Thursday 4th August, 2016.
Former Head of State, retired Gen. Yakubu Gowon, says there is nothing wrong with restructuring the country provided it is done within one Nigeria context. Gowon stated this when Sen. Shehu Sani, the Vice-Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja on Wednesday.
Reacting to calls by some Nigerians to restructure the country, Gowon said there was nothing wrong with restructuring. He recalled that Nigeria was restructured under his leadership as the head of state with the creation of states in 1967.
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``We can restructure within one Nigeria context. I did it in 1967; we created states to stop eastern Nigeria from seceding. ``We had to do something to ensure the fear of their seceding did not exist; a serious issue of a part of the country wanting to breakaway when we already lost a part to Cameroon.
Gowon, through a broadcast in 1967, announced the creation of 12 states; which are, North-Western, North-Eastern, Kano and North-Central states. Others are, Benue-Plateau, Kwara, Western, Lagos, Mid-Western, Rivers (a South-Eastern state), East-Central and East-Central states.
The former head of state added that the call for true federalism by some Nigerians was also not a bad idea, as long as it was done within the context of the nation’s unity. ``What is true federalism? As long as it means respect for oneness of our country, it is alright, but if it means to breakaway, it is not my way of thinking’’, he said.