The debate of restructuring on Nigeria did not start today and it will likely not end if we don’t look inwards and understand the concept of it. This is the reason why I am writing this article and I hope that Nigerians can understand this concept of restructuring. Nigeria was run as a parliamentary democracy in 1960 before the incursion of the military in 1966. The system then was that a region of three existed and these are Northern Region, Western Region, Eastern Region and the Mid-Western Region. The creation of states came as a result of agitations and secession threats from either the Eastern region and the Northern and the Western region.
The Eastern Region made up Ndigbo were not the only ones who wanted to secede as a country. The North and the West desired it but along the line creation of states was used to do that. If you look or remember, the regions were not entirely homogenous in tribes, ethnicity and religion but the creation was done to do this. So, if a region that used to be Gongola State in the North-Eastern region had the Tiv, Jukun, Idoma and other tribes, the creation of states of Taraba, Benue and other tribes helped to create homogeneity among them even though not entirely. So, Benue had more Tiv and Idoma while a state like Taraba has more Jukun and Tiv with other minority tribes that cannot have full states.
The Creation of states does not come from demarcation or geographical delineation but from the ability of the people to administer the States when they are created.
The 36 States of Nigeria are already the federating units that some people are clamoring for. What we need is more cooperation about between so they can achieve more together. A State like Akwa Ibom can partner with other South-East States or South-South to achieve joint ventures that benefits them in the long-run. Two States that share boundaries can create their Police or a state can create its Policing System and academy not that we will change what we have entirely.
So, Nigeria is already a restructured country and we need not go back to the 60s; rather what we need is to change the mode of operation and the responsibilities and the direction of such responsibilities. We can maintain the present or we should maintain or have some leaner but the most important discussion on a restructured nation is the content of what each does. All these can be seen in the legislative exclusive list of Nigeria. We need to change who handles education, security and health, for example.