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Ex-President Jonathan tells leaders to tackle nepotism, disunity in nation

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Reacting to fresh agitations for restructuring of Nigeria, the former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan said, there were fundamental issues of nepotism, disunity and patriotism to be addressed before move to restructure.

He spoke at the 18th Daily Ttust Dialogue held in Abuja on Thursday, saying that when he was in charge between 2010 and 2015, he spoke on the theme, “Restructure, why? When? How?”

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Dr. Jonathan argued that there was need for Nigerians to restructure their minds, saying he was convinced that discussion on restructuring will not help except “we restructure our minds because some of the challenging issues at the national level still exist at the state and local levels.”

According to him, Nigeria had a population of 45 million people when she got her independence which the colonial masters felt it was fast growing and difficult to govern centrally from Lagos, hence, they introduced a Federal form of. push({}); government that later changed to a Republican constitution three years after.

He noted that Nigeria’s population has exploded to an estimated 200 million in 61 years with challenges as envisaged by the colonial masters.

“In the same vein, the call for restructuring has continued to grow louder. Within these six decades, our political space has assumed many colourations.

“We have gone from three regions to 36 states and 774 local councils.

“Yet, all that did not seem to have provided the answers to the questions on the administrative structure of our country and how best it should be governed,” said Jonathan.

Dr. Jonathan in his view, stressed that one party State or a kind of unitary system of government would not solve solve ethnic and cultural diversity as was used in other countries of the world.

He commended the Media organisation for their consistency in the last 18 years, adding that some of their editorials are rough on Nigerian leaders.

“I had my fair share during my time as president. I understand that all was in a bid to guide the efforts towards building a greater country for us all.”

He also lauded the calibre of discussants at the dialogue who included Afenifere chieftain and elder statesman Chief Ayo Adebanjo; Chief John Nnia Nwodo, the immediate past President-General of Ohanaeze Nd’Igbo; and Prof. Attahiru Muhammadu Jega, a professor of Political Science at Bayero University Kano and a former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

He further explained that Nigeria has recorded some achievements, even as it was still a project in progress, stating that all and sundry should get involved in proferring solution, which he said cannot be achieved without conscious effort at promoting national unity.

“We owe ourselves and the coming generations a duty to reduce the bile and embrace one another so that restructuring for a better and greater Nigeria can be meaningful and guarantee the nation’s economic development and citizen’s welfare.”

He was of the opinion that the current National Assembly can champion the process of peoples oriented Constitution based on what the people want.

“I just came back from Gambia, they have their national assembly now and they are working on a new constitution,” Jonathan submitted.

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