Afenifere Group in the United Kingdom (UK) and Europe has said corruption will continue in Nigeria except the country is restructured.
The Secretary of the Group in the UK and Europe, Engr. Anthony Kayode Ajayi revealed this while speaking from UK today.
According to him, restructuring is a song on the lips of many Nigerians, stressing that it has trended for decades and an inter-generational topical issue in Nigeria.
He said that the persistent call for restructuring takes numerous dimensions particularly outstanding in the dimension of politics. “It is no surprise though because the philosophy behind the existence of every state and the control of its resources bothers on politics. Therefore, when there is a damaged cog in the wheel of the politics of the state, it becomes imperative to politically restructure the state”, Engr. Ajayi said.
The Group according to Engr. Ajayi strongly believe that, “While federalism has its varied necessities and advantages, on the other hand it is considered a divide and rule strategy of the British colonialists foisted on the country to maintain a neo-colonial state apparatus for the effective control of the country after independence.
“It has been argued that the unitary system of government worked well before the introduction of federalism and that the colonialists had the opportunity of de-emphasizing the particularistic tendencies of the different ethnic groups in the country but for selfish reasons ended up creating structural imperfections to fuel inter-ethnic relations after independence.
“Since massive corruption, embezzlement of public fund, poor accountability; high cost of governance and the crisis of legitimacy; recurring ethnic, regional and religious clashes; abuse of constitution and constitutionalism, etc have thwarted Nigeria’s socio-economic and political development, we therefore urged that Nigerian’s federal status as presently constituted be restructured along a legal framework that would grant a reasonable measure of autonomy to the states and component parts of the federation as the current poor socio-economic situation of all Nigerians across the regions does not show sign of significant improvement in citizens’ living standard.
“To ensure peaceful coexistence of Nigerian multiethnic nationalities as one peaceful entity called Nigeria and effecting of rapid and competitive development of the different regions of the country among other factors consists the need for restructuring; while elite interest, fear of ethnic dominations, political idiosyncrasy among others construe the challenges facing political restructuring in Nigeria.
“The current Nigerian political structure which has its roots in the 1946 Sir Arthur Richard’s constitution of Nigeria, right from its inception till now has shown symptoms of an administratively sick system of government resulting from such issues as the issue of resource control, outcry of marginalization, issue of ethno-tribaland regional discrimination and issue of ensuring that every citizen irrespective of age, sex, religion, ethnic, linguistic, regional or tribal affiliation is given a sense of belonging to the country. Most importantly, the issue of resource control vis-à-vis political restructuring has become a contentious issue in Nigeria body politic, having been a key problem facing the Nigerian state since the onset of ethnic politics.
“Despite the lopsided nature of the country’s political structure, Nigeria has persisted in the practice and has always resolved to the effection of punitive measures to the dysfunctional issues marking the nature of the federalist political structure operational in Nigeria.
“These measures manifest in form of the different reforms, structural policies, intergovernmental relations, unification programmes etc which had been adopted in the past by different Nigerian government regimes. Irrespective of the practice of imbuing the Nigerian political structure with corrective and curative measures, both scholars and other interested parties have gone to town for donkey’s years to continue their clamour for the restructuring of the federalist political nature of the country with emphasis highly placed on the issue of intergovernmental relations between the federal and sub-national governments, issue of resource control and allocation, issue of revenue allocation, efficiency and functionality of the constitution, inequality of states and local governments in geopolitical zones, security and marginalization amongst others.
“This would also address the issue of agitation for Oododuwa Republic by Westerners and Biafra Republic by Easterners in Nigeria.
“We, therefore, recommends re-federalization, value reorientation, institutional re-strengthening, ethnic representation amongst others as part of the restructuring in Nigeria”.