I didn’t describe those asking for restructuring as political jobbers – Osinbajo

Yemi Osinbajo -TVC

Osinbajo Security - tvcnews.tvActing President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has expressed surprise at the news report quoting Chief Ayo Adebanjo as saying he described those agitating for restructuring as political jobbers.

In a statement seen by TVC News, the Vice President’s spokesman. Laolu Akande said at no time did the Acting President say that those asking for restructuring were political jobbers looking for appointments.

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The statement read : “The video, audio tapes and full text of his speech at the National Security summit organised last week by the Department of State Services, DSS are publicly available.

“While several newspapers and media outlets reported Prof. Osinbajo’s said speech last Wednesday, not one of the publications made such a blatantly inaccurate claim that he said those asking for restructuring were political jobbers.

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“Besides, the debate on restructuring is an important one and the calls for restructuring cover a wide range of legitimate and constitutionally valid issues.

Indeed all Nigerians have both a right and a duty to advance their arguments on the subject.

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“The Acting President himself have expressed support for State police based on the community policing model, advocated for devolution of powers to the States and fiscal federalism.

“Besides, the Buhari administration has been active in supporting State rights in several ways including in fiscal matters and will continue to do so.”

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  • Restructuring of Nigeria – Polycentric Planning is the Answer (Page 2 of 3)
    In order to carry out the task of restructuring, we can draw some lessons from United States of America. As Nigerians, we should learn from American Great Experiment – Democracy. The Americans, in the 18th C, raised a puzzle which led to reactions from several scholars and intellectuals in the forms of deliberation. The approach taken by the authors of The Federalist (Hamilton, Jay and Madison [1788] 1961) and the participants in the Philadelphia Convention presumed an essential connection between ideas and deeds – theory/knowledge and actions/realities (V. Ostrom, 2000:9). The methodology for translating ideas to deeds was conceptualized in the Mayflower Compact in which the participants made a commitment with one another to solve their common problems together (Tocqueville [1835-40] I, 1945:35; V. Ostrom 2000:12). The outcome of their engagements produced deliberateness/action on federalism; and eventually democracy as an experiment emerged with vibrant institutional arrangements. The two conventions brought into practical terms the two sides of federalism – forms of government and problem-solving federalism.

    Evolving home-grown models from reflections and lessons from abroad requires that we design Africentric strategies of restructuring and federalism that focus on Nigerian realities – specific challenges that relate to knowledge application, utilisation of local resources, provision of jobs, etc. Rather breaking up the country, citizens should embrace Africentric restructuring federalism and design a rational way of living together to achieve freedom, justice, peace and prosperity. Africentric restructuring federalism is a problem-solving entrepreneurship that engages in retrospection into Nigerian socio-economic and cultural configurations of economic ‘susuism’ that is capable of bailing the country out of the present economic recession.

    Nigerians should draw some parallels between American associationalism and Nigerian associational life – as exists in specific tribes/ethnics among the Yoruba, Igbo, Ijaws, Hausa, Fulani, etc. The critical task here is that all the 21 elements of federalism should be emphasised and citizens should be involved on daily basis through elegbe jegbe (associational life). Associationalism permeates Nigerian public landscape as exemplified by economic susuism. Esusu (among the Yoruba), Isusu (among the Ibo) and Asusu (among the Hausa/Fulani). These structures of collective actions are similar to American system of collective action. The underlying principle of susuism is trust, which is based on the law of reciprocity described as: Se fun mi kin se fun o (Do to me and I do to you). It is this primordial associationalism that Nigeria can adopt now in resolving our challenges and problems. This is the time for us to engage in retrospection towards resolving our differences and build a strong nation.

    The same principle can be applied in designing Nigerian federalism and democratisation. For example, the artisanship and creativity of a basket maker are quintessential and sine-qua-nom for weaving the 21 elements of federalism into a political ‘basket’ that contains all the interests and aspirations of the citizenry. The 21 elements should be translated from ideas to deeds/actions that citizens are involved on daily basis. All the issues that pertain to justice and checks and balances should be weaved around federalism and democratisation process (Akinola, 2016).

    My argument is that the structurally-defective pattern of governance in the country makes it difficult for the country to be effectively governed even if the leaders are sincere and adept in the act of governance. The colonial background with the consequence of ‘disconnect from the roots’ engendered a wide gap between Nigerian leaders and the rest of the people. The problem of disconnect in Nigerian political economy is foundational. It goes without saying that “if the foundation is destroyed, what will the righteous do?”

    What is actually wrong with Nigerian governance is a structural defect, which needs to be corrected through restructuring via the setting up of Self-Governing Community Assembly (SGCA). The way out of this crisis is to restructure the public sphere/country by fashioning out alternative governance structure that could enable the people to engage themselves in SGCA.

    At the heart of restructuring is the operation of SGCA. The stakeholders/participants would operate using rules that are crafted by members at the SGCA. Rule crafting takes place at three levels – constitutional, collective choice and operational. Self-governing principles are rooted in collective action and community institutions that Nigerians have been using in navigating around obstacles before, during and after colonialism (see Akinola, 2010i, 2011a, 2015a). (To be continued on page 3 of 3). ***Kindly share this article with others ***

  • Restructuring of Nigeria – Polycentric Planning is the Answer (Page 3 of 3)
    SGCA is a multi-tasks assembly, one of its operations will have to do with education and enlightenment of citizens so that public officials and the people operate within shared communities of understanding.

    Restructuring designed towards nation building will address some questions such as:
    a) Is it possible for us to live together peacefully as a people?
    b) If yes, what are the conditions?
    c) Is it possible for us to restructure without each ethnic minority losing its identity and recognition in the conduct and governance of community affairs?
    d) If yes, what are the conditions?
    e) Is it possible to craft a system of government that will guarantee us a free, peaceful and prosperous society – food and health, poverty eradication, zero-corruption, employment, security, industrialisation, infrastructural development, housing provision, education, development, etc?

    My dear readers, I strongly believe that the time has come for Nigerians to collectively discuss and agree on the system of government that can guarantee them a free, peaceful, and prosperous society and eventual good governance from reflection and choice rather than depending on accident and force on their political constitutions.
    Within the context of Nigerian realities, federalism can be defined as an arrangement between the recognized tiers of government and the self-governing institutions designed to solve specific challenges and problems. This confirms Vincent Ostrom’s perspective of problem-solving federalism (V. Ostrom, 1994; 2000). Invariably, problem-solving federalism can be practically achieved via the setting up of Self-Governing Community Assembly in Nigeria. In this sense, Africentric restructuring federalism will mirror some lessons from the two American conventions that brought into practical terms the two sides of federalism – forms of government and problem-solving federalism.

    Invariably, Africentric restructuring federalism will produce four fundamental imperatives of collective action that form the basis of problem-solving federalism – collegiality, mutual trust, reciprocity and shared community of understanding as the bedrock of democracy, which will help in resolving grievances, marginalisation, exclusion, agitation by the ethnic minorities, youth, women, retirees, etc, while early warning system, conflict prevention and peacebuilding will emerge.

    True restructuring, which is a deliberate construction by moulding different ethnic groups into a nation with emphasis on inclusion that practically emphasises aspirations and yearning of the citizenry: food, employment, security, health, education, industrialization, peace, etc. at the community, ward and local levels. A shared community of understanding will produce constitutional reforms, effective planning and institutional arrangements that can enable Nigerians to work together to achieve justice, freedom, peace, meaningful progress and prosperity.

    Restructuring and domesticating democracy will enable us to commence the task of nation building, which is a deliberate construction by moulding different ethnic groups into a nation, especially since colonial practices of divide and rule had resulted in ethnically heterogeneous populations (Mylonas, 2012a,b). In order to address nation-building, efforts should be directed at inclusion that practically emphasises aspirations and yearning of the citizenry: food, employment, security, health, education, industrialization, peace, etc. at the community, ward and local levels. Nation-building requires synergy among key actors and elimination of exclusion which is only possible through restructuring the public sphere and political economy (Akinola, 2015b). The outcome of restructuring is ethnic minorities, youth, women, retirees, etc. will feel belonged, while early warning system, conflict prevention and peacebuilding will emerge (see Akinola 2008p:189, 2009b:96, 2011e, 2014d, Akinola et. al., 2014l, Akinola et. al., 2014r).
    ***Kindly share this article with others ***
    *************************************
    On Tuesday 5th July, 2016, I published an article, titled, “Towards an Efficient Reorganisation of Nigeria.” In National Mirror, July 5, 2016, Vol. 06, No. 1404, backpage (concluded).
    On Tuesday 28th June, 2016, I published an article, titled, “Nigeria Needs True Restructuring Now.” In Daily Independent, June 28, 2016, Politics page.
    On Tuesday 28th June, 2016, I published an article, titled, “Towards an Efficient Reorganisation of Nigeria.” In National Mirror, June 28, 2016, Vol. 06, No. 1397, backpage (publication to be continued).
    On Sunday 26th June, 2016, I published an article, titled, “State of the Nation: Nigerians, act before it is too late.” In Sunday Vanguard, June 26, 2016, pg. 40.

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