Let’s ponder on what Atiku is saying
SIR: Atiku Abubakar, Waziri Adamawa, former Vice President and former presidential candidate may be one of the most maligned high ranking former public office holders from the North. In addition to the public perception that everyone who has been in government has stolen government money and is corrupt, the experience and challenges Atiku Abubakar had with his then boss, during his time as vice president has contributed to whatever perception of him the section of the public may have. There is a general lack of trust for former public office holders, understandably so. For these reasons, whatever any former public office holder says or does must be for his personal aggrandizement in the perception of skeptics. Of course skeptics are many, and will always be.
But can we stop for a moment and listen sincerely to what this individual is saying? Can we take a look at our own system and analyze how well we have done, how much we have progressed? We all have this consensus that the nation has not met her potentials. The agitation arising from all regions of the country are signs of the consensus that the people no longer believe in the present system. It is an old saying and a popular one that is only a fool that will do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result.
It really does not matter who says it, I think the content is more important than the container.
Atiku is saying the present system has not worked for even his region despite other regions of the country’s perception that his region, the north presently benefits the most from the present arrangement. This is a view that most other people also share. He has said one United Nigeria is possible if we practice true federalism. He is again not alone in thinking that the period in the history of Nigeria when we made the most progress coincided with the period when our dear country practiced federalism as it was intended. Bear in mind that there is no such thing as “true federalism”, and that federal systems generally evolved in society in line with their peculiar challenges with a view to solving them. Atiku has consistently called for a major change in the present arrangement (Restructuring).
Former military president Ibrahim Babangida also expressed support for a system change a few weeks ago. No doubt that some of our former leaders had opportunity to do “right” and they didn’t. But are they not allowed to change their views? Should their views not be affected by changing situations? From the period of the Babangida’s administration till now is a long time and there is no doubt that a lot has changed.Despite that, Atiku has been quite consistent with his view on the need to practice true federalism.
I do not believe that any one man has the magic wand that solves our numerous challenges nor do I believe that the solution to our problems is one prong and that with restructuring all our problems will go away.The former vice president has also expressed his views that restructuring may not necessarily be an easy sail. But we shall search for the eye of the fish in the head of the fish as looking elsewhere will only be a waste of time.
- Dr. Ememena Bright,
Warri, Delta State.