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Prof. Bonny Ibhawoh of the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, McMaster University, Canada has advised against restructuring that would weaken the powers of the central government.
Ibhawoh gave the warning  in Abuja at the 2017 National Convention of the Immaculate Conception College Old Boys Association (ICCOBA).
The lecturer, also an old boy of the college spoke at the convention lecture titled, he said: “The Quest for National Unity in Nigeria: Options and Possibilities”.
“My problem with the national debate now is that everyone is talking about restructuring and federalism and I think the consensus is that we need true federalism.



“But what I don’t hear enough of is how do we achieve that in such a way that it doesn’t threaten the viability of the Nigerian state.
“And I think it can be done, you can have true federalism but create enough in the centre that there is an incentive to belong and that is what the conversation should be.
“Right now it’s a one sided conversation because everyone is saying just restructure, federalism which I support. We also have to think about how we do that in a way that does not undermine the integrity of the nation.”
He traced the origin of the unitary system of government to the era of late Maj.-Gen. Aguiyi Ironsi, adding that the regional system practiced prior to the introduction was a true federal system.
According to him, that only changed under the military regime to keep the country together because of fear that the country is in the process of disintegrating.
“So, there was a reason why we got to this place and in order to go back to where we were which we agree might be an ideal place, we have to address how we left that position.
“We need to talk about concerns of the federal system, how it will weaken the centre and what structure to put in place to make it viable even under a federal system,” he said.
ICCOBA Abuja Branch President Mr Frank Omagbon, said the quest for national unity was a collective responsibility, adding that the theme of the convention was apt.
He said the choice of the theme was as a result of events in some parts of the country that had threatened the corporate existence of the country.

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