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Politicians understand restructuring only when they are not in office — Soyinka

March 1, 2024

 

Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka said politicians understand the term restructuring only when they are not in office but turn to something else when they assume office.

Soyinka stated this while speaking at the Punch 50th anniversary lecture in Lagos on Thursday.

He said, “Politicians understand the terms when they are not in office but turn to something else when they assume office.

It is the same thing with reconstruction, and it is time to look into it because it is not a slogan. I don’t like to use the word restructuring.”

Meanwhile, the Nobel Laureate urged government at all levels to desist from taking the Nigerian people for a ride, and bridge the gap between leaders and the led.

Soyinka insisted that the government ought to be close to the people.

His words, “It’s about time leaders stop taking us for a ride so that the government can come close to the people.

“We don’t want the nation to break, the nation is breaking informally. Let nations die so that humanity may live.”

According to the Nobel Laureate, decentralisation of the federal government power is the best way to maximise development in Nigeria.

He said Nigerian leaders “recognise the importance” of decentralisation “until they get into power” and abandon it.

He added that “palliatives are temporary stop-gap policies that do not reach the heart of the problem” noting that only “decentralised development” can help.

Soyinka added that decentralisation will bring power closer to the people, noting that “productivity can really be manifested as a product of citizens, not simply as a manna from heaven.”

“What do you mean by restructuring? Well, I don’t even like the word restructuring. I use, I prefer expressions like reconfiguration and decentralisation,” he said.

“Everybody can grasp that, decentralisation. And those who lead, recognise the necessity of it. They recognise the importance, almost the inevitability of it until they get into power, yes, that’s the difference.

“Reconfiguration, decentralisation, all these are necessary to maximise development. We speak about food hunger, which is real, but palliatives are temporary stop-gap policies that do not reach the heart of the problem, which is why we must decentralise development as massively as possible.

It’s about time, I think leaders, stopped taking this nation for a ride, you know, we must decentralise. Security, you know, has become a burden to bear. From all corners of the nation, that is the crime.

“Decentralised so that government can come closer to the people, and productivity can really be manifested as a product of citizens, not simply as a manna from heaven. That is the attitude obtained at the moment.

“I know the fear. The fear is collapse, break up. That’s been the excuse given by several regimes. But suppose the nation is breaking up informally, in other words, as a fact rather than as a theory.”

 

 

 

Vanguard

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