By: Ajayi Toyyib
The word restructuring denotes reorganizing, rebuilding, reforming, and reorientation of certain things in regards to its present situation or status. When certain things are not standing for what it is meant to be, there is a need to call for restructuring. Specifically, “restructuring in Nigeria” could be refer to as a means to reorganize, re orientate, reconfigure and reform the pattern of things concerning the economy and politics of the country. Some experts and intellectual personalities/philosophers have analyzed the clamor for restructuring as a typical issue, the perception of the view is that what type of restructuring do we want/need in this state (this country which is a victim of different instabilities).
The fact that the victim state (Nigeria) is heterogeneous in nature, it is quite important to glance through some heterogeneous factors /aspects that constitute the country, right from her inception. Typically looking at the structure of Nigeria, as it was Colonized by the Great Britain until the year 1960. However, federalism as a structure of the administrative arm can be traced to the provision of 1951 and 1954 (Macpherson and Lyttleton) constitutions, and also as a result of the provision of the 1946 Richard constitution that brought about regionalism in Nigeria.
Introduction of federalism in the country is to address the issue of cultural diversities and bring together the regions in the country to become one. While we are still a nation- state, there won’t be the existence of discrimination among the major tribes (Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo). During the first term of President Muhammadu Buhari as a civilian government in 2015, his administration was said to be characterized by “nepotism, favoritism and tribalism” which does not suit us as we refer to our self as a nation.
Similarly, the contemporary issues as at that time, was a very volatile situation in the south east where the indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB) led by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu called for the secession of the people of Igbo extraction from the Nigeria state. Of course, this move is dangerous and selfish, but we cannot ignore the message that people like Nnamdi Kanu are passing. Then it’s IPOB, tomorrow who knows? Meanwhile, we already had such serious case which led to civil war on July 6, 1976 which arose as a result of injustices, lack of oneness and mass killing of the Igbos in the North and still yet we are referring to ourselves as a nation (one Nigeria). The name of the country “Federal Republic of Nigeria”, in it, does not exist a good federation. A true federation is one that encourages strong center, as well as a formidable component region. It is believed that major problems battling with Nigeria, politically and economically, such as; terrorism, bad leadership, corruption and some other causes of instability in the country include our status of being underdeveloped since 59 years of independence can be traced to our background right from colonialism till independence.
At this point, the major question that comes to one’s mind is, what are we to restructure in Nigeria? Is it for us to return to regionalism that will encourage secession and divide the country? The heterogeneous nature of the country and its administrative components will not make it easy for us to determine what we are to restructure. And even if it is possible for us to restructure, probably our system of operation and it still comprises of the same corrupt and biased individuals, Nigeria will still not be economically viable and political instability grows. So, to restructure Nigeria as a whole, it is better to give a formidable orientation that sets up the mind of the populace at large, i.e people should know that the situation of the country can be aided by our actions. As corruption and other cancerous social vices can be traced to our previous years and has developed in the nooks and crannies of the country.
To safe Nigeria from total collapse, we need to “restructure our minds” .So, it is best expected that Nigeria citizens at large, should re-orientate, rebuild , reconfigure and reform the state of our minds (i.e we should erase all act and practices of corruption, live a formidable, patriotic and united lifestyle so as to have political stability and economic viability in our dear country.