12 September 2017

Nigeria's Restructuring Long Overdue - Soyinka

Photo: Vanguard
Wole Soyinka.

Lagos — Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, yesterday re-emphasized the need for restructuring, advising the citizens not to allow themselves to be sidetracked, saying that the nation is long-overdue for restructuring.

Addressing the press in Lagos, Soyinka said, "People should stop answering demand for secession by pretending to answer the demand for reconfiguration. Secession should be a different thing, to try and suggest that the moment you say restructure, you are calling for disintegration. This to me is intellectually dishonest. The issue of outright secession is totally different even if it is only one state that is left, that state has a right to say "Let us restructure this state; the protocols which have gone into the making of this state are no longer valid or have been distorted along the way or have been abandoned and want to go back to the original set of protocols that created what we call this national entity."

The Nobel laureate said Nigeria as it is today is over-centralised and that has been a problem for decades.

"So individuals should not now try and sidetrack the issue and say concentrate on that rather than this, are you saying that you cannot reconstruct the mind and reconstruct the nation at the same time? My take on it and my express advice to the citizenry is that they should not allow themselves to be sidetracked, call it whatever name, what we are saying is that this nation is long-overdue for reconfiguration. That is the expression I chose to use now," he said.

On the two years administration of President Buhari's government, Soyinka said the government has not meet Nigeria's expectation.

"There are areas of yawning gaps. Take security for instance, average citizens feel less secured now than it did few years ago, that is evident. When people talk about state police, there are reasons for that. When they talk about bringing policing right down to the community level, they know what they are talking about. This is part and parcel of reconfiguring or reconstruction. The economy, there is a big question on it right now; fortunately everybody admits that we went through a very bad patch. Right now, the question is, have we come out of it?

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