“Restructuring Nigeria Is Possible” – Ex Governor, Balarabe Musa Replies Gowon
Alhaji Balarabe Musa, a former governor of Old Kaduna has disagreed with a Former head of state, Yakubu Gowon over his statement that Nigeria cannot be restructured.
Gowon earlier stated that due the fact that Nigeria had over 500 ethnic groups with different dialects and languages, it would be practically impossible to restructure. Reacting to the statement, Musa blamed the current problems facing the country on the failure to continue with the 3Rs, reconciliation, Reconstruction and Rehabilitation which was instituted by Gowon himself after the 1967 civil war.He said;
“If Nigeria had maintained the 3R policy introduced, this wouldn’t have happened.So our own idea of restructuring is first to reconcile Nigerians so that they can commit themselves to one united nation. The second thing we have in mind is political reconstruction in which we will return to the regional arrangements, by having three viable regions as federating unit, as opposed to the present thirty-six states of the country, because they not viable.”
He added: “In regional arrangement where we have 6 states for instance, with rich regional government, having their own constitution and federating unit, whereby they manage their own affairs they have the resources at their disposal, they will not have to be depending on the federal government.
The other restructuring we required is economic restructuring, the government at every level should play it role in the economy, in order to ensure stability, peace and equality for the development of the whole country. This is our idea of restructuring.
And that is why we don’t need 36 states, we want to return to the 1963 constitution, whereby our regional government with their constitution will constitute the federating unit, were eastern, western and northern region was viable enough and even the middle east that came later was viable, as compared with the federal 36 states.
If any region wants, they can create more states and local government, if they want, provided they create them without depending on the center.So am not in support of what Gowon said, restructuring is possible and is even desirable.”