SERVING Overseer, The Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare has thrown his weight behind the agitation for restructuring of the country, saying it will correct the fundamental flaws in the polity.
He, however, faulted the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration for refusing to heed the call for restructuring. Bakare said this, Sunday, during a state of the nation address in Lagos. Noting that restructuring will correct the fundamental flaw in the nation’s federal system, he said: “The hues and cries for restructuring in our nation appear not to have been well received by this present government. The inquisitive may ask: Why must we restructure? We must restructure to correct the flaws in our federal system. A federated state is defined as a territorial and constitutional community forming part of a federal union. “In a true federal system, previously sovereign states agree to confer their individual sovereignties on a central government. In other words, the states create the federal government, as was the case with the original thirteen American colonies. This was also the case when the Nigerian federal system was originally conceived by our founding fathers.
Prior to the coming of the colonialists, sovereignty was domiciled in empires, kingdoms, city-states and republican villages. It was, however, taken over by the colonialists at which point it resided in the British crown.” Lamenting that the current crop of leaders have deviated from the ideology of the nation’s founding fathers, Bakare said: “Our founding fathers agreed that Nigeria would be a truly federal state with limited and specific powers allocated to the federal government and residual powers inherent in the regional governments.” “This agreement was the social contract upon which the Nigerian state was formed, but this social contract was broken on May 24, 1966 through the Unification Decree by Gen. J.T.U. Aguiyi-Ironsi’s administration. That was the day Nigeria died. “Five decades later, in spite of the reversal of the Unification Decree by Gen. Yakubu Gowon’s administration resulting in the division of Nigeria into twelve states, this deviation from the landmarks set by the fathers is a crucial reason for our disjointed nationhood and the perennial socioeconomic decay. It is why efforts at economic diversification by government after government, including the present government, have failed to yield the expected results.” Advocating for a zonally structured governance system, the cleric said: “I must state that I am inclined to a zonally structured governance system due to the reasons I earlier alluded to. However, in the spirit of trustful give and take, let all the proposals be brought to the TABLE. Inasmuch as it is in the interest of our nation, whatever governmental structure results from the process, a people deserve the right to determine the structural and functional parameters of governance in their nation. Let the Nigerian people decide.
From the United Kingdom’s European Union membership referendum, to the constitutional plebiscite in Italy, we have seen examples of how this is done. “The notion that the Nigerian nation is non-negotiable will remain contested through agitations, until we summon enough courage to put it to the test, and prove, through the outcome, that we are indeed prepared to become a truly united nation.” Bakare, who is also Convener of the Save Nigeria Group, SNG, called on President Buhari and his team to summon the courage to make hard choices to restructure and the choice to embrace the necessary self-sacrifice that precedes economic recovery. He said: “To The current government, under President Muhammadu Buhari, has the opportunity to provide such leadership by being at the forefront of the quest for change. Guided by the indicators of good governance in a well-structured state, and propelled by a true unifying national vision, Mr. President and his team must summon the courage to make hard choices, especially the choice to restructure and the choice to embrace the necessary self-sacrifice that precedes economic recovery. “May 29 this year will mark two full years of this administration in government. We have no more time to waste.
Mr. President must galvanize his team to get the job done; square pegs in round holes must be removed or put in appropriate places; the wicked who surround the righteous must be led away from the presence of the king. Those who cannot stand the heat must get out of the kitchen. It is time to demonstrate leadership, wise judgment and astute public policy that guarantees stable and prosperous nationhood upon a foundation of peace; it is time to build a well-ordered nation with strong institutions dispensing justice; it is time to arise with patriotic zeal to build a great nation such that, years from now, generations yet unborn will look back at their history, not with disdain, but with gratitude to God that our GENERATION preceded theirs.”