There Are Issues Nigeria Must Resolve – Amb. Akinkuolie
A Former Director of Trade and Investment, Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Rasheed Akinkuolie, has blamed the unitary system of government for the challenges confronting the country.
Akinkuolie stated this in an interview with THE WHISTLER to mark Nigeria’s 60th Independence Anniversary.
He said the insurgency in the North-East, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) agitation in the South East and the call for Oduduwa Republic in the South West are issues emanating from the unitary system of government.
Unitary form of government is a system in which all powers are centralised in the hands of a central government that controls the whole state in totality.
He said: “We’re facing insurgency now in the North East and we can’t say they’re being defeated. If they could attack the governor twice, that means North East is totally under the occupation of Boko Haram, they control the place. We have IPOB in the East, Oduduwa in the South West, that means there are fundamental problems of the country. There are issues that must be resolved, and that is in the unitary system; where the control of the country is at the centre you always have this kind of problem that Nigeria is facing today.
“As at 1980 everything was fine and even during the second civilian regime because the power was more or less decentralised between Chief Awolowo’s party and that of Alhaji Shagari’s party. So the two parties were operating at their own levels in competition with each other and everything was fine, but when you want to have a central control then you have a lot of problems.
“Now Nigerian refineries are not working. Is it logical that the refineries are not working?”
He also listed the obstacles to achieving nationhood.
“The Unitary system and the economic policy. The government can not cede its responsibility to the private sector alone. The government, for example is handling the police, the military, the judiciary, why hand over the economy to the private sector? A government that can not work on the economy that will benefit the people, that means it’s not doing well. A government must take control of the economy. You see now that the policy of open market has failed. Everybody is suffering. In my time the dollar was 75 kobo to one dollar, and one naira to one pound.”
He said true federalism was the solution to the challenges facing the country.
“If we federate, all the agitations for separation will stop. True federalism is the solution to these challenges.”
On whether he thinks Nigeria has achieved the dreams of independence, Akinkuolie said: “What we’ve achieved so far is actually being together, that’s all. There have been so many crises, so many distractions, the civil war, so on and so forth. The situation now is very difficult.”