As restructuring calls keep reverberating across the country, Goodluck Jonathan, a former Nigerian President, has said restructuring alone would not help solve the numerous problems bedevilling the country.
“We cannot restructure without solving issues that polarize us: nepotism, ethnic and religious differences and lack of patriotism,” he posited.
Jonathan stated this at the 18th Daily Trust Dialogue on the theme: “Restructuring: Why? How?” held on Thursday in Abuja.
The former president, who is the chairman of the event, said the country must come up with specific solutions to her problems.
“Discussion on restructuring will not help except we restructure our minds.
“Some of the challenges faced at the national level are still there at the state and local government levels….and sometimes even in our communities.,” he said.
”Nigerians have mutual suspicions towards one another and this must be eliminated to have a better Nigeria,” he observed.
“Within these six decades, our political space has assumed many colourations. We have gone from the 12 regions to 36 states and 774 local government councils and moved away from when the different regions had different arrangements to manage the local government level to a unified local government system across the country,” he said.
“Yet, all that does not seem to have provided the answer to the questions of the administrative structure of our country and how best it should be governed.
“As president, I had the privilege of celebrating our nation’s golden jubilee in 2010 and the centenary of our amalgamation in 2014.
“When we were to celebrate these milestones, some Nigerians saw our intention, arguing that the amalgamation was faulty. They insisted there were no reasons to celebrate because they believe the amalgamation has not helped the growth of our country.
“My belief is that all nations have their unique history; the amalgamation is not the problem in my belief, rather, there was too much emphasis on divisive politics and this has greatly affected our nation’s unity.
“As a country, we have our peculiar challenges and should devise means of solving them but we should not continue to tilt our spleen on the amalgamation.
“My conviction is that discussion on restructuring will not help except we restructure our minds because some of the challenging issues at the national level still exist at the state and local levels.
“How do we restructure to make sure that those things don’t happen again? This shows restructuring alone may not solve all the anomalies in our system. I believe that restructuring for a better nation is good but there are other fundamental issues we should also address.”