Restructuring the country is
in the interest of all – Ex-VP Atiku
said this at the launch of a book titled: The Nigerian
Federalism; Continuing the Quest for Stability and Nation
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar says restructuring the
country is in the interest of the North in particular and
the country in general.
Atiku said this at the launch of a book titled: “The
Nigerian Federalism; Continuing the Quest for Stability and
Nation Building’’ in Abuja on Monday.
The book, which was written by some federalism scholars in
the African Policy Research Institute was edited by Mr
Okechukwu Ibeanu and Alhaji Mohammad Kuna.
The former Vice President described the book as an important
intervention, adding that it would contribute to the ongoing
debate on the country`s federalism and possibly settle the
He noted that the structure and practice of Nigerian
federalism had been a key topic of discussion and debates
since the amalgamation of the North and South Protectorates
He said that this was with varying levels of intensity,
adding that opinions of different section of the country on
the topic were all legitimate.
Atiku however said that what he found odd and somewhat
unhelpful was the argument of those who said that the
country`s unity could not be renegotiated.
He said that those with such arguments usually proceeded to
equate every demand for restructuring the country as an
attempt to break the country.
He stressed that every form of human relationships was
negotiable while every political relationship was open for
negotiations without pre-set outcomes.
a democrat and businessman I do not fear negotiations. That
is what reasonable human beings do. This is even more
important if a stubborn resistance against negotiations can
lead to unsavoury outcomes.
“I have spoken a number of times on the need to restructure
our federation in order to devolve more power and resources
to the federating units.
“Recently in Kaduna, I told an audience of mostly my
compatriots from the North, where most of the resistance
against restructuring seems to come from that restructuring
is in the interest of the North and Nigeria,’’ he
Atiku maintained that federalisms across the world were
works in progress, adding that there was no ideal federal
system or true federalism as claimed.
He added that each nation had to work out the best federal
system that suited it.
He said that Nigerians must acknowledge that it was
disingenuous if not outright dishonest to say that the
system was not the problem.
“If the problem is just the operators; how come we have
failed for 50 years to produce the right people?,’’ the
former Vice President queried.
Atiku said that national unity did not mean the absence of
disagreement or agitations.
According to him, disagreements and peaceful agitations
indicate vibrant and living relationships, while the key to
making national progress is to manage those disagreements in
peaceful and mature ways.
He said that political and civic leaders from across the
country must come together, discuss, negotiate and make the
necessary compromises and sacrifices needed to restructure
He said that this would make the people stronger, more
united, and productive and make the country more
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the former
Vice President later lunched the book with the sum of N5
Mr Chris Uche, the Chairman of the occasion, described the
book as the most comprehensive and authoritative on Nigerian
federalism, adding that it was a critical assessment and
real definition of the subject matter.
Amb. Sunday Dogonyaro, the Executive Director of African
Policy Research Institute, said that the institute took the
initiative to write the book three years ago.
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He said that the book was not a personal view neither was it
a political book but one that would help to explain the
Nigerian federalism and why certain policies were taken.
The occasion was attended by former ambassadors and
representatives of some government agencies.