Oladipo Olaitan, the National Financial Secretary of the apex Yoruba socio-cultural body, Afenifere, has blamed late Head of State, Gen. Aguiyi Ironsi, for the major political problem facing Nigeria today.
According to him, the Unification Decree promulgated by Ironsi in 1966 eroded the regional structure in place, which had placed Nigeria on the pedestal of development and leadership in Africa and set-up a chain reaction that under-developed the country.
He, however, said that Nigeria had no choice but to restructure back into regions so that component units can compete in terms of development and well-being of the people.
Olaitan told Vanguard: “We don’t have a choice but to restructure, and I hope that common choice will prevail. We all know that things are not right, we all know unless we are pretending.
“We have all been sitting on this fossil oil from the Niger Delta; time is running out on it, development is running out on it. Volvo, one of the biggest car manufacturing companies in the world will soon stop manufacturing cars using fossil oil.
“Very soon, the price of crude oil will be $15 or so. Let us go by what we used to have. Let us learn how to work. Even the Holy Bible says you reap out of your sweat.
“Let us also work, let us begin to tell our children that they need to work. Let us institutionalise the dignity of labour; it is not here anymore.
“Take all these things away from the exclusive list apart from Foreign Affairs, Defence, Immigration, Citizenship.
“Give police to each region; we used to have it before. Do you know that each region used to have its own police?
“Do you remember that when Nigeria was being amalgamated that the North insisted that it be put in the document; the right to secession and self-determination. But those were the things that Ironsi removed through the Unification Decree of 1966. That is where the problem started.
“Western Nigeria had its own Constitution; the East had its own, the North had its own. As a matter of fact, Western Nigeria had its own Agent-General in London and the house being used by Nigeria in London now was owned by Western Nigeria.
“We were competing. The first television station in Africa was from Western Nigeria. But now, we cannot build railways just because it is in the exclusive list.”