A former Minister of Health, Prof. A.B.C Nwosu, has said that Nigeria would no longer exist as a nation if it was not restructured in a way that would weaken the power of the Federal Government.
According to him, the present political arrangement where there is too much pressure and over-concentration of power at the centre was not the dream of the founding fathers of Nigeria.
Nwosu, who also served as Political Adviser to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, bared his mind during the public presentation of a book entitled, “Dan-Nzelu: The biography of one of Nigeria’s foremost oil engineers,” written by Jimmy Imo, to commemorate the 10 years anniversary of the death of Dan Nzelu, former Executive Director of Pipeline Products Marketing Company.
He said, “This country will either live if restructured or die, if it is not restructured. Let me repeat it, this country will die if it doesn’t restructure; this country will live if it restructures. And restructuring to me is not regionalisation. We can’t go on the way we are going on.
“If there is a problem in the North-East, it is the Federal Government, in the Niger Delta, it is the Federal Government, in Anambra State, it is the Federal Government. That is not the country our founding fathers envisaged.
“For those who don’t know, I was in secondary school, class 4, in 1960 when Nigeria gained independence. It wasn’t the vision of the premiers then. Even in church, the bishop is not in charge of determining for the parish when weddings take place.
“I am a Catholic, but Cardinal John Onaiyekan (Catholic Archbishop of Abuja) doesn’t determine Holy Trinity here; let alone the one in Gwagwalada, not to talk of my town, Nnewi.
“Why does the Federal Government want to be in charge of everything? The Federal Government will collect the money for everything, collect the powers for everything and that is why we have wastage.
“You have a permanent secretary and he has so many billions of dollars and millions of naira. It is not right, if you devolve this money or responsibilities from the centre to the government nearer to the people, they will know where the pothole is and patch it up.”
Nwosu described Nzelu as “a phenomenally talented engineer” and one of the best Nigeria has produced.
According to him, the deceased was immersed in his works and solving problems but was not interested in being praised for doing his job.