Amid separatist agitations by IPOB in the South-East and Yoruba Nation in the South-West, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says Nigeria is not working “optimally” for many Nigerians.
Mr Osinbajo explained, “And I do not speak of ethnic or religious marginalisation which is really another elite dog whisper to acquire more for themselves in the contest for booty.”
Speaking at the ‘2020 Leadership Conference and Awards’ in Abuja by the Leadership Newspapers, the vice president admitted the widespread poverty in the country.
Underscoring his point, he stated, “I speak of a division between the have-nots who have no hope and the haves who seem to have it all. So, the attacks we see on law and order are themselves symptomatic, and they are driven by emergent critiques of the fabric of order itself.”
The vice president further explained that the rejections of formal institutions might be driven by conceptions of religious obligations, ethnic identity and generational antipathies, but that could only be superficial.
“What they have in common is that they are patterns of solidarity of those who have no stake in an orderly society because such society offers them nothing and are fundamentally violent and implacable opposition to a system that appears to favour only a few,” he argued. “The recognition that the system is not working optimally for many of our people should inspire a broad-based movement for reform that works to recalibrate the present order and attune it more to the aspirations of our people.”
There have been several calls for the restructuring of the country until secessionist agitations erupted. Mr Osinbajo said he believed that reforming the country would be a viable option though costly.
“To be sure, the cost of reforming the system is considerable. But it is certainly far lower than the cost of letting the system to be destroyed in the hope that it can somehow be rebuilt from scratch,” said Mr Osinbajo. “This is a risk that we cannot afford to take as a nation.”
According to him, first, there is a need for consensus building, pointing out that “when properly agreed upon, it leads to harmony, equilibrium and stability, and generates mechanisms for pacification in political crises and conflicts.”