Restructuring not about Nigeria’s breakup but correcting its wrongs – Falana

Restructuring not about Nigeria’s breakup but correcting its wrongs – Falana

Human rights activist, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), on Wednesday, allayed fears expressed in certain quarters that the clamour for Nigeria’s restructuring was an indirect call for the breakup of the country.

 

Falana, who was speaking at Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti, said that rather, the issue of Nigeria’s restructuring, if it scaled through, would only help in righting the wrongs in critical areas, instead of creating disunity in the country.

 

The lawyer said this when he delivered a lecture on “Restructuring and The Liberation of Nigeria”, as part of activities marking the institution’s 24th convocation ceremony.

 

Falana also chided some past leaders of the country, who had now joined the league of those agitating for restructuring after leaving office, wondering why they failed to execute the restructuring project while they were in power.

 

He stressed that the focus of the agitations for the country’s restructuring should be on equitable distribution of the nation’s wealth between the federal and state governments.

 

“Restructuring, without equitable distribution of wealth, will not bring the needed change and development that will build the foundation of our economy and make it gain global reckoning and work for the citizens.

 

“But I am warning that power devolution to the states without democratising such powers is dangerous to our system,” he said.

 

According to him, agitations for restructuring should not be seen from the prism of primordial sentiments like secession, calls for civil war and division that would further disunite the country, stressing that “restructuring is not about the breakup of Nigeria”.

 

Falana urged the proponents of the country’s restructuring to pursue their agitations peacefully towards pressuring the present leadership to set the machinery in motion.

 

He advised the advocates to also push the governors to deepen federalism using legal instrumentality, for equitable distribution of wealth and radical development of the nation.

 

He underscored the need to totally remove the misperceptions in the restructuring advocacy because they had sowed confusion between advocates of a more united Nigerian federation and secessionists or separatists.

 

Besides, Falana bemoaned the country’s rising debt profile, which, he claimed, currently stood at 85.9 billion U.S. dollars, describing it as a death trap that might spell doom for the nation if it was not reversed.

 

He noted that the payment of 12.4 billion dollars to the London/Paris club notwithstanding, Nigerians were still worried about the spate of large-scale borrowings by the federal and state governments.

 

The Chairman of the occasion, the Most Revd. Felix Ajakaye, who is the Catholic Bishop of Ekiti Diocese, appealed to Nigerian leaders not to allow religious and ethnic sentiments to divide the nation.

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