The Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, on Thursday downplayed the clamour for restructuring in Nigeria, describing it as a “madness” that can be stopped by good governance.
Mr. Shettima spoke at the book launch of a former Minister of Youths and Sports Development under the Goodluck Jonathan administration, Bolaji Abdullahi, who is now the spokesperson of the All Progressive Congress, APC.
The event took place at the Yar’Adua Centre in the Central Business District of Abuja.
The book titled “On a Platter of Gold” was written on how Mr. Jonathan became president of Nigeria in 2011 but lost the office at the 2015 general election.
Mr. Shettima, who was the Father of the Day, dismissed the clamour for restructuring, saying “To hell with restructuring.”
According to the governor, if jobs are provided and other sectors of the economy, especially the education sector is developed, “this madness”, referring to restructuring, “will stop.”
“People are talking about artificial intelligence, other nations are talking about nano technology or robotics engineering but unfortunately, the topical issue in Nigeria is restructuring. Restructuring my foot! To hell with restructuring.
“Let us improve on governance, let us work for the people, invest in education, create jobs for our people, this madness will stop,” the governor said.
Several Nigerians including ethnic organisations like the Ohanaeze Ndigbo and the Afenifere have demanded restructuring of Nigeria, saying it was the way to resolve many of the challenges facing the country.
Based on the clamour, Mr. Shettima’s party, APC, set up a committee to review the various restructuring calls.
Mr. Shettima, who described Mr. Jonathan as an honest man, said it was the people he surrounded himself with that made his government fail.
“Comparing (former President Olusegun) Obasanjo and the people he worked with and those Jonathan worked with, you will understand why.
“If you look at Obasanjo, hate him or love him, you have to respect Obasanjo for not only believing in the Nigerian project, but for surrounding himself with men of quality.
“If you mention Obasanjo, the names that readily come to mind are those of Oby Ezekwesili, Aliko Dangote, Femi Otedola, Jim Ovia, Tony Elumelu, Nasiru el-Rufai, Nuhu Ribadu, Bukola Saraki and other quality Nigerians who have the capacity to add value to the system.
“But when you think of President Jonathan, with all due respect, he surrounded himself with an assorted crop of religious bigots, tribal kindred and all sorts of reactionary elements. Ateke Tom, Government Tompolo, Late Oronto Douglas, Asari Dokubo, Edwin Clark, Ayo Oritsejafor and others.”