A Professor of Law and Jurisprudence, Joshua Alobo, on Thursday, said only true federalism would correct injustice in Nigeria.
He made this known at the annual colloquium, international conference, and award ceremony, organised by the EDEXCEL University, Benin Republic in conjunction with the Association of Business Technologists of Nigeria, held at Sultan Bello Hall, University of Ibadan, Ibadan.
Alobo, who delivered a lecture on the theme of the event, “National Restructuring of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for Economic Prosperity, said, “The problem in our country is that we avoid honest dialogue. The cries of marginalisation, restructuring and secessionist tendencies are, at their core, a cry for justice in our country.
“Some compatriots will go beyond their disagreement with secessionist rhetoric in the South-East, South-West, and South-South today, to treat their fellow Nigerians with unjustified suspicion because of their beliefs about how Nigeria can be repaired or indeed, if our country should remain one country.
“Our country is currently anchored on injustice in many ways, and that arrangement won’t last forever. We can take that to the bank. The Federal Government of Nigeria and all our countrymen and women should therefore take the increasingly potent agitations by various groups in Nigeria with the seriousness the matter deserves.
“The Nigerian state must engage the agitations and address, as well as redress their root causes that lie in decades of self-evident marginalisation that several groups have experienced in post-civil war Nigeria.”
He added that Nigeria cannot achieve greatness as a country without national unity, stability and cohesion, saying what is required is that we bury the winner-take-all mentality driven by ethnic and religious irredentism and design a structure that works for us all.
In his speech, the Sarkin Samarin Jihar Yamma for 17 Southern states of Nigeria, Sani Danmuttaqa, who was conferred with a Doctorate Degree (Honoris Causa) in Conflict and Resolution, said restructuring should begin from individuals to the families, communities, local governments, and states before it will be done at the federal level.
He said, “The more we are demanding for restructuring, the more crisis we will have. The first restructuring we need to have is self-restructuring. You need to believe in yourself and you must be ready to serve the nation selflessly. You have to believe in one Nigeria, and other things will come into play because, those who are demanding restructuring, even if they are given, will still come again and ask for something. It will be a continuous demand.
“But whenever we have sincere leaders, no one will ask for restructuring. Even, those that are asking for restructuring, have restructured where they are coming from: families, communities, local governments, state and federal. So, to start restructuring at the federal level should be the last thing to be done”, he added.