restructuring has become a national appeal, whose time has come, … we need to tinker with our constitution to accommodate new thoughts that will strengthen our nationality.
FORMER military president, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, in condemning the spate of recent hate speeches in the country noted despite surviving a lot of crisis in the past, the country was certainly due for restructuring now.
Admitting that restructuring has become a national appeal, whose time has come, he stated that what this means is that “we need to tinker with our constitution to accommodate new thoughts that will strengthen our nationality.
In his Eid-el-Fitri message to Muslims Monday, he stated: “I will strongly advocate for devolution of powers to the extent that more responsibilities be given to the states while the federal government is vested with the responsibility to oversee our foreign policy, defense, and economy.”
He dismissed the misgivings around the calls for a state police, as he advocated for its adoption, saying that the old fears that governors will misuse the officers and men of the state police have become rather outdated.
He explained further that the Nigerian federation, needs reforms to emphasise the individual strength and advantages of the component units so that governments can really work to improve the lives of Nigerians.
According to him: “If we have repeatedly done certain things and not getting the desired results, we need to change tactics and approach, and renew our commitment. It is our collective responsibilities to engender a reform that would be realistic and in sync with modern best practices.
“For example, restructuring has become a national appeal as we speak, whose time has come. I will strongly advocate devolution of powers to the extent that more responsibilities be given to the states while the Federal Government is vested with the responsibility to oversee our foreign policy, defence, and economy.
“Even the idea of having federal roads in towns and cities has become outdated and urgently needs revisiting. That means we need to tinker with our constitution to accommodate new thoughts that will strengthen our nationality.
“Restructuring and devolution of powers will certainly not provide all the answers to our developmental challenges; it will help to reposition our mindset as we generate new ideas and initiatives that would make our union worthwhile.
“The talk to have the country restructured means that Nigerians are agreed on our unity in diversity; but that we should strengthen our structures to make the union more functional based on our comparative advantages.
“Added to this desire is the need to commence the process of having state police across the federation. This idea was contained in my manifesto in 2010 when I attempted to contest the presidential elections.
“The initial fear that state governors will misuse the officers and men of the state police has become increasingly eliminated with renewed vigour in citizens’ participation in, and confidence to interrogate power.
“We cannot be detained by those fears and allow civilisation to leave us behind. We must as a people with one destiny and common agenda take decisions for the sake of posterity in our shared commitment to launch our country on the path of development and growth.
“Policing has become so sophisticated that we cannot continue to operate our old methods and expect different results. I also want to appeal to the Nigeria media to be more circumspect in their news reportage.”