Call For Legal Framework For Nigeria’s Restructuring: Where We Are Likely To Get It Wrong

Hameed Ajibola

The call for Nigeria’s restructuring has been on for quite a while or a decade, with every caller calling for restructuring for his own ambition and interest. To some of those persons, the call for restructuring is for the Northern, Southern, Western and Eastern parts of the country to gain their sovereignty and independence under their own respective sovereign government. There are other proponents of restructuring who call for same for political reasons and interests, while on the other hand, are some persons, to whom the call for restructuring is for even distribution of the national cake or wealth in such a way that the majority do not accumulate all the national benefits to themselves leaving the minority to be at their mercy or the privileged minority accumulating all the national benefits to themselves. This paper is of the respectful view that if care is not taken on our agenda for restructuring, we are likely to get the goal for restructuring wrong, hence, this topic.

Considering these circumstances of happenings in Nigeria currently, one would definitely be presumed to have justifications to call for restructuring of the nation. Some of those situations warranting and justifying this call in my humble view are the national insecurity and criminalities; the electoral issues; the appointments of government’s officers in such a way that the minority ethnic or racial etc., brothers have been seen to share the government’s public offices as a family affairs; uneven distribution of national wealth and benefits, etc. In all these situations, those who have always been at the disadvantaged end would normally be aggrieved and call for review of all the legal frameworks in force in such a way that there is need to check the system in its entirety and to put things in order as perhaps some of those legal frameworks are old and not practicable in the current situation.

It must, however, be observed that some persons have hoped that when restructuring is resolved to be undertaken, then, Nigeria would split, then, the Northern part, the Southern part, the Western part, and the Eastern part would then separate from one another to become sovereign and independent. I beg to disagree and to oppose this motion for disintegration moved by these persons! In my respectful view, this motion is really and absolutely mistaken! Nigeria has grown beyond the level she is to be dragged to by these persons! Restructuring should not be misunderstood for national disintegration rather it should be for good government. Much more so, we all in Nigeria need to be very happy to see ourselves as one from a mother. We should see ourselves as brothers of the same mother. Even at worst, we are human from God’s hands. He created us all and made us continue to enjoy his bounties on earth and to continue to live as brothers. We were the ones who gave ourselves several names and names of areas and locations such as the Northern part, the Southern part, the Western part and the Eastern part, even the name ‘Nigeria’! All these are just nomenclatures i.e. mere naming.

The brotherhood should not be harmed by mere abstract and artificial naming. The reality lies in us being physical and being practically living together as brothers and being our brothers’ keepers! It is this unique personification that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended)-herein after referred to as the Constitution- intends to achieve when it provides in its Preamble and section 2(1) of the Constitution thus ‘We the People of the Federal Republic of Nigeria: HAVING firmly and solemnly resolved: TO LIVE in unity and harmony as one indivisible, indissoluble, Sovereign Nation under God dedicated to the promotion of inter- African solidarity, world peace, international co-operation and understanding: AND TO PROVIDE for a Constitution for the purpose of promoting the good government and welfare of all persons in our country on the principles of Freedom, Equality and Justice, and for the purpose of consolidating the unity of our people: DO HEREBY MAKE, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES the following Constitution:…. ’2.—(1) Nigeria shall be one indivisible and indissoluble sovereign state to be known by the name of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.’.

Respectfully, I am of the view that there are many things for us all as one Nigeria and one nation bound in peace, freedom, and unity to continue to be happy with and for: we have been made to fulfill the destiny of God Almighty! I reason (and I am not sure that I am wrong about this though) that it is God’s decision and predestination that we shall all be joined together and continue to live in that amalgamation till eternity! So, I reason also that our being amalgamated is not without God’s decision and so it became possible and for over decades, we have so been together! So, why is it now that some persons have been making efforts in ill-faith to disunite and disintegrate us for us to be separated?! Are these people saying that the husbands and wives married from these different parts as encouragement of national unity and integration be separated and the children from such marriages to suffer?! Are we saying that all investments of one part in another part of the country by persons from different parts of these: Southern, Northern, Western and Eastern parts beat loss?! Are these persons saying with unquenchable joy that there should henceforth be visas issued from one part of the present country to another?! Are they saying also that despite our religious unity, there should still be national disunity?!

In these questions, I reason to beg to differ with these persons, with due respect! I view that Nigeria requires more of our joint prayers in whatever our mother-tongue or dialect is! The prayer being referred to here should not be misunderstood for the one to disintegrate us rather the prayer being recommended here is that which unites us and remove and relieve all of our burdens and devilish minds against ourselves and against integration and unity of Nigeria! Prayer for tolerance, success, fulfillment in all the good of life, improved economy, peaceful co-existence, among others. Supporting the fight against corruption and recommending initiatives for achieving the victory over corruption to the government is a good attempt for the national progress of Nigeria!

Furthermore, in my humble view, though with due respect to any contrary view, it is mostly considered that Nigerian problems encountered are as a result of the Southern, Northern, Western and the Eastern Parts being together as a nation. I beg to disagree! In my humble view, I reason that the problems of Nigeria are likely linkable to the operational factors. Therefore, this gives credence and reason for a review and restructuring of her modes of operations in their entirety.

I only intend by this paper to draw our attention to where we are likely to get things mixed up and wrongly asserted if care is not taken in our definition of the decision for restructuring. I hope very well that it would henceforth be our decision and resoluteness to always live together in peace, unity, and progress and not to cut our bond of brotherhood divinely existing in us as one nation, one love! May I be permitted to raise my pen here, please!

God bless the United Federal Republic of Nigeria! God bless the United Nigerian citizens! God bless the leadership of the Federal Republic of Nigeria!





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