Ikokwu, Shonibare call for true federalism in Buhari’s new cabinet

Ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in a group photograph with President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo.

Following continued reports that President Muhamadu Buhari may reshuffle his cabinet any moment from now, a civil war hero and Second Republic politician, Chief Guy Ikokwu and a chieftain of Yoruba socio-cultural organistion, Afenifere, Supo Shonibare, have urged the need for the reflection of federal character in any new appointment to be made.

The duo hinged their comments on the condemnation that trailed the earlier appointments made by Mr. President, which were said to have favoured a particular section of the country.

In a separate interview with The Guardian yesterday, Ikokwu and Shonibare advised President Buhari to try as mush as he can to avoid lopsidedness in his new cabinet, saying this would make Nigeria a shining light among other African nations.

Ikokwu lamented that the nation is in an unstable state economically, politically and security wise, he then urged that it is time for the president to make the right choices to move the nation forward.

He said: “There are certain statement that the president has made that Nigeria is not dissolvable but he should understand that there is injustice and unequal playing ground for all.

“Within the two years of his administration it is time for him to access the performance of his ministers and those in his cabinet to make sure that the country move forward. The unity of this nation can only be guarantee with the essential ingredient of a level playing ground for everyone.

“There should be true federalism as it is in other part of the world where we have multifarious culture, religion affiliation and the likes. “If we have truly federal structure as our forefathers have established, Nigeria will grow faster than it is growing now and it would be a shining light for all other African countries.

“Buhari can leave this as his own legacy which in 50 years other military president have not been able to. He cannot live forever; he can only live the years that God has blessed him with.

“He should appoint those that can move the nation forward, he knows them, his wives knows them. There should be a federal character in his new appointment it shouldn’t be lopsided. People who will help him to leave an enduring legacy to move the nation forward.”

Shonibare, who opined that restructuring is the most important thing for the country at the moment advised that the president should appoint those who are federalist into his new cabinet, those that will advise him that restructuring is the best thing that can happen to the nation and keep it as one entity.

“It is the prerogative of the president to keep on reassigning people to come and join his administration. He can reshuffle at any time if he thinks it is necessary. It is his right as the president.

“However, the fundamental issue of Nigeria is restructuring. Presidents: Obasanjo, Yar’ Adua and Jonathan have tried their best. Buhari should address the issue of restructuring that has not made the country to be stable that is the most important thing to do now.

“The issue of economy is an autopilot, we need to devolve power and function so that our economy can grow. “The area that are producing all the mineral should take at least half of the value of the mineral in their geographical area and what is left should be for the region and center. The center should have less function to make it function very well.

“The president should bring in those who are federalist into his new cabinet those that will advise him that restructuring is the only thing that will keep Nigeria as one entity.”



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