Let me commend those who have participated so far and the views we heard. We are in a country where the only big company today is government, the only viable one. Nwodo made a very important point.
The economy of this country is dying so fast, and that is where the tragedy is coming from. This is why our children and grandchildren, the young ones coming behind should realise they have no future.
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Somebody mentioned India to illustrate. We say the 1960 Constitution was very good. If it was so good, why was there a coup on January 15, 1966, with those bloody massacres of leaders, military and civilian?
Then, six months later, there was a counter-coup. And then the civil war in which nearly two million people died mainly in the East. So, what was the cause if that constitution, was that perfect?
Then, you talk of India; India became independent on the 15th of August 1947. The British said India had no chance of being a country, that they would need an Army with the efficiency of the German Army under Adolf Hitler to keep the peace.
They said India was too ethnic, too tribal, too religious and so on. Between then and now, there had never been a coup in India, not once. Why are we so hot-headed? We should calm down when we, the leaders, express feelings about Nigeria’s problems.
What we say influences the opinions of those who have no opinions of their own. We are too hot and too angry. The big issue is the economy of this country. How many of us can count the number of factories that have died in this country? From the South West, to the North, and to the East.
In Kano alone, 126 factories have gone down. We are talking about creating jobs. You cannot take a loan from the bank. That is a 5% interest rate. Even if you are trading in cocaine, you can’t make it.
My answer to whether restructuring is the solution: In dealing with the problems confronting us, restructuring is absolutely necessary. In what shape is the question to ask. Will states surrender their autonomy as Professor Jega said? Very unlikely. Are we returning to the regions of 1960? Very unlikely. That is where the problem lies.
Chief Ogbeh, chairman of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), made this contribution at the 18th Daily Trust Dialogue on January 21, 2021.