- Revered lawyer and elder statesman, Professor Ben Nwabueze (SAN) has continued his campaign for the restructuring of Nigeria
- Nwabueze said Nigeria could not maximise its potential under the current structure of 36 states and all-powerful federal government
- He made the statement at the public presentation of his book in Abuja on Monday, June 19
Revered lawyer and elder statesman, Professor Ben Nwabueze (SAN) has continued his campaign for the restructuring of Nigeria.
Nwabueze, 84, said Nigeria could not maximise its potential under the current structure of 36 states and all-powerful federal government.
He stated this during the public presentation of his book, titled: ‘Save our Constitutional Democracy from Emasculation’ in Abuja on Monday, June 19, The Punch reports.
He also advised Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to appeal to his principal, President Muhammadu Buhari, to embrace fiscal federalism and regionalism.
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He thanked Osinbajo for helping to douse the tension ignited by secessionist groups in the country.
His words: “Happily, the tension created by these separatist agitations has been or is being doused by the actions and statements of the acting president which also bears testimony to the fact that dialogue and consultations, not repression, are the appropriate response to citizens’ agitations for justice, equity, equal treatment and self-determination. We commend the acting president.
“But he needs to do more. He needs to persuade his boss, President Buhari, to withdraw his opposition to the restructuring of the federation into six or more self-governing regions or zones, with the powers of the central government drastically reduced, so as to diminish the fierce contest for its control.
“Without such restructuring, the maintenance of the continued corporate existence of the country may be imperilled, and with it, the nurturing of the country into a nation.”
Nwabueze also canvassed for the setting up of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to address grievances and agitations across the country.
He said the time had come for citizens to tell themselves the truth about all the injustices and repressions that had been or were being perpetrated by the government.
“He (Osinbajo) needs also to initiate moves for national reconciliation by setting up a Truth Reconciliation Commission, as has been done in some 23 countries of the world from South Africa to Germany to Paraguay to Canada to Kenya.
“As a country desirous of staying together and becoming one nation, time has come or ought to come soon when we have to tell ourselves the honest truth about all the injustices and repressions in the administration of government in the country.
“We must admit the errors and wrongs committed, render suitable apologies, make necessary amends, try to put the past behind us and march forward into the future with a view to achieving national reconciliation, which cannot be adequately met through actions in court for reparation or by criminal prosecutions of the perpetrators,” Nwabueze said.
NAIJ.com had reported that on Tuesday, June 6, Nwabueze received the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in his home in Enugu.
During the visit, the elder statesman stated that Kanu and other Biafra supporters are agitating for justice and equitable treatment, adding that they should have been engaged in dialogue with their complaints with a view to possible amelioration.
Nwabueze also told Kanu that self-determination should be a gradual process that should begin with regional autonomy.
“The country should be restructured into six more or less self-governing zones or regions, with the powers of the central government drastically reduced, so as to minimize the fierce contest for its control,” he said.
Watch Acting President Yemi Osinbajo talk about the unity of Nigeria on NAIJ.com TV below: