Opinion: Restructuring of Nigeria in structuralists philosophy —

By Auwal Muhammad

There have been efforts by many Nigerians on the need to restructure the country.

The advocates of this thinking believe that the only way to address the country’s problems is via restructuring.

For this category of people, Nigeria has, since inception, been formed on a wrong footing which dates back to 1914’s amalgamation.

It is important to stress that the narrative of restructuring would hardly go unchallenged.

This creates another group of Nigerians who do not see restructuring as an answer to our dear country.

To this group, Nigeria should experiment with Vico’s intellectual insight tagged the ‘physics of man’.

According to this view men have ‘created themselves’ and that the ‘the world of civil society has been made by men, and that its principles are therefore to be found within the modifications of our own mind’.

Godoy also supports the idea of change of attitude for he quotes a European diplomat who says that as long as the Americans don’t change their attitude towards the regions, there’s no space here for truth or for hope.

This should be a case for Nigeria.

The notion of restructuring of Nigeria is completely not a viable agenda if it is examined within the context of structuralists thinking.

Semantic wise, the term restructuring connotes a structure. It also implies that Nigeria as a country is a structure which can be re-fixed through structural modification and not via modifications of human minds.

In structuralism, the concept structure, we should note, can be elusive, and we ought to give it closer examination.

Piaget argues that structure can be observed in an arrangement of entities which embodies three fundamental ideas.

These are: the idea of wholeness, the idea of transformation and the idea of self-regulation.

It therefore means that structuralism is fundamentally a way of thinking about the world which is predominantly concerned with perception and description of structures. Does the idea of wholeness apply to Nigeria as a structural entity?

The answer should be yes if the idea of wholeness implies a sense of internal coherence.

Wholeness, according to Piaget, refers to arrangement of entities and that this arrangement should be complete in itself and not something that is simply a composite formed of otherwise independent elements.

The constituent parts of every structure- in our own case Nigeria- should conform to a set of intrinsic laws which determine its nature and theirs.

Thus a structure is quite different from an aggregate. I think this is where the advocates of restructuring of Nigeria got it wrong.

This is because the structure, unlike aggregate, is not static, and the laws which govern it act so as to make it not only structured, but structuring.

Thus, we could argue that Nigeria is not only structured but also in the process of structuring.

Suffice it to say that the idea of wholeness warrants us to see Nigeria as a structure that is always in the process of structuring hence restructuring doesn’t have place in and can’t apply to Nigeria.

Again, the idea of transformation is a clear testimony that restructuring of Nigeria is not possible.

How? The idea of transformation is that which gives Nigeria an active form. Piaget argues that in order to avoid reduction to the level merely of passive form, the structure must be capable of transformational procedures, whereby new material is constantly processed by and through it.

The implication of this proposition to Nigeria as a structure is that, it must be allowed to exploit its inherent capacity to undergo structural transformation.

It doesn’t require the intervention of a single entity within or outside it to transform.

The idea of selfregulation is relevant in justifying the claim.

Every structure is capable of self-regulation in the sense that it makes no appeals beyond itself in order to validate its transformational procedures.

The transformations, according to Piaget, act to maintain and underwrite the intrinsic laws which bring them about, and to ‘seal off ’ the system from reference to other systems.

Based on this idea, it is clear that Nigeria cannot be restructured for it is characteristically a closed system whose elements are governed by general laws which determine the status of each and every individual item it contains.

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Worthy of note is that the advocates of restructuring are also part of the structure who cannot independently restructure the country but only reorganize it.

In conclusion, it is clear that the above ideas make the restructuring of Nigeria impossible.

Restructuring is and cannot be the right and appropriate agenda in reorganizing the country.

And if reorganization is not a viable option Nigerians should try the other option of change of attitude towards the country. Long live Nigeria.

Read the Source post on Daily Times Nigeria.