A former Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations, UN, Chief Arthur Mbanefo, has lent his voice to the strident call for the restructuring of the country, advising the Nigerian government to stop thinking that the restructuring of the country will lead to the secession of some ethnic nationalities.
He stated this in Lagos on Thursday at the 71st birthday of the Presiding Bishop of the Redeemed Evangelical Mission, Dr. Mike Okonkwo, where he warned the Federal Government against holding talks with insurgents and dissident groups like the Niger Delta Avengers, NDA.
The former Envoy observed that the country was in “utter confusion”, as he regretted that many Nigerians were not conversant with the term “restructuring”.
His words, “Clearly, many Nigerians do not understand what the issues are about restructuring. Why can we not sit down and discuss how to live as a people? Nothing says that we cannot sit down and talk on how to govern the country. This does not mean secession. We can have a national discourse, for example, on how to improve ourselves. The erosion of our value system also contributes to the confusion in the country.
“We, therefore, need to do more to redefine our value system. We need to overhaul the foundation of the pillars of the nation. We must be courageous to accept that we cannot go on as if nothing has changed. If we do not want to continue with the disasters in the country, all that we need as a people is the will to change things,” the ex-diplomat warned.
Mbanefo, while urging the Federal Government not to negotiate with the insurgents, pointed out that the groups were committing treasonable acts against the state.
According to him, “How do you negotiate with traitors, such as (the Niger Delta) Avengers; that are bombing and destroying national facilities? You do not take up arms against your nation, destroying its facilities.
“The (the Niger Delta) Avengers, Boko Haram and other similar groups should not dictate the pace for the country. These people are committing treason. It is high time we became serious citizens. We should stop deceiving ourselves if we want to move forward.”