With restructuring, North will develop faster than other regions – Ex-Imo gov Udenwa
Former Governor of Imo State, Achike Udenwa says the north has no reason to fear restructuring of the country as it would accelerate development in the region.
Noting that restructuring would not solve all Nigeria’s problems, the ex-governor explained that restructuring coupled with a positive attitude towards governance would position the country on the path of greatness.
Udenwa stated that the “grab and grab” mentality of the political elite would continue to hinder socioeconomic and political development of the country.
He equally advocated the implementation of the 2014 National Confab report.
Udenwa said, “I support restructuring; I’m part of those who have been talking about restructuring, but that doesn’t mean that restructuring will solve all our problems. Our attitude is also important. If we restructure, we must also have the right positive attitude towards governance. We must change our present attitude. You cannot run this country the way it is today and expect everything to change; nothing will change because we have got a situation that our attitude is why do we grab and grab what is available and not how to create and increase productivity, our GDP, not looking at our competitiveness in the international market. What we are doing today can never bring progress. Our productivity is going down while our population is going up. I don’t know of any economy that will work on that basis. We have to restructure; honestly, we have no choice.
“Let us go back to the report of the 2014 National Conference; that should be our starting point. If we are not satisfied completely with what was recommended, we could set up a small committee, made up of people from different shades in Nigeria coming together and looking at the recommendation. We may not accept it, but the report is comprehensive. I was a member of that conference, I knew the pains we took, I knew the arguments that went through, I knew all the efforts put in by people from all sectors of the Nigerian society to come out with those recommendations. Honestly, if we implement those recommendations, Nigeria will be a better place for all of us. What are we looking for, are we looking for ethnic champions, are we looking for religious bigots, or what are we looking for? What we are looking for is a stable Nigeria that works; that provides for everybody irrespective of tribe, ethnic or religion. A Nigeria where all of us are free; where all of us feel that we belong and where everybody works. It is not a question of trying to share what is there. The oil is something natural and we have practically added nothing to it; we are just thinking of how to share the proceeds of oil, while every part of the world is moving and developing. Look at how Information Technology (IT) is ruling the world; where are we?
“We need to go through that document and implement it. If we are not satisfied, give it to a small committee to look at. The report is in three parts. One is the part that can be implemented administratively, you don’t need any law, and it is just for the Executive to implement those sections. The second is the part that has to be implemented by the National Assembly enacting laws, and the third one and most importantly is the part that needs constitutional review that will involve the NASS and all the 36 states Houses of Assembly.
“If we can have the courage to implement this, Nigeria will be a better place for all of us. Let us not fear that some people may lose power if we restructure. It is a win win situation. Nigerians will be happier, the country will be a better place and there will be commitments. Today, there is no commitment; let us be honest, who is committed to Nigeria? Nobody, it is only what can I grab; what can I get from Nigeria, but the issue of loyalty, the issue of people putting in their best into the country is not there any longer; that’s now in the past. We are just deceiving ourselves, for us to survive, we must restructure.”
Asked why the present administration appeared averse to restructuring, Udenwa said, “They are averse to it because they have been fed with the wrong notion that some parts of the country will suffer under a restructured Nigeria. This is a complete lie. Talk about people who will survive first, after the South-South because of oil, Southwest because of Lagos, the North will be the next. The entire North is the number one in Agriculture in this country. They are number one in solid minerals. No other part of the country has better sustainable resources more than the North. They will only need to go back home and work hard, and they will overtake every part of this country.”
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