Atiku spoke at a public presentation of a book titled, “Remaking Nigeria: Sixty Years, Sixty Voices” which was edited by Chido Onumah.
According to him, many Nigerians have joined Biafra in calling for the country’s split due to the failure of the Buhari-led government to heed the call for restructuring of Nigeria.
The former vice president lamented “the agitations that turned more groups into “Biafrans” have become even more strident and, in some cases, violent”.
Atiku accused the Buhari government of ignoring constitutional provisions on federal character to make the ethnic groups have a sense of belonging.
He said rather than striving to fix or restructure the country, Nigeria “seems to be sprinting full speed towards disaster” due to Buhari’s failure to fix the country and made it work.
Atiku Laments Over Insecurity In Nigeria
Lamenting about the worsening insecurity in the country, Atiku said: “Yes, the Chibok girls had been kidnapped and held in captivity 7 years ago.
“Yes, conflicts between herders and farmers had been with us before 2016. But who would have thought that our country would become a haven for kidnappers and all manner of bandits to the extent that their nefarious activities would become a major industry?
”They have been allowed to operate so openly and brazenly that it would surprise no one if they applied for registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission and listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
”Five years ago, the Abuja – Kaduna Road was not a virtual no-go area. The SouthEast was not a virtual war-zone, and Amotekun was not needed to protect lives and property in the South West.
“These are among the clearest evidence that the issues that were the focal point of the book that brought us here more than five years ago have become even worse.”
Atiku Calls For Restructuring Of Nigeria
The former vice president said the restructuring of Nigeria is inevitable to witness sustainable development and to avoid sleep-walking our way towards disaster.”
”The calls for restructuring have not been heeded. Constitutional provisions on federal character have been ignored and even symbolic gestures to make all groups feel that they are part of the Nigerian family have been scorned as though they are a sign of weakness.
“As a result, the agitations that turned more groups into “Biafrans” have become even more strident and, in some cases, violent.
*In my view, we must restructure our country in a manner that allows various segments to develop at their own pace and not be held back by the centre or other segments.”
Fixing Nigeria Would Prevent Disaster – Atiku
Atiku maintained that “fixing or restructuring the county will help in our nation-building project because it will help to foster a sense of nationhood out of our disparate groups, cultures, religions, and regions.
“It is obvious that a country is not necessarily a nation. Nationhood has to be forged through what we do as a country, and leadership is critical in the process of nation-building.
“We must restructure our country in a manner that allows various segments to develop at their own pace and not be held back by the centre or other segments. Developed segments will spur development in other segments because what they do well will attract the attention of others.
“That may make a Nigerian union more attractive and nation-building easier. Our poor nation-building record should not be an excuse for developmental inaction or backwardness.
“Leaders give direction and the example they set determines the extent to which their followers will trust them. Without trust, there’s no leadership. Without leadership, a country drifts and becomes more difficult to forge into a nation.”
KanyiDaily recalls that Atiku had asked Nigerian Governors to convene a National Unity Summit to iron out the thorny issues affecting the destiny of the nation and figure out a way to resolve them.