The Director-General of Voice of Nigeria (VON) and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Osita Okechukwu has re-echoed his earlier call for “dual-restructuring.”
Okechukwu, who spoke in line with the ongoing constitution amendment process, said dual restructuring would end all forms of insecurity, ethno-religious bigotry and halt democratic recession in the country.
He warned that if more powers and resources were devolved to the Governors without checks and balances, the country would further slide dangerously into democratic recession and insecurity.
In a statement on Sunday, titled, “Imperative of Dual Restructuring,” the VON boss canvassed for the strengthening of democratic institutions at the federal, state and local government tiers.
He said, “My Dear Compatriots, in this season of amendment of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the good news is the near consensus for restructuring of our federation in one form or the other. As a supporter of restructuring, the power devolution variant, may I appeal that we all embark on Dual-Restructuring for national loyalty and good governance.
“Only determined pessimists will deny the truism that our Governors ape Emperors, which regrettably recedes our democracy and that pundits posit a clear relationship between democratic recession and ethno-religious bigotry, banditry and the fierce contest for resources in the land.
“My humble appeal is that with this near consensus for restructuring, we should as a matter of urgent national importance kill two birds with one stone by devolving those relevant items in the Exclusive Legislative List to Concurrent Legislative List. And at the same time compel our dear State Governors with strict conditions for compliance to democratically unlock the local councils, state legislature and judiciary. That’s Dual-Restructuring for national loyalty and prosperity.”
Asked why he is only talking about devolution of powers without mentioning the clamour for return to the 1963 Constitution and other matters, Okechukwu said “if the 1963 Constitution was perfect why did the republic collapse?”
He said “it is pertinent to note that democracy is not a revolution and all gains made in liberal democracy throughout history are incremental. And as such, we cannot amend or alter all our demands in one fell swoop.
Therefore, my passionate appeal to our dear governors is to join President Buhari who has commenced real restructuring.”
Okechukwu added that, “Buhari believes in bottom up restructuring, that’s why in cohort with 8th NASS, he commenced the first leg of real restructuring in 2018 with amendment which gave birth to Section 121(3) – financial autonomy of State legislatures and judiciary. It was when two years down the line, Emperor-Governors developed a phobia to its implementation that he signed Executive Order 10 in 2020.”
He submitted that the best way to restore human dignity, national loyalty, brotherhood and cushion ethno-religious bigotry was to utilize the amendment of the constitution to strengthen the democratic institutions at the federal, state and local tiers.