Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, has voiced a strong opinion on the need for a complete restructuring of Nigeria to propel the nation forward. He expressed these views at the 12th Annual Zik Lecture in Awka on Thursday. Reflecting on Nigeria’s journey over 60 years post-independence, including surviving a civil war and numerous elections, Makinde emphasized the necessity of restructuring for national progress.
Paying homage to the late Nnamdi Azikiwe, Makinde highlighted Zik’s efforts to keep Nigeria united. He posed a rhetorical question about what Zik would advise in the current era, suggesting that Zik would oppose any division based on electoral outcomes. Makinde stressed that the focus should be on uniting not just Nigeria but Africa as a whole.
He attributed the heightened ethnic tensions in Nigeria to the centralization of governance. Makinde urged for a reevaluation of governance structures, advocating for a shift from focusing on what might have been if different leaders had been elected, to fostering healthy competition for national advancement.
Makinde also noted Zik’s national outlook, born in Northern Nigeria and hailing from the East, as a foundation for his belief in an indivisible Nigeria. The governor concluded by affirming the nation’s unity, despite challenges, and called for continued nation-building efforts.
The event was attended by notable figures including Malawi President Joyce Banda, Anambra State Governor Chukwuma Soludo, and Labour Party’s 2023 presidential candidate, Peter Obi.
Governor Seyi Makinde’s call for the complete restructuring of Nigeria is a pivotal moment in the ongoing discourse about the nation’s future. His stance at the 12th Annual Zik Lecture brings to the forefront the critical need for a structural overhaul to address the deep-rooted issues plaguing Nigeria. This call for restructuring is not just about administrative changes; it’s about reimagining the very fabric of Nigerian governance and society.
Makinde’s reference to the late Nnamdi Azikiwe, a figure synonymous with unity and national integration, is particularly poignant. It serves as a reminder that the vision for a united Nigeria has deep historical roots. However, Makinde rightly points out that unity does not mean uniformity. The diversity of Nigeria’s ethnic groups should be a source of strength, not division.
The governor’s emphasis on moving beyond ethnic and regional politics to focus on nation-building is a timely and necessary call to action. Nigeria’s centralised governance structure has long been a point of contention, often exacerbating regional disparities and ethnic tensions. A restructuring that decentralises power and gives more autonomy to regions could be a step towards addressing these issues.
Makinde’s advocacy for restructuring is a call for a new Nigeria, where diversity is celebrated, governance is more inclusive, and development is equitable. It’s a vision that requires not just political will but also a collective commitment from all Nigerians to work towards a more united and prosperous nation.
Did You Know?
- Nigeria’s Ethnic Diversity: Nigeria is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world, with over 250 ethnic groups and over 500 languages spoken.
- Nnamdi Azikiwe’s Legacy: Nnamdi Azikiwe, often referred to as “Zik”, was the first President of Nigeria and a leading figure in the country’s struggle for independence.
- Decentralisation in Governance: Many countries have successfully implemented decentralisation as a means to improve governance, increase local participation, and address regional disparities.
- Nigeria’s Federal Structure: Nigeria operates a federal system of government, but there has been ongoing debate about the degree of autonomy and resources allocated to its states.
- Economic Implications of Restructuring: Economic experts suggest that restructuring could lead to more efficient governance, better resource management, and ultimately, improved economic growth and development in Nigeria.