Newszents: The powers to okay restructuring is not only in the hands of the Northerners in which the changes will affect their grip on economic, social and political powers over Nigeria, because of greed and fear, it is also a suicide mission for the leftover of Sokoto Caliphate which is more like the new Colonial Masters in Nigeria after the British left in 1960.
The Oracle will advise readers to take a seat, get a glass of wine or a cigarette and enjoy this submission that will explain the fear and greed behind restructuring.
Now let us look at the process based on the 1999 Constitution which was written and signed by then Head of State General Abdul Salam, a Northerner after MKO Abiola the winner of 1993 presidential elections was removed from the equation in the presence of Ambassador Susan Rice then former US President Clinton’s representative and former Ambassador Pickering to Nigeria.
The Oracle says 1999 Constitution is not different from 1979 Constitution or even the unitary system adopted by General Aguiyi Ironsi in 1966, whatever those Constitution documents were, to the enlightened world, they were not progressive, they failed to understand the tripod on which the British handed power in 1960 to a Federal government based three regional governments. It could be like the Virginia Conference of 1789 in the United States of America in which James Madison introduced into US Constitution the electoral college system, he termed fear of intrigue, it was on that same principle of fear of domination by any region, the British agreed to regional government for Nigeria, unfortunately, what happened when the British left was not only selfish it was based on greed too.
Executive Arm of Government
It is hopeless to think President Buhari a former General and veteran of Nigeria Civil war will honor any discussion on restructuring, far from it, this presidency is not interested in restructuring in any form, forget it, President Buhari said it himself, he believed the distribution of things are in line with the 1999 Constitution, a system that gave too much authority to Aso Rock in all areas it is okay with President Buhari, meaning, he will not give approval for any executive action on restructuring, to him, it is not only a challenge to the forces he represent, it is more than that, it is tribal, regional, and institutional.
In some of the actions of the Vice President Osinbajo, as Acting President Yemi, a Professor of Law and a Pastor, under pressure said restructuring is not the solution but attitude of Nigerians as if he was talking to a Church Congregations, and when he set up a committee to look into restructuring within APC, it was not a surprise, he played safe to the good eyes of his boss General Buhari, he had anti-restructuring Governor El Rufai as the Chairman, the committee did not include opposition from other political parties or those with other views other than APC and you wonder what kind of attitude he had in mind, if It is a Party stuff as claimed by his supporters why not give the job to Tinubu and Atiku to head the restructuring committee, the two are currently jobless, particularly Atiku who had earlier asked the country for restructure?
One can only conclude here, it was never some Party affairs it was and still a Northern Controlled Government idea to kill restructuring backed by the 199 Constitution. Senator Tinubu described the current system as on restructuring of Nigeria he said, we are like the bewildered couple who has got their marriage license after a lavish wedding; yet, neither of them really understands the meaning of marriage or their roles as husband and wife in it.
“Legally, they are married but functionally, their union is a crippled one. This couple will be at loggerheads until somehow they forge an agreement on what type of home they want and what are their respective duties in making that home come into existence.” He failed to state that in the marriage one was cheating and making a fool of the one working to keep the marriage healthy.
Legislative Arm of the Government
Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki though he is from the North, he may be the only soft spot for restructuring among the highly placed Nigerians in Government because of his closeness to Senators Ekweremadu and David Mark, both are Christians more of Southern thinking, and when he spoke on IPOB of recent it must have shaken the system more than we read in the pages of newspapers, when in future discussion on this topic comes up, the only hope is the Senate and those asking for it be scrapped must understand Senate is here to stay.
Speaker Dogara’s body language on his own did not suggest that he wanted to entertain anything from South East members on IPOB according to the report of Punch Newspapers and restructuring may even be the last thing on his mind to be discussed on the floor of the House, those who did not see the reason why Hon. Gbajabiamila was prevented from being the Speaker by the North at the inception of this administration would now have open eyes, a Gbajabiamila as Speaker would have opened restructuring for discussion on the floor of the House why? He is more exposed than the current Speaker.
Judiciary Arm of the Government
The Judiciary is heavily loaded to the North to expect fair judgement and it may even be very easy for the executive or any overzealous group from the North to obtain a court order for restructuring not to be discussed because it will violate the 1999 Constitution, there are Judges there that are ready to maintain the status quo even if the whole country is crying over it, they will always use the same Constitution to destroy restructuring. It was done of recent when the Senate President objected to the process by which IPOB was classified as a terrorist organization, a Judge from Abuja probably a Northerner gave the go ahead.
Police and Military
Like Fela called them, follow follow, they just follow the order of the Presidency and ready to dismantle any demand for restructuring either at meetings or groups that may look like Siamese twins to IPOB, and they will be happy to call the anti-democratic action against the people with any funny names you can find in the bush, who used Operation Python on the citizens of Nigeria just because they share a different political thinking?
What then is the hope of restructuring in Nigeria or Plan B or EPS as suggested by this writer 15 years ago when Obasanjo came out with his funny National Conference which the Oracle then said was just to keep Anthony Enahoro and his group busy?
This writer wrote then that President Obasanjo never intended to respect or follow the submission of the Conference and as predicted, it was a total failure and a waste of time or delayed strategies. Or the National Conference of President Jonathan in which Emir of Adamawa dominated and even threatened many of them to either accept the situation as it is or he would take his people to Cameroon.
The Conference even threatened Pastor Tunde Bakare, for requesting the Chairman of the Committee to address or pray in a language all the delegates could understand, it was a conference the Presidency of Jonathan was threatened, he had to redefine the goals of the conference from freedom to discuss on all issues to restrictive method which destroyed the very objective of the Conference.
However, as incompetent as the Jonathan’s National Conference was, it was the best since 1967, it addressed some of the problems of the country but he failed to implement the recommendations of the Conference quickly himself, some of the recommendations that required simple executive orders, the Zoologist did not understand what to do. He delayed actions on them until this Oracle wrote a letter to the Presidency not to waste the opportunity to reform based on the recommendations of the Conference otherwise, the next administration may run into the problem of agitations because of his inaction, in his usual careless manner, Jonathan administration kept the recommendations until election period as a campaign tools for re-election which he failed.
The same mistake of the two Presidents from the South Jonathan and Obasanjo is still going one with Buhari’s administration thinking APC alone can draw the type of micromanage restructuring based on APC doctrines and the solution to all the 774-local government in the Nigeria, that will be a sign of failure or a planned action to derail the system like Obasanjo and Jonathan did.
To those who could not read between the lines, it will be okay to recap that the North, will use the executive, legislative and judicial power to derail the so-call for restructuring until 2019, it will be the campaign slogan of the Presidential Candidates, the North as it is can afford to keep the presidency forever based on 1999 constitution all they need to do is switch from party to party and alternate the Vice Presidency between the SE and SW, meaning, Buhari or whoever comes up from APC can drop VP Osinbajo for Gov Okorocha to keep the SE quiet or PDP can switch VP to SE and SW, it is called Fabian strategies, in which you confuse the opposition and also keep the flame of disunity in the South up.
A unity in the South can disorganize the North, a group to rekindle how Awolowo and Azikiwe politically destroyed themselves will be reactivated, the South East will result to the use of dirty languages on the SW and the unity as fragile as it is now may collapse, to counter this, opinion leaders must stay focus, because it is more than the North Control, it is the future of the unborn generation, including the kids in the North itself, those in charge of oil blocks are not going to give up easily including those sharing Nigeria resources monthly, they are not going to say okay we can have it back.
Regional Government as suggested by the Yoruba Conference at Lekan Salami Stadium should be taken by the Yoruba leaders to all State House of Assemblies of all the 36 states of Federation, it should also be submitted to the National Assembly with a follow up by all the Representatives at the Senate and House of Representatives to serve as a pressure group. It is not a time to sleep just because a meeting at Ibadan came up with a program, it is must be pushed to the logical conclusion.
Regional Government has flaws in it as presented, it failed address the role of State and City police, which the North rejected in the past, no room for hourly pay system, it failed to understand or address the issue of Mayoral system of administration for our Cities which we had in the sixties, it did not address the power of the cities and local government, it may even need to curb the executive powers of the State Governors, and in all Regional Government did not address who will be the head of Regional government and the role of such a person at the Federal level, will it indicate that each of the regions will be headed by a Vice President responsible to the President at the top or what are the loopholes in the regional government.
EPS is a simpler than all these Regional Government it can destroy the politics of religion, tribalism, and godfather mentality, in all EPS will make us all Nigerians first before our Region while Regional is a step towards separation.
Zents Sowunmi is the author. “The Vultures and the Vulnerable” (A review of the political history of Nigeria since 1945)