As President Muhammadu Buhari addresses the nation on Independence Day, Nigerians have re-echoed the need to restructure the country.
But feelers, yesterday, however, indicated that what Nigerians looked forward to as an anniversary gift was a declaration of commitment to the restructuring of the country.
The first indication came from Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF). It started by observing that in spite of the challenges of civil war and the very precarious state of the country thereafter, Nigeria had remained one entity 60 years after independence. It, however, lamented that the nation faced doom if it failed to adopt restructuring as a solution to the many threats to its continued corporate existence.
PANDEF’s National Publicity Secretary, Ken Robinson, said it was rather unfortunate that at 60, Nigeria was still grappling with challenges that had continued to hinder her from attaining nationhood. He identified restructuring as a solution.
He said: “It is very unfortunate, we have not attained nationhood. We are still struggling to be a nation. PANDEF believes in the oneness of Nigeria. Nigeria has exploited so much from us. Nigeria has gained so much from us; we have fed Nigeria for close to 60 years. Resources from our land have been used to build Nigeria. So PANDEF is not thinking about secession. What we are saying is there is a need for restructuring. We need fiscal federalism.”
According to him, PANDEF hopes President Buhari and his administration will change the way and manner the affairs of the country are run.
Similarly, the Chairman of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People transition council, Keeper Gbaranor, warned that the continued existence of Nigeria as one indivisible nation should not be taken for granted,
Gbaranor claimed the country had been unfair in the last 60 years to ethnic minorities. He said Ogoni and other ethnic minorities would continue to insist on the restructuring of the country in line with the principles of true federalism.
“If Nigeria must survive in the future, we must structure and allow various ethnic groups to control their natural resources for the people’s development. It is saddening that those in whose land oil and gas are found are not better off than other parts of the country. The reason why Nigeria is ranked as the world’s headquarter of poverty is because of the way and manner resources have been managed at the detriment of the people.”
In a similar vein, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, yesterday called for moral revolution.
The body stated that the time had come for the people of the country to take their destiny into their own hands.