President Muhammadu Buhari, has said that the South-East geopolitical zone is not marginalised by his government.
Buhari who was represented by the
Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai, in London, made
this disclosure in a speech at Chatham House, titled: ‘Next Generation
Nigeria: What Is Restructuring, And Does Nigeria Need It?’
He explained that four of the five
States in the South-East zone had senior Ministers in federal cabinet,
despite the fact that they gave the APC government just about five
percent of votes in the 2015 Presidential election.
Some States including Kaduna, which gave
the party more than 90 percent of votes, only have junior Ministers
(Ministers of State), he said.
He described the
cries of marginalisation as “the narratives of losers”, who decided not
to vote for the APC, but now they do not want to live with the
consequences of their decisions.
The Governor listed fear of domination,
resource control, fractious politics, weird leadership, and national
dissatisfaction, among others, as reasons for the clamour for
He however, noted that the clamour for
restructuring was usually loudest by geopolitical zones in the Southern
part of the country, when they lose control at the centre.
Agitations for restructuring and
resource control were silent or muted during the tenures of Presidents
Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan by the south zones, he said,
adding that only the North maintained a rather indifferent stance
through the tenures.
The Governor, who prefers “true
federalism” as the terminology for restructuring, said Nigeria was a
“dysfunctional federation”, that is unbalanced and in dire need of
He noted that the Federal Government
needed to “shed weight” and devolve some of its functions to States, and
limit itself to issues of national importance.
According to him, the country should run a two-tier government, comprising Federal and State Governments.
He stated that it was due to the
importance the APC attached to true federalism, that it set up a
24-member Committee, “to give structure to its debate and hear the views
of the cross-section of the people, including the youth.”
He said the voices of majority of
Nigerians should set the agenda for a true federalism and equal
opportunities, rather than the voices of a vocal few, stressing that
Nigerians cherished and appreciated unity in diversity.
He urged the youth and young people, who
constitute about 80 percent of Nigeria’s population, to get actively
involved in politics and the affairs of the country, warning that if
they do not get involved, the older generation would not transfer power
to them willingly.