated that development and nation-building can only be possible when leaders are thoughtful, visionary, and willing to make the required sacrifices.
He hailed the publication and the author, Dr. Chido Onumah, but lamented Nigeria’s failure to heed the warning from a similar book titled, ‘We are all Biafrans’ by the same author five years ago which harped on fixing the country.
According to Atiku, “The calls for restructuring have not been heeded.  Constitutional provisions on the federal character have been ignored and even symbolic gestures to make all groups feel that they are part of the Nigerian family have been scorned as though they are a sign of weakness.”
He stressed that fixing or restructuring would help in achieving the nation-building project, emphasizing that restructuring will help foster a sense of nationhood a great deal given the numerous groups, cultures, religions, and regions.
“In my view, we must restructure our country in a manner that allows various segments to develop at their own paces and not be held back by the centre or other segments.
“Developed segments will spur development in other segments because what they do well will attract the attention of others. That may make a Nigerian union more attractive and nation-building easier. Our poor nation-building record should not be an excuse for developmental inaction or backwardness,” He stressed.
On his part, Governor Kayode Fayemi said that restructuring of Nigeria was a veritable instrument to reinvent Nigeria, saying that there was no way anyone could escape the conclusion that the country needs re-branding.
The Governor who doubles as Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum advocated for devolution of power at the center, and that constitution should be reviewed to touch fiscal federalism, as well as cautioned that the call for restructuring should not mean unleashing instability in the country.
“Nigeria is a formidable platform that must be preserved for those that would use it well.
“Our idea of restructuring must be motivated by our generational responsibility to build a nation where peace and justice shall reign.
“Our efforts at remaking Nigeria must be anchored on the principle of devolution of powers at the center; That is the transfer of power to the federating units and constitution should be reviewed to touch fiscal federalism.”
Earlier, the author of the book and the Coordinator of the African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL), Chido Onumah said that the book was a product of eleven years of planning, adding that it was borne out of the need to rescue Nigeria.
The book was said to comprise 60 rich, insightful and concise articles, written by young Nigerian men and women outlining their views of the current and future state of Nigeria, as well as ideas on how to make it better.
Dignitaries present at the book launch include: Former Senate President, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim; Editor-in-Chief, 21st Century Chronicle, Mahmud Jega; Former Nigeria’s Ambassador to Ethiopia and the permanent representative to African Union, Nkoyo Toyo, Chief Executive Officer of the School of Politics, Policy and Governance, Alero Ayida-Otobo, among others

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