The immediate past President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nwodo, has said that restructuring will help the country in overcoming insecurity.
He said this on Thursday at the 18th Daily Trust Dialogue with the theme: ‘Restructuring in Nigeria: Why? How? When?’
Others present at the event included a chieftain of Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo and the Chairman of the Arewa Consultative Forum, Chief Audu Ogbeh.
Nwodo said, “We must restructure to revamp our agriculture. When I speak of restructuring, some of my northern Nigerian friends have suggested to me that I do not want the North to partake in the oil revenue of Nigeria.
“Well, I have just outlined the indisputable fact that oil is a fast-drying resource for earning foreign exchange. The truth is that the reliable source of revenue now is agriculture
“The Netherlands is today the largest exporter of food in the world. Its cross-sectional area is about half the size of Niger State. It is the world’s largest exporter of potatoes. Its revenue from vegetables and dairy contributes more than $100bn annually to its economy. The secret is education, better-mechanised farming, growth of green farm technology, drone monitoring systems and land reclamation by the building of dams.
“Northern Nigeria is Nigeria’s greatest treasure in agriculture. Northern Nigeria is blessed with diverse livestock production with its capacity for dairy production. It has various tubers of potatoes, yam, cassava and cocoyam.
“Under a restructured Nigeria, Northern Nigeria will earn more from food production than the Netherlands. We must restructure because our current electoral system is dysfunctional and does not elicit confidence.”
He continued, “We must restructure to reduce insecurity in our country. While I was working on this speech on Monday, 18 January 2021, I paused to read the news for the day. I saw the following headlines: Bandits kill octogenarian, 14 others in Zamfara, Kaduna attacks
“Cops arrest Police Sergeant for robbery in Port Harcourt; Robbers kill 22-year-old IT prodigy in Lagos; Gunmen hack Catholic priest to death, kidnap brother in Niger State, Bandits abduct 17 persons in Niger State. All these in one day.”
The elder statesman advised that Nigeria should be restructured before 2023 to avoid a boycott of the next general elections.
He said, “We must do all we can to restructure before the next election in 2023 because the level of dissatisfaction in the country as evidenced by the last #EndSARS protest gives one the impression that any delay may lead to a mass boycott or disruption of the next elections to the point that we may have a more serious constitutional crisis of a nation without a government.
“To restructure, Nigeria we need a constitutional conference of the ethnic groups in Nigeria. To use the current National Assembly as the forum for constitutional amendments grants a recognition of the overthrow of our democratic norms by the enthronement of a military constitution by which they are composed.”