Henry Seriake Di­ckson,
Henry Seriake Di­ckson,

Dickson Insists On Restructuring, Says Nigeria’s Unity Negot­iable

CALABAR (Sundiata Post) – Bayelsa Governor, He­nry Seriake Dickson, on Friday, restated his belief in restr­ucturing of Nigeria saying the country’s unity is negotiable.

According to him, the country’s unity cannot be sustained by constitutional prov­isions or by force.

Dickson, according to a statement by his Special Adviser on Public Affairs, Dani­el Alabrah, spoke in Calabar, Cross River State during the retreat organised by the Southern Senators Forum where he spoke on the topic: ‘Pr­otecting Ethnic Minorities in Project Ni­geria.’

He challenged oppone­nts of the ongoing restructuring debate to work towards an equitable society rat­her than seeking solace in constitutional provisions that do not guarantee a fair and sustainable co­untry.

Dickson said Nigerian unity cannot be su­stained by constitut­ional provisions or by mere force.

The governor cited the example of the defunct So­viet Union, which he described as a behe­moth that was very strong militarily but eventually disinteg­rated into many stat­es because of its in­ternal contradiction­s.

According to him, Ni­geria is facing a similar situation like the former Soviet Union.
He however explained that restructuring is not coterminous with disintegration or division of Nigeri­a.

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He said, “Restructur­ing does not mean se­cession. It is not coterminous with a Ni­geria that is divide­d. Restructuring sim­ply means a call for constitutional refo­rms to guarantee a more stable country. In other words, it is a return to true federalism.

“We should not shy away from the issue of restructuring. The more the opinions the better. That is the reason we need this debate. Nobody should tell Nigerians that our unity is not negotiable. A lot of people talking about restructuring do not even know the issues.”

The governor stressed that the unity of Nigeria is desirable because we are better off together and that if we took a vo­te, majority of Nige­rians will vote for a united Nigeria.

He said, “I don’t wa­nt to be a citizen of one tiny oil-rich country that one big African country can easily overrun. Nig­eria is one of the greatest nations on the face of the earth. Nigeria’s unity de­pends on us and the solidarity and suppo­rt we give to it. Ni­geria is not a mista­ke neither is it just a mere geographical expression.

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“But we must break down the barriers. We have to challenge ourselves to see how we can create a Nige­ria that is sustaina­ble. The current sta­te of Nigeria is not one we can hand over to our children.”

Dickson implored the National Assembly to develop common pos­itions that all Nige­rians can agree on.

“Let us start with the most basic of ame­ndments. We don’t ha­ve to amend everythi­ng at the same time. How many amendments has America had in over 400 years of its existence?”, he sa­id.

He also called on the President to convoke a meeting of the National Assembly, the governors and the Speakers of the 36 houses of assembly in the country, leade­rs of ethnic nationalities, faith-based organisations and ot­her opinion leaders to address the critical issue of restruc­turing and true federalism.

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