The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki; his predecessor, Adams Oshiomhole; and a professor, Itse Sagay, Chairman Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption; on Friday re-emphasised the need for the country to remain united.
They canvassed this position at the 20th Wole Soyinka Annual Lecture Series in Benin, against the backdrop of the current call in some quarters for restructuring of the country.
The trio, however, said that there was the need to restructure some aspects of the polity.
The theme of the event organised by the national association of SEAGODS in Benin, the Edo capital was ‘Nigeria State in the Aftermath of the Centenary prospect for its indivisibility.’
Mr. Obaseki, who chaired the occasion, said the country’s unity was not negotiable and expressed optimism that the country would become great and prosperous again.
The governor said that the country needed the right leadership at all levels of government for her to have accelerated growth and development.
“The question of whether Nigeria has come to stay is a non-issue. I guess what is challenging us today is the sort of country we should create for ourselves.”
He noted that his administration was making efforts to ensure good leadership and provide opportunity for youth empowerment.
He commended the organisers of the lecture series and the choice of topic, describing it as apt and timely.
Mr. Oshiomhole, who was the guest lecturer, said that what should be paramount in the minds of Nigerians was how to keep the country united and viable.
He said what needed to be urgently addressed was the socio-economic structure and the seeming challenge of bad leadership which has corruption at its core.
“It is not in our interest to be thinking of dividing after 103 years of our existence as a nation.
‘’It is not a viable conversation that having lived this long together, we should divide. Rather, we should think of ways of doing things differently for better results’’.
Mr. Oshiomhole condemned wasteful spending by some government officials and noted that resources should be properly channelled to improving the standard of living of the masses.
“The structural issue in the country needs to be addressed. This entails the issue of the very rich structure and the very poor structure,” he said.
He said that the citizenry should restructure their attitude, character and value system as well as manage resources well so that the country would be able to take care of the poor.
On his part, Mr. Sagay said true federalism would promote good governance in the country, pointing out that present allocation formula was not ideal.
He said states should be allowed to control their mineral resources to avoid their overdependence on monthly allocation from the federal government.
The presidential advisory committee chairman said that the current structure had prevented states carrying out their responsibilities.
“Why should the centre have all the resources and states be impoverished?” he asked.