MasterwebNews 13/8/16 - Restructuring of Nigeria: Another View -Parts 1 & 2

 

[ Masterweb Reports: Bala Muhammad reports ] - Nigerian politics - and even some politicians - are sometimes less than useless. When a nation is reeling under tremendous challenges, some of them are screaming themselves hoarse calling for a “restructuring of the nation,” all in anticipation of 2019! And my colleagues, journalists and columnists, are giving vent to this “new national frustration.” But before we do go down the line of each going their own way, let’s consider ‘restructuring’ our national economic and social being, then we look at the political structure.

 
RESTRUCTURE OUR NATIONAL IMAGE: There are over two hundred countries in the world; Nigeria is only one of them. Citizens of many countries visit Indonesia. But read these names: Okonkwo Nonso; Obinna Nwajagu; Eugene Ape; Humphrey Jefferson; Michael Titus; Ozias Sibanda. I’m sure you can guess they are Nigerian can you even guess from which part. These are six names from a list of 14 on death row in Indonesia for drugs trafficking. Nigeria has almost half (six out of 14); three of them have already been executed. Now, why won’t I be ashamed of my green passport when most countries of the world don’t know the difference between an Obinna and an Ibrahim? So I submit that any criminal Hausaman arrested in Saudi Arabia for pick-pocketing or black-magic-ing, announce his name, his father’s name, his village, his province. Name him shame him. Let us know the names of all Ibos on death row in Indonesia and elsewhere. Shame their villages. And Edo girls prostituting in Italy. And the 419 Yorubaman in London. Name them, shame them. At the end of every year, in the spirit of Federal Character, let the National Bureau of Statistics publish our country’s National Foreign Crime Scorecard. Let high-crime Zones and Provinces be fined heavily and the funds put in the National Kitty. Haba!
 
RESTRUCTURE OUR NATURAL RESOURCES: “Dangote: Made in Kano, Enjoyed Around the Nation”. By all means let there be Fiscal Federalism. And Fiscal Regionalism. And Fiscal Provincialism. Let there be Resource Control. Let the South South have their oil wealth. Kano shall then, for example, claim ‘The Dangote Resource’. Plus his GCON. All taxes and revenues and collectables from any Dangote venture (or Dantata & Sawoe, for that matter) shall be shared between the geographical location of venture and Kano State (with a little to Jigawa and Katsina for good neighbourliness) which produced the Entrepreneurship Resource. While we are at it, let the National Electricity Grid be transferred from Osogbo to Zungeru or wherever Niger State (the Power State) chooses to site it. And yes, Niger State should have 13% of all accruals from hydro power (which has been the saving grace for the nation recently). And when gas becomes available, sources of that resource should also get 13%. God also gave Borno State cattle. And onions to Kebbi. And carrots and sugarcane to Zaria Province. And yams to Benue. And cassava flour to Nasarawa. And tomatoes to the whole North. And kilishi to Bauchi. And wahala to others. Let us all have it. Haba!
 
RESTRUCTURE OUR NATIONAL PUNISHMENTS: *On Corruption, the bane of its fighting in Nigeria is in the punishment. As long as people steal and get away with no more than a pat on the wrist, people will continue to steal.  We must adopt the Chinese solution: one looter, one bullet. In China, if you steal a certain amount and you are found out, you are tried, convicted, and shot. All assets are then forfeited to government, and heirs would not even inherit the loot, and will have pay for the government bullet used. Let Five Million Naira ‘misappropriation’ be the threshold in Nigeria, and amputate the hands of those below that.
 
*On Kidnapping, the extant law of Edo State, the death penalty, should be adopted nationwide. It should be applied whether the victim survives the kidnapping or not, and whatever the number of kidnappers, remote and immediate. There should also be special tribunals for this despicable crime, with appeal only to the Supreme Court, lest the Western-backed-and-paid human rights lobby delays justice for victims. Armed Robbery should be as Kidnapping.
 
*On Rape, there is now a phenomenal rise especially of minors, many of whom are also killed as collateral wickedness. Death penalty should continue to be applied for wilful taking of a life in any event, and especially in the case of rape and murder, whatever the number of rapists. There should be special tribunals for this despicable crime, with appeal only to the Supreme Court. For rape affecting post-puberty victims, the rapist must be made to forfeit the tool used in committing the crime. In plain language, rapists must be neutered, castrated, eunuch’ed. And then serve a long sentence. Haba!
 
THEN RESTRUCTURE OUR NATIONAL ASSEMBLY: We can ill afford a bicameral legislature. A unicameral, single chamber to be called The National Assembly should suffice. The Senate is too padded. The House of Representatives is the Mother of All Padding. Let us use the forthcoming 2017 Census to restructure Federal Constituencies to be One Representative per one million population, to the nearest million. With the current population estimate of 170 million, there then can be a National Assembly of 170 members who must be real honourable people, gainfully employed (from where they take leave of absence) and reasonably educated. No member should be below forty and no unmarried males (for females, marriage an added advantage). Membership should be for a term of three years, repeatable. Thereafter, members return to their places of work. They assemble Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and return to their constituencies Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays to worship with their constituents in local mosques and churches. Constituency contact shall be part of the legislative calendar. Members should be paid no more than the salary of a Director in the Federal Civil Service, plus transport and accommodation. They can travel abroad once a year, to Mecca or to Jerusalem, not to both.
 
THEN RESTRUCTURE OUR NATIONAL JUDICIARY: Let there be a National Judiciary of honourable people. Let there be no repeat of ‘innocent’ James Ibori or the ‘perpetual injunction’ of Peter Odili. Let there be no bail for the fantastically corrupt, until investigations are through. Let corrupt judges follow the same Chinese medicine as other corrupt folk. Let corrupt SANs be un-learned and un-wigged, and fed Chinese medicine. Plea-bargain should be on, after which Chinese medicine to be administered. Any judicial officer found wanting (as in ‘wanting to collect something’) should be de-robbed (the robber s/he is) and shown the way out, stripped bare - no gratuity, no pension, no ‘MON’, let alone an ‘EY’ added on. And people learned in religion, both Muslim and Christian, and people known and adjudged to be honest and ‘balanced’, should be appointed to judge. People so appointed can have lawyers as Special Assistants to assist. We shouldn’t be held to ransom by these lawyer-types.
 

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Restructuring of Nigeria: Another View -Part 2

 

Still on Restructuring (which is now the pastime, ‘new national frustration’ and 2019 campaign angle of some politicians), we continue from Part 1 where we suggested ways forward to bring lasting structural changes to the Nigerian nation-state - beginning with the country’s national image (especially our perception abroad); national resources; national punishments; national assembly; and national judiciary. Now we conclude the ‘items’ for Restructuring, beginning with the nation’s Geographical Structure and ending with the Presidency, the crux of the matter causing all these ‘bad blood’. And finally, we suggest how to achieve all these changes, so simply.

 

RESTRUCTURE OUR NATIONAL GEOGRAPHY: It is hereby suggested that states and Local Governments should be abrogated, and the six GEO-POLITICAL ZONES shall constitute the new Federating Units. Zonal Capitals shall be situated at a present state capital which approximates the geographical centre of the Zone (for example, Gusau is perfect for the North West, as Gombe is for the North East). Then, let every two million chunk of the population, to the nearest two millions, constitute a PROVINCE within these Zones. Therefore, while the present Nasarawa and Bayelsa states

 
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