Why the North is Afraid of Restructuring – Prof. Pat Utomi
In view of the raging debate on restructuring the country to bring equity, balance and justice, Pat Utomi, a professor of political economy, says some politicians in the north are afraid of restructuring because they are uncertain about where it will lead them.
Speaking at a virtual media parley ahead of the ‘Never Again’ conference to mark 51 years after the civil war, Utomi said the north largely relies on the federal government for their share of revenue, which “has made them really unproductive”.
“There is a real crisis in the north that the south does not understand. They are painters of people who hate each other very much; that is the truth of the matter. That is why they are scared of restructuring because they don’t know where it will lead them, and outside of Nigeria, they are formless; there is no north,” he said.
Utomi, however, urged northerners to dismiss such fears, saying restructuring will help them “become productive and move away from the poverty status”.
The professor also announced the second edition of the ‘Never Again’ conference, which he said will feature Matthew Kukah, bishop of Sokoto Catholic diocese, as the keynote addresser, while former President Olusegun Obasanjo will be the special guest of honour.
He added that the conference will be chaired by Ayo Adebanjo, Afenifere leader, and Kalu Idika Kalu, a former finance minister.
“It is recalled that Nigeria fought a bitter and internecine 30-month civil war that left in its wake a sharply divided nation with mutual suspicion, hatred and resentment across racial and regional lines. An estimated one million victims were killed immediately before and during the war,” he said
“The conference will x-ray the issues that led to the civil war and the need for patriots to work together to achieve national cohesion, especially in light of several centrifugal tendencies within the polity.”