While speaking in an exclusive interview, on Wednesday, Nigerian environmental and human rights activist, Ankko Briggs, spoke out against restructuring of the country, saying it was too late, adding that Nigeria should split so that regions can go their separate ways and develop indivisibly.
The outspoken crusader for the Niger Delta stated that restructuring should have been done before the National Conference in 2014.
Briggs said: “Going by the figures, the North is getting over 60 per cent of the total local government allocations and even when we come to the states as well they also receive far more than the Southern states.
“Again, if you go to the National Assembly, they are far more in numbers, especially in the House of Representatives, and so by the time there is a motion or bill, which they are not in support of, ends up being frustrated or not being passed at all. A good example is the PIB that had to spent over 10 years in the National Assembly. How can this continue?”
She alleged that the ruling elites wanted to use restructuring to increase revenue allocation to some parts of the country currently agitating, but retain the same form of governance, which has bred institutional injustice in the country.
“For me, calling for restructuring now is too late we want to go our separate ways because you see what they are calling restructuring is not what restructuring is. Restructuring to them is that the status quo should remain and perhaps a little increase in revenue to agitating regions.
“But the real restructuring is when everybody keeps what you have, even if it is only water that you have, and if you can sell it, sell it. Anything apart from that is not restructuring. What is federalism? This is where you have the states, which are the federating units.
“So a federation means that every component is autonomous to itself within that nation. So how can the Federal Government be interested in building hospitals in Abia State or building a university in Rivers State?
“Nigeria is a good example of how impossible to run a government. How can one man alone, who is of a different culture, language, religion run or oversee the rest of the people of over 400 ethnic groups as if he is overseeing his own personal property or estate?
“He cannot do it right because he doesn’t know my culture and so how can he make decisions that will be 100 per cent appealing to me because the things I would put into consideration if I am to make the same decisions will be totally different.
“What we are saying is that someone who doesn’t understand a people cannot make any good decision for them. If this simple conditions are not met, governance will fail and that is what has happened in the real sense, it has failed in Nigeria.
“The then military leadership under General Abdusalami Abubakar had a rare opportunity of gathering Nigerians together to come up with a document meant to be the constitution.
“But it was bungled because what happened was that one man just sat down and made sure that the document was written to favour a particular section of the country and he called it the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The Nigerian constitution is the only constitution in the world that tells a lie against itself and its people, when its first sentence says: ‘We the people.’ That statement is a lie. There was never a gathering of any people or group of persons to discuss any constitution.
“Do you also know that the constitution was designed to work against people who are not Muslims as the word Islam, Muslim, Sharia or Mosque was mentioned over 200 times, while the word Christian or Church was never mentioned in the constitution? And you say that same constitution is meant for all of us?”