The presidency has said Nigeria, at present, does not need restructuring as being clamoured for across the country. It stated that what is needed is economic development to provide food for the populace.
Senior Special Assistant (Media and Publicity) to President Muhammadu Buhari, Malam Garba Shehu, disclosed this while receiving some northern clerics who staged a rally to support the president and the Nigerian military on the fight against insurgency.
He said: “Every day, we read one communique or resolution from one group or the other, asking government to review the constitution and restructure. First of all, we need peace in Nigeria. Without peace, there will not be development or progress. Ordinary Nigerians want peace so that they can go about their lawful activities.
“Ordinary Nigerians want food to eat. It is not constitutional review and restructuring that will put food on the table. It is a better economy and this is what the president is doing, trying to ensure that the resources in the country are very well managed.
“A situation where a few people in the past have been taking everything and pocketing our resources and sharing among themselves, is over now. The president will make sure that whatever is available to the people of this country goes around the country and is evenly distributed,” he said.
But the pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere, disagreed with the presidential aide.
Nigerian Tribune quoted the group’s spokesman, Mr. Yinka Odumakin as saying that the position of the presidency was a clear demonstration of what he described as “the palpable level of ignorance at the highest level of governance in the country.
His words: “Restructuring will definitely put food on the tables of several millions of Nigerians. At the 2014 National Conference, we looked at the resources map of Nigeria and discovered that, if we remove mineral resources from the Exclusive List to the Concurrent List or the Residual List, Nigeria has the capacity to have a N50 trillion economy as against the paltry N6 trillion which we are currently generating from oil and gas.
“If we do this, can you imagine the huge number of people that will be gainfully employed? All the restive youths who are busy with insurgency in the North and the militants in the Niger Delta will be productively engaged.
“It is lamentable ignorance at the highest level to say restructuring will not put food on the table of Nigerians. Even if we stopped corruption, there will still be hunger in the land because the N6 trillion-national economy, based on oil and gas alone, is too paltry to take care of the population.
“Definitely if we restructure the country today, it will put food on the table and smile on the faces of several millions of Nigerians and also improve the national economy”.