The secretary of the group, Bashorun Arogbofa, told PREMIUM TIMES on Friday in a telephone interview that the Boko Haram and almajiri phenomena would not have existed if the country was properly structured to tackle all the problems now facing it.
Mr. Shettima had on Thursday downplayed the agitations for the restructuring of the country, saying it was a “madness” that could be stopped by good governance.
Mr. Shettima, who spoke at the launching of the book “On a Platter of Gold,” by former Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Bolaji Abdullahi, in Abuja, said if jobs were created and the economy made better, the calls for restructure would stop.
“People are talking about artificial intelligence, other nations are talking about nano technology or robotics engineering but unfortunately, the topical issue in Nigeria is restructuring. Restructuring my foot! To hell with restructuring,” he said.
“Let us improve on governance, let us work for the people, invest in education, create jobs for our people, this madness will stop.”
Mr. Arogbofa, who also authored a book on restructuring, titled, “Nigeria-The Path We Refused to Take,” said Mr. Shettima did not have the understanding of the meaning of restructuring.
“If he said all those things it means he didn’t understand the meaning of restructuring,” he said.
“Because if he understood the meaning of restructuring, he would have known that it would ensure the development of the country and move the nation forward. He would have known that it was the way forward for the country and meant respective for one another.
“With restructuring we can grow and use our initiative and the issue of all powerful centre in the federation will not be there. Where children will be given the right type of education.
“It was the absence of restructuring that indirectly led to Boko Haram and almajiris going here and there. If restructuring had taken place, those who are ruling them would have known that education mattered most for the development of the individuals and they would have taken the children to schools.
“So, I don’t think the governor understood the meaning of restructuring.”
“Are we saying that the country should break? No! Afenifere doesn’t want that, but we want every component of the country to be able to live comfortably within its own means and each part to grow at its own pace and develop its own wealth.”
Also, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, South East socio-political group, also chastised the Borno State Governor for his comments, saying he is only “begging the issue.”
The spokesman for the group, Uche Achi-Okpaga, said the process of restructuring had been ongoing for a long time and the present call for restructuring should not be seen as a strange thing.
“Restructuring is something you cannot avoid,” Mr. Achi-Okpaga said. “We either restructure peacefully or restructure in pieces.”
According to him, when states were created, it was a kind of restructuring and no one should be scared of it because it would help the country to become better.
He further said those who are resisting restructuring “know the truth, but are scratching the surface to create distractions.”
“But the truth is always there and you cannot run away from it,” he added.