Ogunye, Onumah call for restructuring of Nigeria at the Madiba Foundation webinar
Nigeria needs restructuring for the country to move forward, two experts have advised. Two distinguished Nigerians, Barrister Jiti Ogunye (SAN) and Dr Chido Onumah, Coordinator of the African Centre for Media and Information Literacy made thisc submission recently during an event hosted by the Madiba Foundation.
The Madiba Foundation for Good Governance held its 5th edition of its Webinar Series, which examined the recent alterations to the Constitution. These changes gave more responsibilities to state governments in areas such as railway management, electricity generation and distribution, as well as the establishment and management of prisons.
The session was moderated by the Foundation’s Executive Director, Mr Frederick Adetiba.
The purpose of this edition of the Madiba Webinar Series was to review the transfer of three items from the exclusive list to the concurrent list in relation to restructuring that some Nigerians have been clamouring for, according to Mr Adetiba.
Dr Onumah, a renowned journalist and author, provided a historical background to the structure of Nigeria from independence, highlighting the multiple military interventions that truncated the earlier regional structure that allowed different regions to develop at their own pace. He emphasized the need for a comprehensive restructuring of the Nigerian constitution to address fundamental challenges, including socio-economic problems that the country is grappling with.
Barrister Ogunye on his part argued that the present constitution of Nigeria was imposed on the people by the military and has all the elements of a unitary system of government, which is consistent with military rule.
He contended that Nigeria is a unitary state masquerading as a federation and that a federal system comprises a two-tier system made up of the federal and the states.
Ogunye also argued that local government is not supposed to be a third-tier of the federation.
Both speakers were emphatic that Nigeria needs restructuring for the country to move forward. Other important topics that arose during the conversation included local government autonomy, resource control, and citizenship.
In his closing remarks, Mr Adetiba announced that subsequent sessions of the Madiba Webinar Series will focus on these issues.
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