By Emmanuel Oloniruha
The Chief Executive Officer, Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN), Dr Patrick Dakum, says after 61 years of democracy, Nigeria has reasons to thank God for remaining an indivisible country.
Dakum in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja said it was great that Nigerians still remained one at 61, as many countries had broken up before attaining that age.
Dakum, however, said that in terms of achieving the aims of the nation’s forefathers who struggled for the independence, Nigeria still remained a journey, yet to arrive its destination.
“So, for me, I thinking the goal of our fore fathers in coming together as a Nigeria is still a work in progress. We can run faster than what we have now. There is still a lot to be done.
“But, in terms of being a united country, we have every reason to say thank God we are still one country call Nigeria.
“At the earlier part of Nigeria, we went through civil war and we bounced back as one united country.
“This means that the decision to stay together have to be decided by war and internal strives and we over came them and now looking forward.
“Our fore fathers will be happy that we are still one country but probably they may not be happy to be where we are in terms of development.
“They will expect that we will have gone farther than this,” Dakum said.
Assessing the leadership of Nigeria since independent, Dakum said the country had gone through different leaders with different shortcomings and achievements, but Nigeria could do better.
He said that Nigeria had had various leaders since independence, noting that leadership could be measured in its domains by the problems it faced and the development achieved.
The former Programme Adviser, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)- Bauchi, said that while every leader of the country had their own share of problems, issue of insecurity and economy were the two major challenges confronting the present leadership.
“Those are very germane in ranking leaders. My definition of leader is someone who knows the way, goes the way and show the way to other people and there is still a lot of work to do.”
On how Nigeria could handle various agitations for restructuring and secession, Dakum said that restructuring, especially the security architecture of Nigeria was not negotiable.
He said that restructuring was not about dividing the country into different places, but rearranging the governance structure in such a way that would produce better results.
“So, if you want to talk about restructuring the first thing we must do is to first decide the outcome that we are expecting in a restructuring processes.
“Do you think if we now go back to the provinces and give them autonomy that will help? The answer is No.
“For example, do we want to go back to western, eastern, northern and middle belts? Is that what we want or do we want to go for geo-political zones? That is not the answer,“ he said.
The former Regional Programme Manager, Center for Development and Population Activity (CEDPA) – USAID, said that there were countries much bigger than Nigeria, such as China and USA, that were not thinking of restructuring in that sense.
“The restructuring that we want is one that needs a better management of the current federation units that we have.
“There is absolutely no where the security of this country would be addressed if we do not restructure the security architecture.
“Meaning that we cannot run away from state police. For me, Dr Dakum, I even want us to go below that.
“ I want us to have local government policing system in a way that is going to be what we had when we were growing up.
“In the United States even a university has its own police structure.
“The position of the Inspector-General of Police should be advertised to let the person that has the better credential be employed. In that situation, you measure him by the outcome.
“Police is done at the state level it cannot be done at the federating unit,” he said. (NAN)