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Can A ‘Unifier’ Like Atiku Suddenly Metamorphose Into A ‘Restructurer’ ? Why His Supporters Sound So Farcical

The Oasis Reporters

October 20, 2022




Peter Obi (left), Atiku Abubakar.

A probable supporter of former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, or perhaps a newsman, Dare Adelekan had shared a post titled:

ATIKU: HOW TO RESTRUCTURE NIGERIA IN SIX MONTHS , quoting the statesman as saying, “while delivering a lecture on ‘Restructuring Nigeria’ at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu state”.

He added further that “The former vice-president said the fastest way to achieve restructuring is to reduce the power and roles of the federal government and to “return some items on the concurrent list to the states”.

He said the “epidemic of federal take-over of state and voluntary organisations’, schools and hospitals which began in the 1970s” must be reversed.

“Some of what my ideas of restructuring involve require constitutional amendment; some do not. Take education and roads for instance. The federal government can immediately start the process of transferring federal roads to the state governments along with the resources it expends on them,”

“In the future if the federal government identifies the need for a new road that would serve the national interest, it can support the affected states to construct such roads, and thereafter leave the maintenance to the states, which can collect tolls from road users for the purpose.


“The federal government does not need a constitutional amendment to start that process. The same goes for education and health care. We do not need a constitutional amendment to transfer federal universities and colleges as well as hospitals to the states where they are located.

“The country can be restructured in six months, all you have to do is return the items on the concurrent list to the states.”

He said restructuring means amending the current federal structure “so it comes closer to what our founding leaders established, in response to the very issues and challenges that led them to opt for a less centralised system.

“It means devolving more powers to the federating units with the accompanying resources. It means greater control by the federating units of the resources in their areas.

“It would mean, by implication, the reduction of the powers and roles of the federal government so that it would concentrate only on those matters that could best be handled by the centre such as defence, foreign policy, monetary and fiscal policies, immigration, customs and excise, aviation as well as setting and enforcing national standards on such matters as education, health and safety.

“Indeed the federal government can voluntarily withdraw from most of the items listed in the very thin concurrent legislative list of our constitution. I believe that the benefits accruing from these first steps will help us as we move towards the changes that require amendments to our constitution.”

I gave my own views when I saw the post on the wall of another well known Atiku Abubakar supporter.

Somebody else robustly challenged me. I felt that a response would be most appropriate to further enrich and deepen the discourse.

I thus started out thus:

In the USA, you’d never find a United States Petroleum Refinery.
But Nigeria has four refineries in Kaduna, Warri, Port Harcourt 1&2.

Here’s the difference.

At a point in the US, there were Confederate states and the Unitary states.
States came together to form the USA. A state like Hawaii joined the Union much later. Some even had inducements to join. So the US is practically speaking, “restructured” ab initio.

But in Nigeria, we had region’s that became amalgamated. Eastern Region, Western Region and Northern Region. Then from one military regime to the other, we became more unified, with states that first numbered 12, then 19, 21 and now 36.

Being more unified meant that the richer states had to, in certain cases, become poor, while the poorer states became rich, and even in control, while dictating to everyone!

They use their advantages of “landmass” and “Population” to oppress and dominate others. Just because they were in power and could therefore tinker with the Federal Revenue Sharing Formula.

Hence you would hear a governor of a resource poor state like Sokoto, imperially telling the rest of us to discard the notion of moving the presidency from zone to zone, after all, you need to “win” before you can zone the offices. And to win, you need numbers that they alone have.

In other words, they have the human resources due to population.


It can be seen, how they even upturned the revenue allocation formula by forcefully changing it to use land mass, population and federal character in sharing the wealth that is gotten from the Niger Delta.

Reason you have them looking very poor, each time Oil prices dip.

Meanwhile, people in Delta State would initially look wretched and poor in oil hike, and out of oil hike. For this reason, a state like Delta would restructure itself to survive through the ingenuity of it’s own human resources without government help.

Did you ever wonder why the comedy and home movie industry grew exponentially from Delta and other Niger Delta States into the South East States?

Didn’t you see how the northern Fulani politicians dribble the South into grabbing air, while they snatched the presidency that ordinarily would have gone to the South, after Buhari’s tenure ?

By the way, did Buhari, some 8 years ago not preach restructuring to us ?

He got into power. Didn’t you notice northern politicians begin to question the concept of restructuring ?
Who restructured anything under Buhari, a leader that Atiku abandoned his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for and crossed over to the then opposition All Progressive Congress (APC), to largely help in installing him?

Now, he’s preaching the same trick of restructuring to catch the South a second time and you’re buying it ?

Oh come on !!

By the way, how possible is it for a UNIFIER to suddenly become a “restructurer”. And yet, you believe that thrash ?

Let me tell you one thing for free, my brother. No northerner who is a politician believes in restructuring. In fact, they fear that term mortally. Devolve power to the states and the people who would fear the most are the itinerant nomads. They prefer power in Federal hands. Not state. They don’t want any Amotekun or ESN. So forget that story about any preaching of restructuring from any northerner who is a politician. Don’t let anyone trick you.

But I can tell you how Restructuring would work in Nigeria acceptably, to the delight of all with great joy.

First, Peter Obi would have to be president. He would make the north more secure through the security agencies, via a professional chain of command. All that nonsense kidnapping and banditry would largely disappear. That “insecurity economy” that has largely existed for over a hundred years in the north would be too risky to embark upon.

Farmers would go back to their farms. Farming would migrate from subsistence to commercial. Do not be surprised if Nigeria begins to export carrots, vegetables, Yam, tomatoes etc, all from the north. There’d be huge wealth in the north.

I know that Canada has billionaire cabbage farmers. America, Russia, Ukraine etc, have billionaire wheat, corn farmers. Anambra State used to export vegetables, a mimic of the California economy, under Peter Obi.

It happened. I knew about it.

Reason Nigeria had a state like Osun  under Aregbesola and Oyo under Ajimobi who owed teachers for several months in a year. They could not employ workers, neither could they pay teachers, because Oil money had dipped badly. In fact, they owed a lot.

Anambra State was at the same level of federal free money allocation, yet the state had surplus money when Peter Obi was governor. This is why from state to state, people are clamouring for Peter Obi to come and win the presidential election.

Set to work in an uncommon fashion is tried and tested Peter Obi. This has caused upsets in hitherto ‘business as usual’ settings.
Copyright: The Oasis Reporters

Restructuring was mentioned in Support of Buhari’s foray into Politics, either by his campaigners or his team to get him elected in 2015. We have just about four or five months to another election in 2023, yet a politician like Atiku who largely helped to install Buhari is mouthing the same trick ?

Let a man who knows how to turn an economy around come in to serve. Once the north that has been kept poor and insecure begin to prosper exponentially from the works of their hands on their own God given lands, then any talk of restructuring would find no reason for fear in their hearts. If anything, they would see opportunities in it.

Greg Abolo

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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