We Must Restructure Nigeria, Reform The Military Constitution We Are Running ’’- Prof Jega

By Suleiman Umaru and Elizabeth Chukwuma

With barely three and half years after Enoch Adejare Adeboye,  the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCC,  called on former  President Muhammadu Buhari, to restructure Nigeria to avoid  disintegration’’, the issue which has remained like a recurring decimal  has come up again for attention.

The Clergyman had said that there is need to create a United States of Nigeria with powers devolved to the states as obtained in the North American country of the United States, US, and other successful countiries running a Federal system of government like Canada and the Asian country of India.

 Pastor Adeboye fears that’’ the country may break up if nothing is done urgently to remedy the situation’’. He may have alluded to the defunct Union of Soviet Socialist Republic, USSR, and Czechlosloviakia which broke up to different countries. Alternatively, he  had  he had suggested that the country should adopt its own kind of democracy where there should be a President and Prime Minister but that was how far he could go.

President Bola Ahmed Tinub

Attahiru Jega, a Professor and immediate past Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, appears to have taken over from where Pastor Adeboye had stopped insisting that  ‘’President Tinubu must restructure Nigeria  before 2027,or Nigeria should be  considered a failed state as the government can  no longer  provide for the security , welfare and basic needs of the people’’. He may have alluded to Somalia, a failed state in the African Continent.

The former INEC  Chairman had said that the security Challenges which had bedeviled Nigeria since 1999,  are structural, systemic  and related to value orientation which needed to be tacked headlong before and insisting that before the  2027  general elections,  some restructuring of  the Nigeria Federation  should be embarked upon by the current Tinubu’ s Administration  to save the country from collapse.

Pastor Adeboye: calls for restructuring of Nigeria during Buhari’s Administration

Prof. Jega, who could not hide his feelings was said to have recommended  a comprehensive reforms in the Federation  described as a mere geographical expression the Federation by Late Obafemi Awolowo, including  Constitutional restructuring,  governance cost-cutting measures and  economic diversification  to secure  the country’s future amidst prevailing  security challenges. 

The former INEC helmsman proposals to save Nigeria from disintegration also   includes’’ electoral and judicial reforms, anti-corruption measures, citizen awareness and a holistic approach to security for sustainable economic development’’.

Prof.   Jega, may have taken advantage of the Convocation ceremony at the Bauchi state University Itas-Gidau, where he had delivered a Convocation Lecture on ‘’Nigeria’s future and citizens, welfare amidst security challenges’’ to speak out. 

Olabode George, a Chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party, and a-one-time Chairman of the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, under former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s Administration and who had boasted that he will relocate to the neighbouring West African country of Ghana if Tinubu, a former Lagos state governor should win the February 25, 2023, Presidential election, appears to be interested on the issue of restructuring Nigeria.

George , who is yet to relocate to Ghana had said , that  Prof. Jega’s insistence on the restructuring of Nigeria was based  on the fact ‘’its  current 199 Constitution , as amended is too centralized’’  , stressing that’’ power should be devolved to the  36 Constituent states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, for effective governance.

The PDP Chieftain may have agreed with the former INEC boss that power should be devolved to the states so that ‘’the governors would be accountable to the people that elected them to occupy the exalted office’’.  George, who had agreed with the Kano state born former INEC Chairman and now member of the relatively unknown People’s Redemption Party, PRP, that’’the Constitution the country is currently running is completely military’’, had said that it cannot work in a diverse polity like Nigeria.

He was said to have further amplified   Prof.Jega’s claims to sustain just one man at the FCT,’’to be controlling the nooks and corners of the country’’ describing it  as rather impossible  to do.  The situation in the north eastern states of Borno and Yobe , where the Islamic Fundamentalist Group,  Boko Haram, and the more militant breakaway faction of the Group, the Islamic State of West African Province, ISWAP,  and the north western states of Kaduna, Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara, and the north central states of Benue, Niger, Plateau, Taraba and Nasarawa, where the Bandits Group and the Armed herdsmen had repeatedly  attacked community and farmerses speaks volume.

This may have informed why the PDP Chieftain had joined the former INEC  boss to say  that too much  concentration of power  on the center where the  Inspector General of Police, IGP, , who operates  at the Federal, level,  and which controls the country’s  security has not helped matters , had thus has thrown his weight for the  creation of state police.

Commodore Georgertd: PDP Chieftain, calls for establishment of state police to fix the country’s security

He has told those that cares to listen that  the incumbent Nigerian President  may not fully restructure the country in one year   but he must start somewhere  so that  the people  who are looking forward to seeing  their country being  restructured will  see that he is doing something  about the country’s internal security challenges.

 He has advocated for the use of modern technology and installation of CCTV cameras across the country as obtained in the United Kingdom, UK, while the policemen would be encouraged to pay more attention to surveillance, using the technology provided for them to do their work in the states to achieve results.

The recent killing of one Pastor  Luka Levong  of the Church of Christ in Nations , COCIN, in Gwari, Geidam , Local Government Area,  of Yobe state and five others   by BokoHaram insurgents  clearly shows that something urgent needed to done to create state police , properly equipped to do their work to contain the insurgents activities in the north eastern region  which had spread to the  neighbouring Niger Republic,  Chad and Central African country of Cameroun.

The Army Operation Hadin Kai, based in Maiduguri, Capital of Borno state, and the North Western region Operation Hadarin Daji, OPHD,  appears to be giving the war mongers operating in the two regions in the north part of the country no breather as they have continued to deal serious blow on them.

 Given that the G5, in the Opposition PDP, who had backed President  Tinubu, of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC,  in the 2023 Presidential election has vowed to do so again  2027, for him to complete  his second  term in office  as Nigeria’s President  to restructure  the country, fix  security, economy  and other critical areas of challenge  to the citizens, may have informed why the former Lagos state governor is not in a hurry to declare his Presidential ambition for 2027 in APC.

The argument of the G5,  was that if they could allow the immediate past Buhari’s Administration  that took Nigeria  from the olympia height to the bottom to work for eight years, why can’t a seasoned Administrator  in the person of  Tinubu  rule Nigerian for eight years to put things right.

Nyesom Wike , FCT, minister, says G5 will support President Tinubu for second term in office

Samuel Ortom, a former governor of Benue state , may have spoken the mind of the Group at a Luncheon organized by  Nyesom Wike, minister of FCT, in PortHarcourt, the Rivers state Capital, on Sunday, January, 7, 20234,   that if we work  to ensure  Tinubu succeeds , there will tomorrow  for anybody to even  contest  the Presidential election  at all’’.

This is a big blow to Atiku Abubakar, a former Nigerian Vice President, under erstwhile President Obasanjo’s Administration  abd serial Presidential Candidate of the PDP, since 1999, who Daniel Bwala,  his Media Aide , had said will run for the 2027 , presidential election on the ticket of the PDP.

Appearing on Channels’ Television on Tuesday, January 8, 2024, a day after the G5, declared their support for President Tinubu second in office, Bwala, had said that Atiku will run for the 2027, general election because’’ he has the capacity, wisdom, knowledge and energy to bring the country’s battered economy back to live if there is a private sector led economy’’.

The questions on the lips of most people was: why the Media Aide to the  former Nigerian Vice President waited for too long to speak out the mind of his principal, until Wike, a former governor of Rivers state  and  member  he G5, within the PDP made a declaration   that  in 2027,  the Group will be  supporting  Tinubu.  He has his reaon. Atiku understands  the private sector very well and can fix the econmy.

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