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A human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mike Ozekhome, has declared that none of the three major presidential candidates in the forthcoming general elections can fix Nigeria’s problems.
Ozekhome said the problems of insecurity, bad economy, poverty and hopelessness, which he said, have overwhelmed the country and can only be solved by restructuring.
He explained that a change in the system of government can save Nigeria from doom.
The senior lawyer made this assertion while delivering his speech at the 2022 Independence Day Anniversary Lecture with the theme: “Nigeria in search for an enduring political structure; imperative of structural reforms”, organised by the Ogun State chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress held in Abeokuta, the State capital.
He said, “Virtually everything that can possibly go wrong, is wrong with our country: insecurity, collapsed infrastructure, failure of the public school system, an economy in shambles (epitomized by the free-fall of the value of the Naira and spiraling inflation), an unremitting insurgency, etc. The list is endless
“Reforms at the meta-level would entail either embracing our discarded Prime Minister system of government or dismantling and recoupling several of the institutions that help or hinder us, including a serious re-examination of the 36 state structure as federating units vis-à-vis their fiscal/economic viability or their consolidation into six or more regions with economies of scale and higher investment rates; multiple vice-presidencies representing respective regions other than the region of the president, each with supervising powers over certain ministries to ensure equitable representation at the federal cabinet.
“The greatest challenge is how to get some of the elite whose privileges are provided by the existing system to support its dismantling into a system that is potentially beneficial to ‘society’ but perhaps disproportionately harmful to their interests in the short term.
“In other words, we are faced with the same kind of conundrum as some western countries with their welfare system. Having designed and implemented it for generations, it has grown into an unsustainable octopus of inefficiency but reforming it is not easy”.
In his address, the Chairman of NLC, Bankole Emmanuel, charged the members of the union to direct their strength at positively changing the narrative and trajectory of governance in the country.
Emmanuel said, “Blame-game shall not take us nowhere as a people, if the nation must be better we must not only be interested in how our country is governed but also the antecedents of the people governing us.
“It is on this strong conviction that labour movement is not about wage increase and the strike action alone but also about good governance, equity, and justice.”