The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, on Friday said Nigeria needs change for the better so as to make progress.
He said, “We are all used to hearing about change,but we all need to change for the better” in His welcome address at a one day Public Discussion with the theme “the way forward for Nigeria and how to preserve it’s unity and stability”, organised by the Centre for Confederation Democracy and Good Governance in Africa (CoCDAGGA), in Partnership with the Shehu Musa Yar’adua Foundation and Caritas Nigeria, in Abuja.
According to the Cardinal, “We are all used to hearing about change,but we need to change for the better,because we can continue to call for change and make no progress except it is change for the better.”
The clergy who also participated in the table discussions opined that “Nigeria can not peacefully go apart,noting that the efforts needed for Nigeria to remain as one indivisible entity, is less that that required to break apart.”
Also speaking,on the state of the Nigerian Police,Former Minister of Police Affairs, Dr Ibrahim Lame said “the real problem of Nigeria is not that of restructuring or confederation, but rather that of failure to understand its capacities”.
He said, “Corruption had already acquired a culture in the nation’s system, adding that the institution of untrained leaders was also a problem.He stressed the importance of having trained leaders as was the case in the past.
In his recommendations, Dr Lame called for answers to “developing the capacity of Nigeria and Nigerians, establishment of sound, social, economic and political institutions as well as their development to ensure the economy does not serve a few elites,but serves every Nigerian.
He also advocated for “the establishment of state, local governments and community policing as a means to help integrate the people of the community”
Disagreeing with Dr Lame, Chairman Fourth Dimension Publishers,Dr. Arthur Nwankwo,who was represented by Dr Malachi Ochie said “capacity cannot be built in a vacuum, thus the need for a confederacy”.
He said, “The kinds of restructuring Nigeria needs could be listed under political/physical restructuring, constitutionally defined boundaries with each state having its own police, as well as total overhaul of the exclusive legislative lists.”
The Academician who said “Nigeria needed restructuring urgently” was optimistic that restructuring will put a permanent stop to the menace of the Boko haram insurgency as well as other security disturbances in the various zones.