The Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, has said that a complete restructuring of Nigeria is needed if the country must move forward.
Makinde stated this in Awka, on Thursday, during the 12th Annual Zik Lecture.
According to the governor, over 60 years after independence, Nigeria has managed to remain indiscernible after going through the civil war and several elections.
He eulogised the late Nnamdi Azikiwe, saying that the Zik of Africa fought to ensure Nigeria remained one.
He said, “A complete restructuring of Nigeria is needed at the moment if the country must move forward. What we should be talking about right now is what structure will work best for us.
“Zik was a dynamic man who was determined to play in accordance with the time. If Zik were alive today and still able to influence Nigeria, what would he be telling us right now? One thing for sure is that Zik will not be saying that because someone from this part of the country did not win the election, therefore, Nigeria should be divided.
“What is before us is not just uniting Nigeria, but uniting Africa. I don’t think Zik will tell us to divide Nigeria. There would not have been the issue of ethnicity if we listened to what Zik told us in the past.”
He added that the reason for the high ethnicity is that governance is too concentrated in the centre.
“The reason for the high ethnicity is because governance is too concentrated in the center. We should sit down and think of what would have happened if XYZ had become the president or we look at the healthy competition between us and use it to move the country forward.
“Zik of Africa as he was fondly called was born in Zungeru, Northern Nigeria. He came from Eastern Nigeria. We can understand why he had a national outlook and why he believed in one indivisibility Nigeria.
“The year 2023, we have just risen from another election where ethnicity was used as a tool for campaign and religion was on the front burner. I was part of the G-5 governors then, who believed that the presidency should come to the southern part of Nigeria but some people said “Emi lo kan”.
“Well, this event, Zik’s annual lecture, is another opportunity for us to talk about nation-building. Zik spoke Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa. He believed that the political union of Nigeria was indiscernible.
“Today, over 60 years after independence, Nigeria has managed to remain indisputable. We went through the civil war and several elections, yet we have remained one.
“From our history and circumstances surrounding Zik’s birth, and the role he played, we shouldn’t be talking of, should we be together, of course, we are together,” the governor added.
In attendance at the event were the President of Malawi, Joyce Banda, Anambra state governor, Chukwuma Soludo, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 general elections, Peter Obi, among others.