The founder of Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), Dr Frederick Fasehun, on Thursday said restructuring remained the only way out of Nigeria’s development quagmire.
Fasehun spoke with newsmen on the sidelines of a youth conference organised by the group in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the programme tagged, “OPC Youth Conference for 2019”, was to sensitise youths on making the right choices in the general elections.
Fasehun said the current political structure of Nigeria was faulty, and could not guarantee sustainable development.
He said that the country must choose between the two options of implementing restructuring or forgeting about development.
Giving his definition of restructuring, Fasehun said there was an urgent need to devolve power from the centre to empower states or regions to drive national development.
He explained that it was when states and regions were allowed to control their own resources to develop their respective areas and people that the country was ready for development.
“We must restructure Nigeria to get out of this mess. It is either we implement it or remain where we are.
“Why can’t states or regions explore what and what are in their backyards, sell or export and pay tax to the centre? Why can’t we have that?
“The constitution should give me an opportunity to explore what is in my backyard. And why should I sell what is in my backyard and share the profit with others ? That shouldn’t be the case.
“We must restructure the country now for development. If we don’t restructure, we should forget about progress,” he said.
Fasehun, while addressing the conference, decried the economic and security issues in the country, saying Nigerians had not fared well in the last three years.
He said the present government had not delivered the promised change to the people.
“As of today, many are the challenges facing the nation, where do we begin? Is it electricity? Is it water? Is it security, education? Name them, we lack them all.
`There is hunger in the land and there is anger. What is more, we all go to bed every night in fear, not knowing what our lives will be the next minute.
“ Let me even be more precise, the news is still fresh on our minds how a few months ago, an Army General was declared missing, only for his body to be found just a few weeks ago in a pond, dead.
“If a General can go missing only to be found after a few weeks, how much more so the average Nigerians who are not trained to defend and protect themselves?
“That incident is indeed a dreadful reminder of how unsafe we all are in the society,” he said.
Fasehun said that 2019 should be used as an opportunity by citizens to change the narrative of insecurity and economic woes by voting the right leadership.
He urged voters to shun inducement in 2019 and vote people with capacity in the interest of the nation’s development.
The OPC founder particularly urged the youths to see themselves as the agents of change that they are, and participate actively in the electoral process to install their preferred leadership.
He urged them not to sell their votes or allow themselves to be used for violence during and after the election.
Fasehun said that the OPC would play a major role in ensuring that the will of the people prevails in 2019.
“We are going to mobilise as many people as we can across the country, including those in the Diaspora, in order to ensure that we entrust power into the hands of the People’s mandate come 2019,’’ he said.
NAN reports that different people who spoke at the conference, including youths, reiterated the need for youth to participate actively in the electoral process in 2019 to elect the right leadership.(NAN)