By Segun Jones
“Dead flies can make a whole bottle of perfume stink; a little stupidity can cancel out the greatest wisdom” – Eccl 10 vs 1.
The restructuring agenda of Atiku Abubakar despite the growing design of fears by some hatchet men and paid political pundits to shut down the restructuring debate without any visible alternative while the nation and her wealth are being plummeted and diverted into private wallets unlike never before and narrow it down to the 2019 power struggle by Atiku Abubakar is an unnecessary misgiving.
Although, many genuine political analysts have sincere concerns over restructuring, the merits of the political discourse as it affects the development course of the nation and her people outweighs the apprehensive interpretations given to it as an attempt to divide the country.
Atiku’s true federalism under the restructuring arrangement would be free of prejudices and fears of domination, because as it were, each state would develop at its own pace using the intellectual capacity of her people to drive the process.
It is a fact that some of those who are against the restructuring agenda of Atiku Abubakar believed that although, Nigeria’s glorious era was achieved under a restructured nation by the tripod that held the nation together at that time, namely; Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Sir Ahmadu Bello, yet; due to political gulf, they have refused to embrace reason. The great strides under this tripod were accomplished under a negotiated regional arrangement that set the pace for the development of each region. It was the era of groundnut pyramid in Kano, the boom era in Cocoa trading in the South West and the rubber and oil plantations in the East were effectively developed for economic gains.
Today, the gains of that era have been frittered away by political gigolos and economic vampires covering themselves with dubious aliases while they perfected the annihilation of the economic gains of a people within a decade of their so called ‘intervention to save the nation’, as well as their demonic democratic antecedents. This generation is guilty of this wastage, nevertheless; a rescue mission is what we craved for. Therefore, it is in order to support the Atiku Restructuring Agenda to chart a new course for a people alienated from global development train in the midst of enormous God-given natural and human blessings!
The concept of restructuring is not about disunion or multiplicity, it is better understood as the intellectual mechanism that deactivates the pessimism attached to division or diversity; through the commitment of every citizen to a common goal for the growth of their community at their own pace and intellectual knowledge process.
Let us take for example, for the purpose of this discourse the case of Osun State where the government under Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola could not afford to pay over 13 months salary of its workers despite the fact that over 10% of the world black market in gold comes from the state!
Could this be true, you may ask. Yes, it is indeed the truth but the damning aspect of it is that there is nothing the state could do to tap into this business legitimately to develop at the speed of light due to the grip of the federal government over mineral resources. There is bitumen in Ondo, Nickel has been discovered in Southern Kaduna. It is the same everywhere across the country, but the states are incapacitated because of federal government directives.
The Atiku Restructuring Agenda would liberate this grip to give each state access to their wealth and use them to develop at their own leap. That is the beauty of his restructuring agenda. It is a win, win situation whereby certain percentage of each state’s earnings would be contributed to the center for national development. One of the core issues antagonists of restructuring are quick to condemn is the issue of state policing. My understanding of Atiku’s restructuring agenda as regards state police is that, it is driven towards curtailing crime and criminality from the local level. It is obvious that there is absolutely no crime committed within any locality without additional information from criminals residing within.
The Atiku Restructuring Agenda is aimed at reducing drastically this menace because the security operatives in each locality are familiar with the people, hence; information would always be at the tip of their fingers. The fear of the unknown as being exhibited by the adversaries of state policing is not uncommon under the current federal arrangement. It is not uncommon to read from the dailies or see footages on the social media nowadays of hired assassins engaged by political opponents to kill or maim political foes from one state to another.
A situation whereby criminals unleash terror on a neighborhood and it took the police over an hour to respond to a distress call because they were purportedly waiting for an order from the above leaves a sour taste in the mouth! Under a State Police arrangement, each state would look after their own and more support, adequate equipment and quality welfare package would boost the morale of men and women in line of duty to perform their duty as at when due. We can go on and on about the gains of Atiku Abubakar’s proposed restructuring drive.
However, for political neophytes and die-hard fans of contenders of restructuring under the current administration, hear this. The recent narrative by the Vice President, the Pastor turned politician, Prof. Yemi Osibajo on his victories at the Courts while serving as the Attorney General of Justice in Lagos state over the seizure of Lagos state monthly disbursement under the Obasanjo regime as a knock for the current move by Atiku Abubakar, the Vice President at that time against restructuring was misplaced.
My understanding of what the governor of Lagos state at that time, Alhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Lagos born political juggernaut intended to do was not restructuring as attested to by many events after the political brouhaha that followed. It was allegedly an attempt to create more ATM centers whereby the cabal in the state at that time can pick up their monthly allowances in addition to the existing posts, that is; the 20 local councils on ground. Olusegun Obasanjo was aware of this dramatic move by Tinubu and company and he vehemently denied them. Nonetheless, the law they say, is an ass!
By Segun Jones
Atiku Abubakar Volunteers
Member, Eastern Union