By John Ikani
President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday ruled out possibilities of restructuring under his administration stressing that there was nothing to restructure.
Buhari also said that those that were agitating for restructuring or secession were not only naïve but “mischievously dangerous”.
The president made the comments at the launching of the Kudirat Abiola Sabon Gari Peace Foundation held at Congo Conference hotel in Zaria on Saturday.
Represented by the Executive Secretary of the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Alhaji Mohammed Bello Shehu, Buhari said those calling for the balkanization of Nigeria were only doing so to destabilise his government.
“There is no government in the world that will cede their authority to the people that are not elected,” he said.
He wondered what the advocates of restructuring wanted precisely, saying: “Those who are discussing restructuring, my question is what are you going to restructure?
“If you ask many Nigerians what are they going to restructure, you will find out that they have nothing to talk about.
“Some of them have not even studied the 1999 Constitution. The 1999 Constitution is almost 70 to 80 per cent 1979 Constitution.
“It is okay to demand for restructuring, renewal of constitution, but what is most important now is how can Nigeria states make local governments functional? How can Nigerian states make the judiciary independent?
“Rather, we ask Nigerians to put focus on putting pressure on National Assembly members to make sure that the local government autonomy as enshrined in our constitution is respected and implemented.
“So, if that were to be done, some of the issues like insecurity, you will find a situation where local government chairmen, in collaboration with traditional rulers, will form a chain a communication to figure out what is really happening.
“So, those who are doing that (agitating) should go back and meet their representatives in the House of Assembly and ask for whatever amendment of constitution. Due process should be followed.
“The other issue is that those who are calling for restructuring and conference or what they call ethnic nationality, if you go to Southern Kaduna, Taraba, who is to represent them? We have different combination of ethnicities in many states.
“Even Kano and Kaduna Igbos have properties. The same goes with Yorubas. There are Fulani in Port Harcourt. So those calling for whether separation or restructuring, some of them I will say they are very naive or even mischievously dangerous.
“Those agitating for secession are ignorant of war and its consequences, because Nigeria is a dominant force in West Africa.
“My appeal to each and everyone here is to try and educate their children. We are better as a nation. There is no way we can be separated.
“And I said also that majority of those calling for restructuring are people that are so afraid to go into partisan politics. And even if they were to go into partisan politics, they will not win.”