Professor Attahiru Jega has said the heightened politicization of ethnic, regional and religious identities by politicians and opinion leaders is responsible for the call by Nigerians for restructuring.
The Professor in the Department of Political Science, Bayero University, Kano, said this while speaking at the 18th Daily Trust Dialogue with the theme: “Restructuring: Why? How?” held on Thursday in Abuja.
Also, he said calls for restructuring steered from deep rooted perceptions of marginalisation and inequities in the management of the affairs of the country by successive governments at the federal level.
Besides, the former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said bad governance; driven by incompetent, inept, inefficient and self-serving leadership, at both federal, state and local government levels were also responsible for the calls.
He also said: “Failure of governance to satisfy the needs and aspirations of citizens, increasing devastating poverty and deteriorating socioeconomic conditions of the citizens and political brinksmanship by some elite, especially politicians and/or ethno-religious ‘war lords’”, were other reasons for the clamour for restructuring.
While acknowledging that there was a need for restructuring, Prof Jega pointed out that solutions to Nigeria’s problems should be encompassing.
“For its stability, progress and development as a modern nation-state, Nigeria’s current federal structure needs refinement and improvement, or some form of what can be called restructuring.
“We need elite consensus to bring it about, and we need good democratic governance to nurture and entrench political accommodation of diversity, as well as equitable power and resources sharing.
“The near absence of the two intervening variables has obstructed the attainment of the aforementioned desirable objective of a federal system,” he posited.