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Lawyers divided over restructuring

‘I am yet to know what they’re restructuring’ – Barr. Mohammed Fawehinmi

 ‘It’s okay, but we need to get the modalities right’ – Barr. Toyin Bamgbose

The clamour for restructuring which has been a subject of national discourse before the present administration came on board on October  still remains an item on the lips of many Nigerians home and abroad as claims of marginalisation, neglect and uneven distribution of national resources have become mostly the reasons for agitations by various tribes, especially the people from the south-south and the southeast to succeed.

The issue which is yet to get proper attention by the President Muhammad Buhari led administration is still giving some concerned citizens sleepless nights. And while many believe in the restructuring of the country so that all the issues forming the basis of the campaign for secession will be addressed and the country will remain united, others are yet to believe in the idea as such meetings in the past never yielded the desired result.

However, has sought the opinions of few lawyers, but they didn’t speak in one voice on the issue.

According to Barr Mohammed Fawehinmi, he’s still beclouded with what’s to be restructured. So, he can’t support the clamour yet. He, however, stated categorically that the said restructuring is not an exclusive reserve of the Senate as being addressed by many within and outside the political system of the country.

“When we know what’s to be restructured, then I can decide. The Senate is just a partial participant in the issue of restructuring. It’s an all-encompassing issue. (a) The National Assembly as a whole would be involved. (b) The executive would be involved. (c) By way of a test, the Judiciary too would be involved. The people too would be involved. So, it definitely not the role of the Senate alone.”

In her submission, an Abuja based lawyer, Barrister Toyin Bamgbose-Falaye lent her voice behind the call but urged Nigerians and the government to work on the appropriate modalities that can guarantee the success of the exercise.

“I support restructuring, but we need to get the modalities right.The way we have been going about it at the moment will not yield any positive result just like the CONFAB that hasn’t yielded many results since it was put in place.

“If we can align the issue, some people are truly marginalised in this country. We just have to go back to the drawing board and restructure the country once and for all.

“The restructuring ‘saga’ as I call it is basically clamouring for equity in the resources distribution and governance. People believe that those who are even contributing mostly to the economy of the country are the ones suffering the most. So, the Senate seems to have taken over the deliberations on the issue and this is not out of place because the people are of the opinion that whatever they deliberate upon should be adopted as the decisions of the whole people. But looking at it legally, the Senate represents the decision making body since they also make laws. So, the people have to trust the deliberations of their representatives in the Senate as this representation already covers people from each senatorial district. The representatives – the Senate and House of Reps can, however, have town hall meetings in their various spheres of contact to feel the heartbeats of their people and then present their suggestions, deliberations and decisions on the floor of the Senate and the house to achieve the clamour for the restructuring. So, it takes a little longer process.”




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