Former President Goodluck Jonathan has said that restructuring which has become a recurring national discourse will not be achieved if the issues that polarise Nigeria are not resolved.
Jonathan stated this yesterday at the 18th Daily Trust Dialogue.
Making reference to the country’s prevailing ethnic and religious borderlines, he urged the leaders to encourage a “healthy conversation on restructuring and reforms that stir national pride and love and faith of our citizens in our beloved country.”
He further argued that the country’s identified challenges at the national level are also visible in the states and local governments, and may not go away without the restructuring of the minds of the people.
“We cannot restructure without solving issues that polarize us which are nepotism, ethnic and religious differences and lack of patriotism.
“Also, discussion on restructuring will not help except we restructure our minds. Some of the challenges faced at the national level are still there at the state and local government levels, and sometimes even in our communities.
“From Independence, the struggle was that politics was based on regions and there was this tension. It’s a dynamic blow between the regions who will produce the national leaders and that is still hunting us till today,” he said.
Jonathan likened the polarization in the country to the story of the ‘Baby Frog and Baby Snake’ who related as friends until their mothers told them separately that one was food for the other.
“Our conversation in this country is taking the dimension of baby frog and baby snake. We are making our children hate themselves.”
However, he described Nigeria as a “project in progress” advising that the country should “confidently discuss her experiences and fashion out solutions to improve on her performance and the well being of all citizens.”
“We should all do our little best in our little corners to overcome the challenges we face, and work hard to reposition our country for a greater and more prosperous tomorrow for our children,” he added.
The former president frowned at the issues one-party system and unitary system of government as a panacea to the current state of political polarisation in the country.
“Let me state for the records that I strongly oppose both the philosophy and the idea of a one-party system as well as the unitary system of government as a solution to ethnic and cultural diversity. That cannot solve the problem,” he added.