Restructuring not recipe for war, rights group tells Buhari

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By Henry Okonkwo

A rights group, the Centre for Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Crusade, has said that restructuring cannot lead Nigeria to war but the failure to do so may spell doom for the country.

CHURAC National President, Alaowei E. Cleric, in a statement on Monday said that the agitations for restructuring and the separatist movements would not lead the country to the precipice.

The group reacting to President Muhammadu Buhari’s position on restructuring maintained that the government’s refusal to heed the useful suggestions for dialogue might lead the country to an avoidable crisis.

Buhari had last weekend lambasted advocates of restructuring, saying that there was nothing to restructure.

Responding, the group said, “Restructuring simply means the transfer of some items in the exclusive legislative into the concurrent list.

“Put it in another term, it means devolution of powers to the component states to make our presidential system reflect true federalism.

“Nigeria is currently practising a quasi-federal system. Over concentration of the presidential powers at the centre is not suitable for a heterogeneous country like Nigeria. That is a unitary system in disguise.”

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The CHURAC stressed that the 1999 military fiat bequeathed to Nigerians as a constitution did not make adequate provision for a complete overhaul of the system.

The group stated, “It’s very unfortunate that the Federal Government cannot separate what will lead to war from a legal framework that tends to unite the country.

“Nigeria has even passed through different stages of restructuring. If the enactments of 1960, 63, 79 and the 1999 constitutions did not divide Nigeria, then the enactment of a new constitution will not still divide the country.

“Even the agitations for secession can be resolved peacefully without necessarily engaging the aggrieved people in war. The simple thing to do to avert any form of bloodshed is to engage the concerned people in dialogue.

“Buhari should toe the path of peace to peacefully resolve our differences. The agitations for restructuring and the separatist movements will not lead the country to war.

“It is only the government’s refusal to heed to the useful suggestions for dialogue that may lead the country to the avoidable cliff.”

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