Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar says despite fighting a civil war the Igbo have been able to rebuild their region, but that the north still has mud houses. He spoke on the background of the need for Nigeria to be restructured.
Addressing a coalition of youth groups under the aegis of Play Forum in Abuja, Abubakar said those afraid of restructuring were lazy. He said every region in the country should be allowed to control its resources.
He said: “Left for me, I will ask every part of this country to take charge of its resources while the federal government should handle defence, foreign affairs and immigration among others in the exclusive list.
It should not be complicated to start with all the recurrent items in the constitution. The president can dialogue with the governors or the national assembly for states to take charge of the roads, hospitals, schools and such other items in the concurrent List while the federal government will continue with items on the exclusive list.
I would not have gone to school if I were born today. My parents were so poor they couldn’t afford to send me to school. I was born during the era education was free, food was free for me, I was sponsored from primary school to the university.
There was even a job waiting for me before I graduated. Yet, there was no oil boom then. I am certainly not a product of oil boom Nigeria. “So, I don’t know what those who are against restructuring are afraid of. Those afraid must be lazy.
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We fought the civil war with the Igbo. Today, the Igbo have been completely rebuilt, but we still find mud houses in the north. Is it the fault of the easterners that the north is like that?
I think that what is most important is the devolution of powers and resources with the various governments whether states or regions. How do the people hold those in power accountable for the resources handed over to them?”