Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has said that the current economic crisis facing the nation is as a result of faulty political system.
Atiku who spoke in Abuja during the formal public presentation of a book titled “Nigerian Federalism: Continuing Quest for Stability and Nation-Building” edited by Okechukwu Ibeanu and Mohammad J. Kuna under the supervision of African Policy Research Institute (APRI) noted that Nigeria may continue to search for right solution to fix the economy if the political structure remains faulty.
According to him, “My view is that when you get the political structure wrong, you are not likely to get the economy right.
Atiku, who is the chief presenter, said while presenting a speech entitled “Strength and Unity in Renewal: Towards a Rebirth of Nigerian Federalism”, reiterated his support for those calling for the restructuring of what he called the current “unitary federalism”.
He said, “But after 50 years of ‘unitary federalism’, we are now in a position to clearly see that it has not worked well. The federating units in the First Republic had their disagreements but none claimed to lack autonomy of action, and none waited for federal fiscal allocations before it could implement its programs and pay salaries.
“The current structure may be working for some elites but it has clearly not worked well for any section of this country and the country as a whole. “We should take deliberate steps to change this structure to serve us better. And we should not dither for too long that we let fear and expediency stampede us into another disastrous policy shift that may not serve us well either.”
He said each nation has to work out the best federal system suited for it as there is no ideal federal system or true federalism since federalisms are works in progress.
Turaki Adamawa described as “odd and unhelpful” the argument of those who said that Nigeria cannot renegotiate its union and continued to equate every demand for restructuring with attempts to break up the country.
“As a democrat and businessman, I do not fear negotiations. That is what reasonable human beings do. This is even more important if a stubborn resistance against negotiations can lead to unsavoury outcomes,” also said Atiku.
He stressed that agitations for more states across the country, the clamour for more federal take-over of state institutions, and the clamour for local government autonomy from state governments are inconsistent with establishing a viable and well-functioning federal system.
“We already have too many weak and unviable states. What we need are stronger federating units (be they existing sates or zones) with a greater share of resources and responsibilities,” he also said.
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