Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has debunked the notion that the North is against restructuring, saying a restructured Nigeria will take the country to greater heights.
Addressing participants at a 3-day lecture organised by Political Academy, Shagamu, Ogun State under the leadership of a former governor of the state, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, Atiku said he had been able to convince northern leaders on the need to restructure the country.
At the 3-day workshop with the theme, “Deepening Understanding Of The Nigerian Political Environment,” which ended on Thursday, Atiku, who is aspiring to take his fourth shot at the presidency in 2019, revealed that he had engaged the services of consultants on the contentious issue.
“I have engaged consultants to work on the issue of restructuring and ensure that no part of the country is cheated with restructuring.
“The North is not opposed to restructuring. For instance, our government passed a law when I was the Vice President of the country that all children must be educated to secondary school.
“With restructuring, states and local governments would be compelled to ensure this is done. It will not be the responsibility of the Federal Government then.
“I will sit with the state governments and members of the National Assembly on the need to work on our constitution to ensure proper distribution of wealth in the country,” he said.
He said, “I am a product of the First Republic and I had free education, and my local government sponsored my primary and secondary education.”
On agriculture, Atiku stated that what Nigeria needed was a dual system, where the country would combine subsistence farming with commercial farming.
He said, “Our agriculture has been on subsistence level through small scale farming. The highest potential we recorded in the country was during the First Republic, when we had subsistence and commercial farming.
“Unless we do commercial farming, we will not be successful in food production. Commercial farming would lead to surplus in food production that would help us in having enough and export agricultural products.”
The former vice president said if elected, his government would allow private organisations to be key players in the area of infrastructure development.