The former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, has again added his voice to the call for the restructuring of Nigeria. Presenting the keynote address at the 2018 Annual Law Week of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Owerri Branch, Obi said that since the present structure was not working, the need for restructuring was not only desirable but somewhat imperative.
Obi, who spoke on the theme, “The Restructuring of Nigeria, a Critical Analysis”, debunked the belief that restructuring amounts to dismemberment as some people erroneously believe. He said that restructuring was just an acknowledgement that what Nigeria runs today was a failure and that when something failed, an alternative should be sought.
Reviewing the state of the nation as a proof that Nigeria is not working, Obi compared Nigeria to other countries of the same developmental strides in the ’80s such as China and South Korea. Using facts and figures, he submitted that they have all fared better than Nigeria in all indices of development. He said that restructuring meant looking for what those people did that lifted them up and doing them as well.
Expatiating further, Obi said that Nigeria, for instance, had over 10 million out of school children, lost over four million jobs last year, with 16 million unemployed graduates, had remained incapable of generating enough power for herself and was inexorably moving negatively as could be seen through daily killings of Nigerians and that the aggregate of all these centripetal, divisive forces make restructuring imperative.
Obi regretted that 12 years after Nigerian debt of 32 billion dollars was written off, that the nation had gone ahead to accumulate debt of over 70 billion dollars today without much on ground to show for that. Citing other economic woes, he said emphatically that all aspects of the country’s life needed to be restructured.
The former governor said the restructuring should also be packaged in such a way to re-direct Nigeria to look inwards and transit from transaction to transformational leadership that would work towards a paradigm shift, from baggage to knowledge economy, characterised more by intellectual contributions Nigeria can make to the advancement of civilisation.
Concluding, Obi said that beyond physical restructuring that Nigeria needed the restructuring of the mind, conditioning Nigerians, including himself, to think more about the country than about oneself. “Everyday I wake up a sad man, thinking over many wrong things going on in Nigeria, rather than sit down and tell one another the truth, Nigerians carry on as if all is well, we cannot continue like this because it is bequeathing anarchy to our children,” Obi said.
In their own contributions, other discussants, namely, Justice B.A Njemanze (retd.), Prof. I.D Nwaorji and Prof A.A. Igwemma, all agreed on the need for restructuring in Nigeria.