Kano Governor Says No Need To Restructure Nigeria


Governor of Kano State, AbdullahiGanduje
Governor of Kano State, AbdullahiGanduje

Kano state governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, on Monday stirred the hornets’ nest when he joined the debate on whether or not Nigeria should take another look at its federalism.

The governor, who spoke during a social event organized in honour of delegates to a pre-election meeting of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, in Kano, observed that geo-political restructuring is not the panacea to the nation’s current socio-economic woes, stressing that Nigerians need to restructure their mindsets to return the country to the path of progress.

To buttress his point, Ganduje said the United States of America, the world’s strongest economy, is a more geo-politically fragmented and heterogeneous society than Nigeria, but it has remained the strongest nation in the world.

He stressed that the US attained its present status because of the ability of its leaders to harness the positive thoughts and actions of its heterogeneous population and not by restructuring the country along geo-political divides as being advocated by some groups and individuals in the country.

Lamenting the high prevalence of corruption in Nigeria, he argued that youths are the best segment of the society to lead in the crusade against it in view of their physical and intellectual capacity as well as their leadership potential.

He called on the youths to lead attitudinal change and urged the government to devote more attention to tapping from the potentials of its youths for national integration and development.

Ganduje’s view against restructuring is widely shared by many, especially in the North where calls for restructuring are viewed as decoy to fragment the country.

But his view sharply collides with that of Atiku Abubakar, a fellow party man and former Vice President of the country.

Abubakar had used various public fora to advocate for restructuring as the panacea for the country’s political survival.

Last month in Kaduna, at the late General Usman Katsina Memorial Conference, he again repeated his call for restructuring of the country.

Atiku said: “The north and Nigeria have not been served well by the status quo and there is need for change.

“Who among us who went to primary and secondary school in the 1960s had much to do with the federal government? Did the northern regional government wait to collect monthly revenue allocations from Lagos before paying salaries to its civil servants and teachers or fixing its bridges and roads?”

Many of his critics in the North had described his advocacy as political gimmick to help him realise his ambition to be president in 2019.



    However, calls for restructuring have become more strindent since Muhammadu Buhari became president last year. The calls have come more from groups that opposed his election such as the Ohanaeze Ndigbo and the Yoruba socio-cultural group-Afenifere.

    Afenifere recently rebuked Vice President Yemi Osinbajo for saying at a function that what Nigeria needed was economic diversification and not restructuring.

    Afenifere said Osinbajo was “under pressure” from the “upholders of the status quo”, and stressed that the central plank of the restructuring they advocate was for Nigeria to go back to true practice of federalism wherein, mineral resources that abound in all states would be freed from the exclusive list so that states would move into prosperity.

    Chukwuemeka Ezeife, a chieftain of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and a former governor of Anambra State, in a reply to Osinbajo, also said: “Restructuring is what will keep us together in view of the prevailing economic challenges. It will reduce the cost of governance. It makes our diversity to be positive. It is either we return to the six(three) regional structures or 12 regional units.”

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