Dr Ike Ekweremadu, the Deputy President of the Senate, has said that Nigeria is better as a united country and should not be dismembered.
Ekweremadu expressed the view after delivering a lecture on ‘Constitutionalism and the challenges of leadership in Africa: an evaluation of tested models’, in New York.
The event was organised by the Centre for Media and Peace Initiatives, a New York-based international non-governmental organisation, to mark the 10th anniversary of the centre.
He said, “Nigeria does not require to be fragmented at this time. There is joy in being together. There is benefit in being together.
“There is advantage that is conferred on us as a country by our large population. What we need is giving everybody a sense of belonging and ensuring good governance.”
Ekweremadu, however, stressed the need for the country to be restructured from the current over-concentration of power at the centre, which was non-responsive to the citizenry.
“The central government that once appeared necessary and beneficent has compromised, even jeopardised its standing by perceived highhandedness, unfair treatment of some ethnic groups and abuse of power.
“The powerful central government has made citizens vulnerable to bureaucratic manipulation and control and left them powerless, and reminded them at every turn that the promise of self-government has been eroded.
“Nigeria, and indeed African constitutions, should espouse federalism characterised by weak centres and strong federating units.
‘’Currently, Nigeria has a very powerful centre, hence the need for devolution of powers.”
Ekweremadu stressed that a restructured Nigeria would be in the best interest of everyone as each geo-political zone would maximise its potentialities.
“If we start this process, it will assure the agitators that there is hope for a better Nigeria.
‘’We must continue to assure that the best way to go is restructuring, not dismemberment of the country.”
According to him, no argument that is both coherent and respectable can be made to support the continued emasculation of the component states by the centre.