I watched former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan on television rationalise that restructuring Nigeria won’t work until we deal with our mindsets at all levels. He also advised leaders to be constitutionally upright.
Unfortunately, the statement most commentators have taken to the marketplace is the aspect of, “We cannot restructure without solving issues that polarize us; nepotism, ethnic and religious differences and lack of patriotism,” which refers to restructuring of the mindsets of people. They are blinded to the area where he recommended and appealed to Nigerian leaders to have a “healthy conversation on restructuring and reforms that stir national pride and love and faith of our citizens in our beloved country.”
Nice to know that a man classified as clueless by the opposition during his tenure is now “cluefull, reasonable and intelligent to be so quoted. What a shift from the badmouthing of being labelled a lame duck to becoming a reverence mediator on behalf of the country. Is there something about this new found love that is unknown to the generality of the people? We are watching.
Restructuring means so many things to so many people. In a simple language, restructuring means reordering, re-engineneering, re-arranging and re-organizing of processes or physical entities.
Every rational mind knows that change is an inherent and inevitable aspect of life, which is ever in motion till death do us part. That is why companies in distress restructure. Debtors restructure to have a breathing space to stay afloat. Families have their challenging times and embark on restructuring, which simply connotes changes to make things work better in the home front. Watch and do nothing in addressing the challenges facing us is a doom’s day scenario. Failure to change usually consigns people to the dustbin of underdevelopment, chaos and anarchy.
Changing of mindsets from parochialism, tribalism, nepotism, etc, is restructuring people’s thoughts towards collectivism and ideal characteristic of doing things right and loving your neighbor. I don’t think one should wait to wholly finish addressing people’s mindsets first, before tackling the broader issues that should go hand in hand. This can be addressed on the go basis.
We also have the fiscal restructuring, which is a rearrangement of allocation of resources to the centre, the states and the LGAs. Even if not in figures but in the processes, governance and the way things are done. For instance, PMB’s administration started some restructuring in the form of reforms. This is only awaiting the constitutional review to capture this without which it will be difficult to implement. As usual the governors will fight it.
Recall that PMB had signed into laws the autonomies for the State Legislature, the Judiciary and the Local Government. Are these not examples of structures being reformed? Nigerians have been agitating for the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into law. What is the PIB all about, if not restructuring of the governance and processes to make the oil and gas sector function optimally? Unfortunately, while the government is busy signing other lesser important bills than the PIB into laws, the PIB is being politicised and toyed with while the industry is grinding to a halt.
Though PMB has not tampered with the funds allocated to the Judiciary, LGAs and the State Legislatures per se, in the judgement of this administration, the funds of the LGA, the State Legislatures and that of the judiciary, etc., should be taken off the crest of State Governor’s bureaucratic plates and red tapeeism. What is that called? Why didn’t PMB just leave it until people change their perspectives before reordering the processes?
There is also the political and administrative restructuring, which would reorder the Unitary structure arrangements that is wrapped in a federal robe. This is more convoluted, complex, and emotive to deal with. We must deal with it at a point but with care. I think this is what the former President wants the leaders to have a conversation on.
Without changes, the structures we presently have in place shall collapse on all of us someday. Those who believe this status quo will endure forever are only activating the postponement of the evil day. We would be playing into the hands of those scripting the demise of Nigeria ro reposition the pieces for new forms of colonization. The choice is ours. We do not have much time left. We either change or we all pay the very painful price in future.
May God give us good life to watch events unfold to their logical ends and possibly in our favour.
Grace and peace!!!