A lecturer in the department of political science, University of Lagos, Adelaja Odukoya, has stated only a socialist arrangement can ensure justice, equity, employment and development for all Nigerians.
Speaking in a paper titled ‘Nigeria: Restructured Federation and Minority’ at the 2021 Maroon Square Discourse tagged; ‘Identify, Politics & the National Question in Nigeria’ supported by Rosa Luxemburg Foundation at the Federal College of Education (Tech) Akoka in Lagos, he said restructuring is an agenda to perpetuate the domination and exploitation of the minority within the federation.
Odukoya, who was represented by Ebenezer Ishola of the same department and university, said there was need for commitment to a united Nigeria with a united people who are genuinely sovereign.
“There must be a commitment to an economic order in which the welfare of the people is the primary goal, in which the resources of our land and their exploitation and allocation are under the full control of the toiling people thus immediately enabling the minimum of a welfare state and incremental socialization of the means of production, distribution and exchange.
“Also, there must be a commitment of the movement to the pursuit of a social and cultural policy that promotes cultural freedom and solidarity among our people, and frees their minds from superstitions and from ethnic and confessional prejudices,” he added.
Policy Director of Maroon Square, Onyeisi Chiemeke, said the conference was organised to basically discuss national issues which bother people clamouring for cessation.
“Generally everybody is shouting divide and all sort, is it in our interest to divide? Are we better if we divide; our own idea is to argue that we are better together as a people.
“We believed that Nigeria is not a failed project yet, though there are challenges but that is not enough reason why we should go our different ways,” he said.
The Provost, Federal College of Education (Technical), Dr. Azeez Ademola, tasked youths to seek for more knowledge about how the society is being governed and ask questions in any area they are not clear about.
“They need to study how the society is constituted. They can only ask these questions if they are politically educated and also conscious of their environment. The discourse is just to educate them about the happenings in their environment,” he said.
Executive Director of Journalists for Democratic Rights (JODER), Adewale Adeoye identified nepotism, corruption, forces of darkness as factors that have denied Nigeria the realisation of its full potential.
He said the argument that the country is better as a united country is a slogan that has been drummed by different social forces, the political class especially, those occupying political offices, the leaders of ethnic groups that are chief beneficiaries of the skewed system and then by a section of Nigerian Marxists.
“The reasons being advanced for the unity of the country by these social formations are not the same. Within the political class, there are tendencies.
“There is a faction that wants a united country propelled by the advantaged position of their ethnic group, there is a faction that wants a united Nigeria based on the privileges and pecks offered by the corrupt and inept country which they are not sure can be guaranteed in a divided country.
A historian and researcher, Oliseh Kadishi, asked government to address the challenges and problems for continuous and harmonious existence instead of calling for restructuring.
“Using the case study of southern Sudan and the failed state of Sudan, when it comes to restructuring and balkanization, especially looking at the crises ridden south Sudan and the state of Somalia, should provide warnings for Nigeria,” she said.
She added: “What plagues Nigeria needs to be settled , What is of importance is the need to address the challenges and problem of a challenging state such as national development, security, representation, tackle marginisation, infrastructural development.”
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