A former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, has called for the reduction of the number of states in the country from 36 to 12 to fast track the development of the country.
Speaking yesterday at the inaugural caucus meeting of the Rescue Nigeria Project, in Abuja, Jega said the agitation for restructuring was a result of marginalisation and inequities in the management of the political affairs of the country as well as bad governance driven by incompetent, inept, inefficient and self-serving leadership among others.
“Dismantling the current 36 states structure, and reconfiguring the states into the pre-1966 regions or into six geo-political regions, or even into the 12 states of the 1976/77 period is the best way for us.
“Splitting the current 36 states into 42 is at worst an unrealistic, romantic, pipe-dream; and at best easier said than done, indeed virtually impossible to do.
“The social and political costs of such an undertaking would by far outweigh the benefits. The more states created, the more their economic viability is threatened; and the newer ‘majorities’ and ‘minorities’ emerge, with fresh demands by the ‘new minorities’ for their own states,” Jega said.
He, however, stated that the starting point of restructuring should be the equitable redistribution of power and resources from the federal government to the other tiers of government.
Earlier, a former governor of Kwara State, Abdulfatah Ahmad, emphasised the need for political parties to reinvent their ways.
He said the creation of Rescue Nigeria Project is to bring aboard leaders, across all sectors, that would provide solutions to “the critical issues facing the country in insecurity, economy and infrastructures and to foster a new direction to leadership recruitment.”