January 17, 2018 6.00PM / Proshare WebTV
At the recent 2018 State of the Nation broadcast at the Latter
Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare a former Vice-Presidential candidate in 2011
shared his perspective on how Nigeria can achieve restructuring.
Here are excerpts of his intervention;
Nigerians, this is why I stand on the God-inspired pathway to the New Nigeria
which I call the Pragmatic Steps to Restructuring Nigeria. I stand on this
because it is a return to the winning formula, albeit improved upon and better
this plan, Nigeria can leapfrog, within ten years, the phases of
industrialization to become a global industrial powerhouse comprised of six
geo-economic zones. North Central
North Central can optimize its mechanized agricultural potential and harness
the Niger and the Benue not just for irrigation but also for hydroponic
farming; it can become a centre of world class cattle ranching that will not
just quell the menace of herdsmen attacks, but also incubate allied
opportunities such as meat, milk and leather processing and a range of fast
moving consumer goods industries, powered by renewable energy.
zone can then transit to heavy industries, including steel manufacturing and
auto manufacturing, while also harnessing the rivers as inland waterways and
the North West can harness its vast arable land by deploying land-enhancing
technologies for mechanized agriculture and cattle ranching, while also
becoming Africa’s defence manufacturing hub.
this arrangement, the zone will then be provided sufficient competitive impetus
to revive its historical potential as a central hub in Africa’s textile
North East will have the opportunity to redefine its identity from being a
hotbed of Boko Haram to becoming a hub for cattle ranching as well as
pharmaceutical and construction industries, harnessing its unique
concentration of mineral resources such as clay, limestone and gypsum. With its
new-found liberty to develop at its own pace,
the South West region, it can revive the vision of Chief Obafemi Awolowo. The
zone will not just resuscitate its vast industrial and agro-allied
manufacturing potential; it can become a global centre for warehousing and
distribution with its world-class sea and airports. Its intellectually aware
cosmopolitan social class can become the catalysts of an African cultural
renaissance that will facilitate the rise of new genres of creative and
cultural industries. Meanwhile, within the zone, Lagos State can consolidate
its position as the African hub of global finance.
its vast oil and gas resources, currently sustains the nation’s expenditure.
Nigeria owes this region the urgent activation of the pragmatic approach to
approach will see the zone progressively obtaining autonomy over these
resources such that it can house a cluster of refineries and petrochemical
industries. In addition, it can recover from its history of environmental
degradation to harness its agro-allied industrial potential. It can also
incubate a renewable energy cluster and become an African shipping hub.
South East is home to a large population of vibrant entrepreneurs. In addition
to potentially hosting a globally competitive agro-allied and energy industrial
hub, it can, once again, break records in commerce and industry, and export to
the world, innovation, enterprise, and an energetic human resource ready to
convert opportunity anywhere in the world in the interests of our nation and
continent. With this approach, within ten years, from a near unitary structure
comprising thirty-six states, these geo-economic zones can then evolve into six
strong federating geopolitical zones and a Federal Capital Territory, roughly
mirroring the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates. Fellow Nigerians,
another important season is upon us as a nation, as a people, and as custodians
and protectors of our collective national heritage.
Way forward for Nigeria
nation should indeed be more than just a mere geographical expression: it
should be the sum total of all its peoples, joined together by shared history,
values, culture and aspiration, fused into a national ethic and an ingrained
sense of identity. Failure to embrace this wise option, brilliantly articulated
with patriotic fervour in 1947 by the sage Chief Obafemi Awolowo in his book,
Path to Nigerian Freedom, is at the root of the unfortunate challenges we face
today as a people. Indeed, there is nothing anyone, however cerebral or highly
placed, can do against the truth, but for the truth.
founding fathers embraced the challenge of nationhood in their season by
securing independence from the so-called colonial masters. Our military has
played their role, good and bad, in shaping national direction for a
considerable portion of our nationhood. The current political class has done
its part by facilitating our return to civil rule.
it is the turn of Nigerians: professionals, artisans, students, soldiers,
policemen, para-military, academics, market women, drivers, youth, both the
employed and the unemployed, as well as every Nigerian who is not an active
beneficiary of the present disorder. It is time for a DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION.
season for complaints and complacency is over. We must seize this opportune
moment to translate our collective national disappointment into a uniquely
Nigerian REBIRTH. The current political class constitute far less than one
percent of Nigeria’s voting population.
avoid engagement with the powers that have hijacked our collective patrimony is
to surrender our national 27 destiny without a fight. And as Cardinal John
Onaiyekan said: “Every citizen must be involved in politics…Only people who are
irresponsible will say they are not interested; even if you are not interested
in politics, politics will be interested in you.”
fight to reclaim and renew Nigeria begins now. Registering and obtaining a
valid voter’s card must now be a national priority. If the 2015 elections were
critical to our national survival, the 2019 polls are pivotal to our country's
future development. If power truly belongs to the people, it is time for the
silent majority to instigate REAL AND GENUINE CHANGE.
Presidential Commission for National Reconciliation
I have declared on previous occasions, what is required to kick-start this
process is the creation of a Presidential Commission for National
Reconciliation, Reintegration and Restructuring45. This commission is to be
headed by a biblical Joseph-type national figure appointed to provide visionary
leadership for the process with the support of six Zonal Commissioners.
visionary leadership will co-ordinate the implementation of master plans for
each of the six geo-economic zones. It will evolve for the nation a strong
anti-corruption-based national value system and stir up uncommon patriotic zeal
among Nigerians. It will also attract various domestic and foreign investment
packages and 28 float a social impact bond to fund development.
requisite human capacity for the economic miracle will be provided not only by
skilled Nigerians at home but also by many others based abroad through Diaspora
for Development agreements guaranteed by goodwill and fuelled by uncommon
patriotism. To facilitate the process, the National Assembly will provide the
requisite constitutional amendments within the ten years in addition to serving
as a monitoring and evaluation clearing house.
the tenth year at the latest, the systems, values and structural underlay of
the geo-economic transformation will be codified in a new constitutional
arrangement whose preamble is the Nigerian Charter for National Reconciliation
and Integration adopted by the 2014 National Conference.
new constitution will be adopted by the Nigerian people through a referendum,
such that it can genuinely lay claim to the prefix, “We the people of the
Federal Republic of Nigeria…”
a nation, we have an opportunity to rewrite our history and choose a more
prosperous future. We can choose to continue to play the ostrich or we can
decide to take up the gauntlet and face our national challenges squarely.
as Moses said to Israel in Deuteronomy 30:19 (NKJV): “I call heaven and earth
as witnesses today against you, that I have set before your life and death,
blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants
it be known, however, that the New Nigeria is like a moving train that cannot
be stopped, like a stone that will cause the wicked to stumble, and like a rock
that will make them fall; and whoever falls on this stone will be broken, but
on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder, and this nation will fulfill
have said my piece. He who has an ear to hear, let him hear: Nigeria will be
saved, Nigeria will be changed, and Nigeria will be great in my lifetime.