General Ibrahim Babangida, Nigeria’s former Military President has described the restructuring of the country’s political economy as “an appeal whose time has come.”
Babangida believes that restructuring, which is being advocated by many sections of Nigeria, will enhance speedier national development and end much of the agitations in the polity. His position was part of the statement he read at the prayers which commemorated his 76th birthday.
“I will strongly advocate for devolution of powers to the extent that more responsibilities be given to the states while the Federal Government is vested with the responsibility to oversee our foreign policy, defence and economy,” he said.
“The talk to have the country restructured means Nigerians are agreed on our unity in diversity; but that we should strengthen our structures to make the union more functional based on our comparative advantages.
According to Babangida, restructuring means Nigerians need to “tinker with our constitution to accommodate new thoughts that will strengthen our nationality.”
Even so, he says restructuring and devolution of powers will certainly not provide all the answers to Nigeria’s developmental challenges. He believes however that “it will help to reposition our mindset as we generate new ideas and initiatives that would make our union worthwhile.”
Some of the contentious issues which restructuring will solve include the need for states to have their own police. Of this, IBB says:
“The initial fears that state governors will misuse the officers and men of the State Police have become increasingly eliminated with renewed vigour in citizens’ participation in, and confidence to interrogate power. We cannot be detained by those fears and allow civilisation to leave us behind.
He also talked about the issue of Federal Roads where he said: “Even the idea of having Federal Roads in towns and cities has become outdated and urgently needs revisiting.”