2023: Sheikh Gumi Advocates Last President Under ‘Dysfunctional’ Nigeria

The 2023 presidential election should usher in Nigeria’s last president under its current system of government, Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has recommended.

While Nigeria currently operates a federal constitution, the country in practice works as a unitary state and this has formed the basis for different regions and groups to call for the restructuring of the country.

The country’s worsening security situation and failure of the government at the centre to address them have specifically formed part of arguments on the need to carry out the restructuring.

But some people have opposed the calls while others, including President Muhammadu Buhari, have downplayed it.

“And again those who are discussing restructuring, my question is, what are you going to restructure? If you ask many Nigerians what they are going to restructure, you will find out that they have nothing to talk about,” President Buhari had said during the launch of Kudirat Abiola Sabon Gari, Zaria Peace Foundation, in Zaria last year.

“Some of them have not even studied the 1999 Constitution. The 1999 Constitution is almost 70 to 80 per cent 1979 Constitution,” the president had said.

THE WHISTLER, however, reports that as the country draws near the 2023 presidential election, majority of the electorates are likely to support candidates who place restructuring at the core of their campaigns.

Gumi, in a statement on Wednesday, noted that Nigeria has gone through a tortuous political journey from a parliamentary system of government, to military dictatorship and a presidential system of democracy.

He said it was time for the country to “complete our metamorphosis into a prosperous nation” by immediately restructuring the country to “addres the call for self-autonomy or even sessional cries”.

“I mean by the 2027 elections, Nigeria should be different. We should be having the last president in this old dysfunctional system.

“But as they say, the Devil is always in the details. This New Nigeria cannot but retain the 36 federating units with FTC. Like the United States of America which harbors people of different races, ethnicity, religions, ideological differences, and persuasions, a nation that was built on the ruins of a bloody civil revolutionary war, the Nigerian political option is narrowed towards this model.

“Our type of federation should be fashioned in a manner that will accommodate our drastic difference with self-governing states, under a central federal government that deals primarily as a guard to our collective sovereignty and economic posterity, especially when dealing with the outside world. This will silence all insurgencies whether it’s ethnic like Biafra or Oduduwa or religious like the Sharia-based agitators or economic like the farmer-herder clashes.

“Except for the FCT, where all Nigerians should have equitable representation, and should be made unattractive for business or industrialization but habitable for administration which will decongest it, all other states have the power based on the democratic principle in each to promulgate laws that will ensure peaceful coexistence and progress,” he said.

Gumi said each state of the country should control its resources and only pay “its shares of common expenditures to the federal government with a percentage agreed collectively.

“In short, we need a united state of Nigeria. Who knows, in the future, it can be a nucleus of the united states of Africa.

“In this case, IPOB would have no federal police or troops to attack, they can only attack their people. Boko Haram areas would all be policed by their people. Herdsmen would have no reason to migrate to other states without permission as other traders should have to get before being allowed out of their native states.

“With alternative energy advancement, the Niger Deltans would have little to worry about their commodity which is still valuable for some time, as other regions are ready to exploit their God-given resources widespread throughout the country.

“For me, any politician that is ready and capable of restructuring Nigeria to our collective taste immediately with the participation of foes and friends has my vote. I don’t want empty promises about fighting terror or secession or corruption or fake promises of industrialization in a nation of poverty-stricken unskillful citizens and half-baked intellectuals.

“They are all political ploys to get power from gullible sick and poor citizens.”

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