Wale Oyewale and Raphael Ede
The Development Agenda for Western Nigeria has cautioned the Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to the President, Mr Garba Shehu, against insensitive utterances in reaction to agitation for restructuring.
The Director-General, DAWN Commission, Seye Oyeleye, said this in an interview with The PUNCH on Tuesday.
Oyeleye, who described Shehu’s action as unfortunate and unwelcoming, said the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), should consider why the people were making the call rather than discountenance it.
Oyeleye said, “What Garba Shehu said is very unfortunate because government is enlisted to serve and listen to the people. If the people are clamouring for a particular thing, it is the duty of government to listen and ask why and is what they are clamouring for right or wrong?
“The whole country is saying that we need to restructure for us to survive as a country. What is this government doing that is necessitating the clamour? That is what this government should sit down and do. They should not see it as being indicated or threatened.”
“The clamour for restructuring should not be seen as threatening or intimidating the government. For Shehu Garba to come out to say that government cannot be intimidated is a very unfortunate statement. A government in democracy should be listening. This is not a military government.”
Meanwhile, a former Minister of Health and elder statesman, Prof. ABC Nwosu, on Tuesday, said those opposing the restructuring of Nigeria were beneficiaries of undeserved privileges.
Nwosu reminded those opposing the restructuring of Nigeria that it was the issue of restructuring that led to January 1967 ‘Aburi Accord,’ which lack of its implementation led to the civil war.
“People who are beneficiaries of undeserved privilege are very reluctant to let that privilege go even if it is in the best interest of everybody,” he said.
The Peoples Democratic Party Board of Trustees’ member said it was in the effort to restructure the country that former Head of State late Gen. Sani Abacha, had in 1994 set up a constitutional conference.
The former minister, who believed that setting up another conference for the purpose of restructuring would be wasting time, said, “Nigeria has this penchant that if you have to kill something then you set up a committee. Which committee can be bigger or more representative than that of 2014 Jonathan conference?”
What, according to him, should be done is to set up a few people to look into both the 1994 draft Constitution and the 2014 confab report and produce a new constitution for Nigeria.