Like a lead singer, the call by former Military President, Ibrahim Babangida for a restructured Nigeria has received support from a generation of notable Nigerians who said the general must have seen the dangers ahead if the country continues its movement along the current unholy road. One of the delegates to the 2014 National Conference and a former National President, Igbo Think Tank, Aka Ikenga, Chief Goddy Uwazurike said Babangida having being part of several processes that have brought about changes of government in Nigeria and having also been at the helm of affairs for eight years, must have seen it and understood it all.
He said for Babangida to add his opinion at this critical moment means he must have seen things that ordinary eyes could not see. “As a retired military general and now an elder statesman by virtue of his age and experiences and a former Head of State, I believe he (Babangida) understands the import of what he said.” According to Nwazurike, “Nigeria urgently needed to be restructured. I wonder what those who are in power today, but were champions and agitators of restructuring yesterday saw that is making them shy away from what they championed when they were not in government. They should explain to Nigerians what has changed between 2013 and now that made them to see restructuring as something Nigeria does not need?”
Reacting on why Babangida didn’t restructure the country when he was in power, Nwazurike, who is also a lawyer said, “We need ourselves because the former military dictator must have seen it all before coming out. He must have foreseen some danger ahead and if Nigeria fails to restructure then we are making a big mistake. This is not the time to start questioning why he didn’t restructure Nigeria when he was in power but to look at the import of what he has said and the urgency it requires.” Nwazurike also commended Babangida over his call for state police, saying: “I don’t think the former Head of State made a mistake or was trying to play politics because I believe he has seen it all. The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) promised to restructure in it manifestoes.”
Babangida’s call for restructuring, was also supported by the National Coordinator, Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Otunba Gani Adams said those who are against restructuring of Nigeria at this period are its real enemies. He said, “I will suggest that Nigerians should start cursing and even stone them. If someone like Babangida can come out to embrace restructuring then those who don’t support it are parts of those that put us in hardship. Even when President Muhammadu Buhari was in good state of health and running about 42 ministries and over 100 parastatals, how many of these was he able to monitor effectively? Truly he decries corruption, is it the same philosophy with those running the government with him. What we are saying is that the centre should be giving limited job load while power should be devolved to the states and regions.
‘This is the only way our progress could be guaranteed. We definitely have to go back to restructuring. The 1963 Republican Constitution is better for the country to move forward and we gained our independence on the basis of regionalism.” Adams, who was also a delegate at the 2014 National Conference, added, “what we agreed at the conference is that power should be devolved to the regions or zones otherwise I don’t know what will happen to this country in the next four years if we continue like this. If those who want restructuring are frustrated or denied they may be left with no other choice than to secede.”