Restructuring: What the newly appointed CoS Ibrahim Gambari recommended in 2019

Oluwayemi Adebayo

Findings have revealed vital statements ascribed to the newly appointed Chief of Staff (CoS) to the President, Prof Ibrahim Gambari on restructuring Nigeria, federalism, among others.

According to reports, Prof Gambari made this known at Babcock University, Ogun during a Public Affairs Forum held on the 18th of March 2019.

While giving his speech, the Prof spoke extensively on the theme: Federalism and the Future of Nigeria: The Challenge of Restructuring.

Gambari is the former United Nations Under-Secretary General and Nigerian Permanent Respresentative to the United Nations.

He is also the Founder/Chairman, Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development.

In the course of his presentation on the theme, he made sensitive points and recommendations on a germane topic - Federalism and the Future of Nigeria: The Challenge of Restructuring, which have been summarised below.

Prof Gambari alluded to the fact that "Nigerian leaders in their wisdom chose federalism as a system of government, however, Federalism, Restructuring, and Nation Building are entwined."

He further highlighted that a country’s foreign policy revolves around its national interests and an examination of Nigeria’s foreign policy reveals that her leaders function around four concentric circles, which include:

1. Nigeria's own advancement;

2. Nigeria's relations with the West African neighbours;

3. Nigeria's relations with Africa on issues of peace and sustainable development and;

4. Nigeria's relations with the rest of the world. He stated predominantly that restructuring Nigeria is a necessity.

Some solutions the academic proffered with reference to the theme during the Public Affairs Forum included:

1. Revisiting the resolutions of the 2014 Confab.

2. Political parties serving as sets of principles and guidelines, so as to guide the choices of the people;

3. Regular mechanisms for dialogues amongst leaders;

4. Federalism should be based on co-operation rather than confrontation and;

5. A social system that gives opportunities to people on the basis of their abilities rather than their wealth or social status (Meritocracy).

It is however hoped that Prof Gambari would channel these recommendations to the government being at the helm of affairs as the Chief of Staff to the President.

The question therefore is, will he recommend these solutions to the ruling government under the leadership of President Buhari? More reactions have since been trailing the assumption of the erudite academic into his new office with many anticipating for a better administration in this new dispensation.

The writer, Oluwayemi Adebayo was one of the participants at the Public Affairs Forum.

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