Chris Steven, Abuja
Femi Falana, lawyer and human rights activist says those who are agitating for restructuring of Nigeria are only saying it in the air noting that there cannot be political restructuring without economic restructuring.
Please those who are talking of restructuring, many of them are talking in the air. We must concretize this debate now; you can’t have political restructuring without economic restructuring. If you are talking of restructuring and be selling national assets to individuals” Falana said in Abuja on Thursday at a press conference organized by the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC on the calls to divide Nigeria.
He wondered “how can a serious country be giving oil blocks to individuals. States are broke ; you are not giving oil block to these states, states are not buying electricity company. What is owed pensioners is N200million, those who have served our father land.
Falana said relevant questions should rather be asked about the national conference warning that Nigerians should not be carried away.
“Just this week, the federal government has just released N701billion to those who bought our electricity company. Are you not aware? Initially they were given N300billion, that’s over a trillion naira to manage darkness in our country.
Let’s us begin to raise relevant questions on the national conference, don’t be carried away. Power is not given without a fight; those who want the implementation of the recommendations should be prepared for a struggle with labour and with the progressive extension of the civil societies.
The most important recommendation is not touched by the ruling class. It is in the chapter two of the constitution that the fundamental objective of the state shall be made justiceable, in order word, right to education, right to health, right to unemployment benefit, right to new minimum wage.
These are all set out in that chapter; those who are asking for restructuring and true federalism are not interested in these areas. Please all of us should remind them, when we had the first republic, the Awolowos, Azikwes and Ahmadu Bellos provided social services for the people.
That is no longer the case. So this talk about restructuring we must concretize it, this talk about federalism we must concretize it. You can’t be coming to Abuja every month to take and you are talking of true federalism. True federalism means you must produce what you need in your area and then we can ask everybody to pay back” he said.