Restructuring debate, good for nation – CSOs

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Some civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have added their voices to the ongoing issue of restructuring in the country, describing the debate as healthy for the nation.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar had clashed over the restructuring debate.

While Osinbajo rooted for restructuring that was based on ridding the country of corruption and managing the country’s resources properly for the benefit of overall Nigerians, Atiku argued that geographical restructuring cannot be overemphasised.

Reacting on Friday in separate interviews with NAN in Abuja, a cross-section of members of the CSOs said the debate was a welcome development.

Mr Oyedokun Adejonwo, the Programme Associate, Twenty-First Century Community Empowerment for Women and Youth Initiative, said he did not see the reactions from the incumbent and former vice presidents as controversial.

‘’I don’t want to see it as a controversy; I see it as a debate. It is an ongoing debate which ultimately will be beneficial to the society.

‘’Because naturally, I think there should be no issue that should not be discussed as citizens.

‘’And these are highly-placed citizens bringing the issue in the front burner and as such, it is an opportunity for every other stakeholders in Nigerian project to come forward with their positions.

‘’Let us harmonise these and build a consensus in order to know what we really want as a nation. So the debate is good for the health of the nation,” he said.

Mr George Monye, the Executive Director, Majesty Community Rural Development Foundation said that although Vice President Osinbajo was right on his position, restructuring could also be done simultaneously.

‘’The vice president is correct. But then, that does not mean that restructuring should not be done. As we keep on fighting corruption, restructuring should go on as well. Both should work together.”

For Director of Volunteer, Global Network for Peace and Anti-Corruption Initiative, Mr Samuel Aloaye, restructuring debate “is about interest’’.

‘’Nigerians have expressed different opinions about restructuring. But for me, I believe it is all about interest; it is a clash of interests.

‘’Some Nigerians even say Atiku Abubakar is using that for political gain, to rise to the position he is looking for.

‘’So, the issue of restructuring has been ongoing and I believe that with the differences, everybody will still align. It is just a matter of time,” he said.

The Programme Manager of Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Mr Kolawole Banwo, also corroborated Aloaye’s statement, describing the restructuring debate as ‘’politics of interest”.

‘’Everybody agreed that restructuring is important, everybody somewhere has an idea of what restructuring means and agreed that it is good for the country.

‘’Whatever anyone is pondering about now is purely political and I believe that is not something that should overheat the polity unnecessarily,” he said. (NAN)

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