The Former President of Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan has said that Nigerians should embrace dialogue and restructuring is not the means to solving the problems in Nigeria.
Jonathan gave the remark on Thursday at the 18th Daily Trust Dialogue summit in Abuja with the theme: ‘Restructuring in Nigeria: Why? How? When?’ along with a chieftain of the pan Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo; a former President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nwodo, and Chairman of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Chief Audu Ogbeh, said Nigeria must also tackle nepotism, ethnicity and religious bias before restructuring.
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Jonathan, who chaired the event, said the country must come up with specific solutions to its problems.
He urged Nigerian leaders to encourage conversations that will encourage nationalism.
He said: “Let’s do our little best in our little corner to make the country great. The leaders and citizens should not lose hope in the nation as the future is bright.
“All nations have their unique history, the amalgamation is not our problem but the divisive politics politicians play has greatly affected our nation’s unity and that was the reason my administration conducted the 2014 national conference for the specific purpose of addressing the people that have been agitating the minds of our people. As a country, we have our peculiar challenges and we should devise means of solving them.
“How do we restructure to make sure that those things don’t happen again? This shows restructuring alone may not solve all the anomalies in our system. I believe that restructuring for a better nation is good but there are other fundamental issues we should also address.
“We cannot restructure in isolation without tackling the challenges that polarise our nation. These include nepotism, ethnic and religious differences as well as lack of patriotism. The issues of tribe and religion have continued to limit our unity and progress as a nation.”
Also adding that Nigerians should use every opportunity for dialogue in order to make the nation better.
He said, “My conviction is that discussion on restructuring will not help except we restructure our minds because some of the challenging issues at the national level still exist at the state and local levels
“For instance, in some states, it is not easy for some persons to win an election because of the area they come from. The language they speak or their religious belief.
“Take a look at how local government elections are conducted at the state level. Why is it very difficult for an opposition party to win a chairmanship or councillorship seat in a state, despite the fact that the same party probably secured seats in the state Assembly and National Assembly elections, organised by a federal election management body?
“This shows that restructuring alone may not solve all the anomalies in the system.”