Nigeria May See Violent Restructuring: We practice a Fake Federal System – says General Ogomudia (Nigeria’s Former Defense Chief)

A former Chief of Defense Staff, Gen. Alexander Ogomudia (rtd.), has expressed his displeasure about recent negative developments in the country, saying they were indications that the country was overdue for restructuring and in urgent need of a new way of governance.

Ogomudia said he fears for the future of the country and the present security situation in the country, saying “a country where a former Chief of Defense Staff, Air Chief Marshall Alex Badeh, was killed in the streets like an urchin, and nothing happened, is a sign that the nation is not moving in the right direction”.

The former Chief of Defense Staff, who delivered the keynote address at the Good Governance Lecture organized by the Catholic Church of Warri’s Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC), warned that the continued suppression of the agitations for the restructuring of the country could lead to a violent breakup of the country.

He urged those opposed to restructuring to borrow a leaf from the breakup of Yugoslavia and Sudan, saying that, even in Spain, the Catalonians want to break away and that in Britain, Scotland seeks autonomy.

He said restructuring was a global trend which every right-thinking government should embrace for national integration and development, especially in a country like Nigeria where, he said, we practice “a fake federal system”.

But a spokesman to President Muhammadu Buhari described Ogomudia’s statement as vituperations of someone who is “yet to accept democracy as a form of government.”

“It is very important to stress that we, as a nation, are a constitutional democracy and changes to the country in structure, its systems, policy and politics must abide by the norms of democracy; otherwise, they would be extrajudicial and therefore, unconstitutional”, Garba Shehu said.

Ogomudia equally criticized the death penalty for the hate speech bill. He created a mild drama in the hall when paused to ask anyone who can define hate speech to come forward.

When no one came out, Ogomudia said, “something that no one can truly define, they want to impose the death penalty for? Where is this country headed?”

He described the type of politics practiced in Nigeria today as toxic and detrimental to national development saying, “we have a fractured politics and everyone is doing things that will hurt the country.”

He said that Nigeria needs true federalism to advance like other nations, saying that Nigeria is the only country where states share money coming from only one source, monthly.

He argued that Nigeria was overdue for change, saying that restructuring the country would guarantee ethnic harmony, accountability, freedom of speech, independence of the judiciary and a fair electoral process.

Culled from The Guardian