Nigeria @60: How we can remain one — Nigerians

Returning to parliamentary, regional system is way forward — Amaechi, Nwodo, Onyike…Restructure Nig for good governance, justice, equity, fairness

…New constitution that guarantees referendum

…Parliamentary system of govt, state police, true federalism

…Outlaw ethnicity, nepotism, discrimination

…General Abdulsalami Abubakar, Edwin Clark; General I B M Haruna, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Afenifere, Middle Belt Forum and Arewa Consultative Forum speak

The regional fathers from the North, the South, the East and the West, in their wisdom some years back decided to give out their beautiful maidens in marriage to a suitor who looked promising.

Living under the same roof in the Nigeria House, the marriage which started on a happy note soon began to witness hiccups which graduated into loud complaints of injustice, unfair treatment and marginalisation by the head of the family. They are therefore crying to return to their fathers’ houses arguing that the union is no longer working and the best is to go their separate ways.

There is disquiet in the house. The East wants to go back home to Biafra, the West desires to have Oduduwa republic, the South want their own Niger Delta Federation while some Northern elements are agitating for Arewa nation.

For three and a half years, Nigeria fought a civil war that claimed many lives and in the midst of the war, the slogan,”to keep Nigeria one is a task that must be done”, was on the lips of many. The war ended, the country remained one geographical entity but events thereafter indicated that the task to keep Nigeria one was a difficult one as some components of the country started agitating to break away.

In order to save the house from imminent collapse, some people are calling for restructuring of the entire arrangement or what some prefer to describe as fiscal federalism. Some are also suggesting a roundtable conference where a decision should be taken whether the various components of the union could still live together under the same roof or negotiate a new relationship.

Notwithstanding the cries of marginalization, oppression and suppression, complaints of neglect, lack of fairness and equity amidst several challenging issues that are threatening the continued existence of the nation, many have expressed optimism that the country will not break. As Nigeria therefore celebrated 60 years of nationhood last Thursday, the citizens took stock of the journey so far and shared their thoughts on what they believe should be done to keep Nigeria one.

Eminent Nigerians, elder statesmen, lawyers, activists, clerics who bared their minds on what should be done to make all the federating units to continue to live together as one include, former head of state, General Abdulsalami Abubakar; South South Leader, Chief Edwin Kiagbodo Clark; General I B M Haruna; Ohanaeze Ndigbo; Afenifere; Middle Belt Forum and Arewa Consultative Forum.

By Emma Amaize, Regional Editor, South-South, Sam Oyadongha, Henry Umoru, Wole Mosadomi, Ike Uchechukwu, Davies Iheamnachor and Perez Brisibe

Former Federal Commissioner for Information and South South Leader, Chief Edwin Kiagbodo Clark said, “the unity of Nigeria depends upon the restructuring of Nigeria or return to 1960/63 Constitution. Nigerians should keep themselves as equal citizens, no one should regard himself or herself as superior to another and if not, then we have no country. Also, all Nigerians should be allowed to practice his own religion, no religion should be imposed on the rest of the country.”

In his own submission, former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, said, ”for Nigeria to continue to remain as one, the leadership must ensure that there is equity and justice and make sure that there is equal representation as we move ahead. The Political class must muster the courage to go back to the archives and sieve the reports of the previous Constitutional Conferences and begin to implement the various aspects of the recommendations that have been made. It is best for Nigeria to remain as one because it is only by so doing that we can make an impact in world politics and in ensuring that we represent the black nation in the world”.

Also speaking on how we can keep Nigeria one, former Federal Commissioner for Information and Culture and Ex-Chairman, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) General I B M Haruna (retd) said, “We can keep Nigeria one by having hope and faith in the nation building as well as secure, civilized and peaceful country held together by forward looking and committed leadership of visionary and sincere elites.”

Nigeria not created to be united – Annkio Briggs, activist

Environmental and human rights activist, Annkio Briggs, asserted: “At 60 years old, Nigeria is displaying the tragic effects of the limited company that Lord Lugard created because the unity of Nigeria remains a false rhetoric until there is liberty, equity and justice. We, the people of the Niger Delta and collectively of southern Nigeria and in this era, the Middle Belt should no longer own the responsibility of keeping Nigeria united because it was not created to be united. Nigeria was created to keep the wealthy indigenous and ethnic nationalities of southern Nigeria boxed in, politically and economically oppressed, with the information that with false and rigged census figures that the north of Nigeria is the majority.

I call on the indigenous ethnic nationalities of the south to find out from themselves what they want, do they want to stay on in Nigeria and if the majority say yes, then the next question should be how they want to achieve that. For us in the Niger Delta, our responsibility is not the unity of Nigeria that is the equal responsibility of all 36 states. The responsibility of Niger Delta indigenous ethnic nationalities is our unity, security, development, growth, ownership, control and management of our resources and future,” she stated.

Things broken down irretrievably – Ambakederimo, S’South opinion leader

Convener, South- South Reawakening Group, SSRG, Joseph Ambakederimo, indicated: “The masses who are poor are the same everywhere from Agge to Nguru to Obulafor to Baga to Okitipupa and so on. We have thrown away love and respect overboard. The values and morals have all broken down irretrievably. We do not have a modern Nigeria yet, therefore, there is no one of our past and present leaders we can refer to as the father of modern Nigeria. The religious houses have failed woefully to show the path to the people to imbibe the values of old and when this happens as it is presently happening, it shows that something is missing and we all need to put our thinking caps on to begin to do things differently and have a fresh thinking and take the path of a new direction”.

No society can make it without justice, equity- Dr. Tonye, ex-Delta lawmaker

Former lawmaker representing Patani constituency in Delta State House of Assembly, Dr. Timi Tonye, said: “For Nigeria to move ahead, there are basically two principles upon which a progressive and prosperous nation should stand and Nigeria seems to be short of these principles and needs to do more in the actualization of these principles as the country clocks 60. The country needs to do more on the principle of justice, equity and fairness as well as strict adherence to the laws that every society have set for herself. No society can progress in the absence of justice, equity and fairness and no society can progress in an environment of selective obedience of her laws.”

Justice, merit, equity mislaid – Deeyah, KAGOTE president

President of KAGOTE, an apex sociocultural group in Ogoni ethnic nationality in Rivers state, Emmanuel Deeyah, said: “To keep the unity of this nation, the leadership of this country should develop the attitude of being honest with the people. They should not throw away ethnicity and merit. Merit and justice must be there for the nation to remain as one. Anything justiciable is beneficial to all parts and regions of the nation. But, justice, merit and equity are totally missing in this country. The president has not done well in carrying all sections of the country along. Marginalization is not just the only problem in the nation, but we have the problem of insecurity. The government has failed in the protection of lives and property of the country. It is the issue of failure of leadership, we need justice, merit and equity to remain united”.

Wandering for too long – Wills, IPA president

Speaking at Yenagoa, capital of Bayelsa state, President, Ijaw Professionals Association, IPA, (Homeland chapter), Barrister Iniruo Wills, declared: “The first step to keep Nigeria as a united entity is simple good governance to enhance nation building which has been too long adrift in Nigeria. Second, let us start the process of making unto ourselves a Constitution, to enable us resume nation building, a project abandoned since the mid-70s if not earlier.”

How to avert breakup – Omare, ex-IYC president, Ekerefe, spokesperson

Former president, Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, Eric Omare averred: “What needs to be done to avert Nigeria disintegrating is to address the persistent agitations of Nigerians prominent among which is the demand for restructuring to allow Nigerians develop at their pace, instead of the present anti-development and suffocating federalism. Restructuring in my view seems to be the way forward, let the different parts of the country develop at their own pace and decide how they want to go about their development”

National spokesman of the IYC, Comrade Ebilade Ekerefe, told Saturday Vanguard: “There must be a conscious effort by the political leadership of this country to treat every region equally, fairly and justly. However, this can only be done through restructuring. The country is divided along ethno-religious lines more than ever before and this is not a good signal to achieving a united Nigeria.

The agitation by the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPoB, is gradually becoming an inferno that needs to be addressed. Boko Haram terrorism is becoming uncontrollable, banditry and Fulani herdsmen are becoming the new norm. There is poverty and job unemployment on the land, corruption is institutionalized and the economy is really in a bad shape. These factors suggest the affirmative that the country is drifting into a failed state and the only way out is restructuring.”

Wrong priorities – Bishop Isong, PFN scribe

Secretary, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, Bishop (Dr) Emma Isong, told Saturday Vanguard at Calabar, Cross River state: “Nigerians are hungry and they need to feed well first, then government must strive to provide an enabling environment for employment and for businesses to grow. If there is adequate security where citizens can move around without molestation and do their businesses, a lot would change about our economy. If there is employment, no nepotism and tribalism and Nigerians can have jobs and the security is okay, nothing can make us want to separate.”

Peaceful dissolution, restructuring ways forward – Prof Darah

By Jimitota Onoyume

Professor Godini Darah, former Chairman Guardian Editorial board, said peaceful dissolution and restructuring were the twin ways out of the woods. According to him, “after 45 years in the trenches,I don’t want to talk about Nigerian unity again. The conquering Fulani Caliphate will never stop oppressing and looting Nigeria. I am committed to the dissolution of Nigeria through Restructuring to be followed by the emergence of NIGER DELTA FEDERATION.

By Marie-Therese Nanlong

Emmanuel Zopmal, President, Middle Belt Youth Council

The only way we can keep Nigeria one is when the people are allowed to operate the type of constitution that is best for them.

The concentration of political power at the centre which favors only one section of the country cannot hold this country together. There is bound to be constant friction all over the country. A benefiting Constitution can prune many problems we are facing today. The structure of the Nigerian state is imbalanced. The only way to get out of it is to rework the system based on shared interests and values of the people.

When people of differing values and culture are annexed together, there is a tendency for suppression and marginalization of the weaker one. This is the major cause of religious, ethnic and regional conflict. It is even the structural imbalance that breeds the incompetence of the security apparatuses. So how can one expect something like one Nigeria when social indexes are not fixed? Our Constitution should reflect the yearnings of the people. That’s the only way we can keep Nigeria one.”

By Dapo Akinrefon

Pa Ayo Adebanjo, a chieftain of the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere was of the view that practicing true federalism remains the only way that will keep Nigeria a united country. Adebanjo said: “there is no other way to keep Nigeria united except we practice true federalism. That is the only way to keep Nigeria one. If you also want to keep Nigeria united, we must have a constitution that everyone agrees to, it does not need any sermon.”

By Anayo Okoli.

Prince Uche Achi-Okpaga, Acting Secretary General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo

To keep Nigeria one requires that we must abide by the rule of law and equality of persons and ethnic groups. The President is yet to retract his earlier statement that national interest takes precedence over the rule of law. Plausibly, until we relegate ethnicity in national considerations we cannot forge ahead progressively as one Nigeria”.

National President of Association of South East Town Unions, ASETU, Chief Emeka Diwe

Achieving one Nigeria requires going back to the drawing board as the foundation of Nigeria is faulty, defective and fraudulent. The constitution which serves as the basis for our corporate existence never emanated from our collective agreement as ethnic nationalities to live together. We must first renegotiate Nigeria and redefine the terms for our continued existence, so that the constitution can become an embodiment of the resolutions, decisions and terms so defined by us. Second, the logic of federalism implies that no part of the federating units can become so powerful as to impose itself on the rest of the units. But the Northern elements, particularly the Fulani, are today standing this logic on its head.

READ ALSO: Niger Delta activist condemns attack on Zulum’s convoy

What we have is a quasi-unitary system. All the agencies, security establishments and key institutions in the country are headed by people from one part of the country. This path they have chosen only leads to anarchy and fans the embers of secession. Nigeria of today has so loudly become a symbol of injustice for our people. This does not support one Nigeria.

Worse still, Fulani herdsmen who daily murder our poor and defenceless men and women in the rural areas never get arrested. No country thrives on preserving sacred cows and butchering other ostensible citizens. To have genuine unity, there must be remorse, restitution and recompense. The leadership recruitment criteria in Nigeria must change completely. The reign of corrupt ethnic jingoists and tribal champions in the political space has further divided the country and cannot achieve one Nigeria.

Coalition of South East Youth Leaders, COSEYL

In a country where nepotism and favoritism in government appointments is the order of the day to the detriment of merit and federal character, one Nigeria will be difficult to achieve. The present leadership of the Federal government is leading the country to its grave by its actions, such as not carrying other geopolitical zones along in its appointments. How can we have one Nigeria when the President appointed all the nation’s security chiefs from one region and has been adamant to change them despite non performance? He has simply told other geopolitical zones that they are not part and parcel of Nigeria. With the mindset of President Buhari, one Nigeria will continue to elude us. One Nigeria could only be achieved in an environment of equity and justice, where every citizen feels belonged.

By Peter Duru, Makurdi

National President, Mdzough U Tiv, Chief Iorbee Ihagh

There is an urgent need for the convocation of a Sovereign National Conference which will bring together all the ethnic nationalities in Nigeria which they claim are about 250 but I know that there are more than 5000 tribes in this country. We were forced together by the British colonialists, so let us get together, sit down and talk so that we can genuinely be one. I think that is the only thing that will help keep us as one. Also, the killings that are going on in the country must be stopped. This is the only country where herdsmen go about with AK47 riffle and killing innocent farmers and nobody is saying anything about it. The impression is that they are enjoying the protection of the President. Even in Benue they have killed our people and burnt down our homes including mine but no one is saying anything about their activities. So going forward we need a leader in this country who will be leader of all and not that of an ethnic group just as Nigerians think of their current president.

By Charly Agwam – Bauchi

Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Bauchi, Rev. Joshua Maina

The country must begin to practice true federalism where power would be given to the component states to encourage competition and growth. If we want to practice federalism, we should practice true federalism the way USA does. It should be a system where the component states contribute to the federal government and not the other way round where states are handed money at the mercy of the federal government. Honestly, what we call federalism isn’t working. It is people who benefit from the system that want the nation to continue the way it is.

By Femi Bolaji

Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chieftain, Andeta’rang Irammae

Nigeria needs a visionary leader to remain one. If we can produce a purposeful leader with vision, those agitations from various segments of the country will cease. Moreover, we should stop paying lip service to justice and equity. We must connect the dots because what is good for the North should also be good for the people in the South. Successive governments have either refused or ignored the call. So moving forward, everything should be done justly to avoid agitations.

BuhariPresident Muhammadu Buhari saluting NIgerians while reviewing the parade on a motorcade during a low-key event to mark the 60th Independence Anniversary at the Eagle Square, Abuja. Photo by Abayomi Adeshida 01/10/2020

By Ibrahim Hassanwuyo

Comrade Issa Aremu, labour leader

Nigeria is already one! All we need to keep it one is to walk the national anthem. Arise, O compatriots, Nigeria’s call obey. To serve our fatherland, with love and strength and faith.

Alhaji Ibrahim Gambo Gujungu, President, Arewa Youth Forum

Nigeria will be one and united if the issue of insecurity is resolved. The establishment of regional security outfits and clamour for state police, are not favourable for Nigeria’s unity. The centre should truly hold and every state must get its due from the national resources. Also,there shouldn’t be nepotism in the land and appointments must be on merit and not by patronage.

Rev John Joseph Hayab, Chairman, CAN, Kaduna State

As people of faith we believe God has a divine reason for bringing Nigerians together and we have a responsibility to keep Nigeria one. We must teach and practice honest patriotism to our children, family, faith communities and the society at large. Many of our leaders are not demonstrating any honest life style when it comes to our national role or responsibility. We must make everyone see nation building as everybody’s business. Nigeria belongs to all of us including that man at your gate, your driver and those artisans by the road side.

Make everyone see and believe his contribution is needed and important. It is only when everyone knows that he is valued and appreciated that the journey of our country to oneness will become real to them. Religion, ethnicity and region has also done so much damage to our country’s oneness. Many people see themselves first as people of their faith, tribe and region before becoming Nigerians. As a Christian I know I was first a Nigerian before I gave my life to Christ and became a Christian. Our children are registered at birth with a Nigeria birth certificate before they know any tribe or region. We need to champion this truth loudly. I have hope and firm believe that Nigeria is designed by God to be a united strong entity but we must all work honestly together to keep her one.

Emmanuel Yawe, ACF National Publicity Secretary

If Nigeria is to be one, we must consider all her citizens as Nigerians. We must give that priority over ethnic, regional and religious identities. We must create equal opportunities for all Nigerians without discrimination in terms of education and employment.

By Egufe Yafugborhi

Ledum Mitee, lawyer, former President, Movement for Survival of Ogoni People, MOSOP

The task of keeping Nigeria together lies primarily in the hands of its rulers. As our experience has shown that the country is more divided when the leadership is discriminatory in its policies and actions, I believe treating every Nigerian equally and dispensing justice to every person without favouritism and nepotism would be the starting point.

Zik Gbemre, Coordinator, Niger Delta Peace Coalition, NDPC

All that is required is good governance, and the people should demand for it. Good governance encapsulates everything, from accountability, obedience to rule of law, social justice, to prudent use of the nation’s collective wealth for the good of all. Good governance will drastically reduce evident poverty and lack in the land, all unnecessary agitations by the people that are tearing the nation apart. Politicians are capitalising on the poverty in the land, which they deliberately inflict on the people to sustain the status quo that is apparently in their favour. Until we have good governance, Nigeria is going nowhere.

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers

We must resolve to take the right step to institutionalise necessary constitutional and political systems that will enable us build a free, sovereign, democratic and functional nation. Our founding fathers envisioned a nation with due regards to our diversities with visionary enthusiasm, providing basic building blocks for sustaining a united, peaceful and prosperous Nigeria with a functional constitution.

No one part or region was deliberately denied against what was due to it. No ethnic nationality was politically and economically favoured unduly above all others by the central government. Under this arrangement, Nigeria thrived on peaceful, progressive path. Unfortunately, the fundamental principles of negotiated constitutional regional autonomy and federal government were blatantly jettisoned”

By Umar Yusuf

Chief Josua Abuh, former Executive Director, Mobilisation, National Orientation Agency Restructuring that is much agitated for by some sections of the country will not solve the nation’s problems, those agitating for a break up or restructuring the country should drop the idea for the country to remain as an indivisible entity. Instead, there should be dialogue, understanding, peaceful co existence among the diverse ethnic nationalities that make up Nigeria for us to forge as an indivisible, stronger and virile nation.

If we restructure the country hundred times, the problems we are facing now will remain with us. Division will not help to solve the country’s woes, since we have endured to live together for 60 years, we should endure to remain together and find ways of solving our teething problems. There is no problem that has no solution as long as there is the will to solve it”

If it is insecurity, we have fought war for three years and Nigeria still remain one entity. So the only solution left for us is dialogue and understanding. Nigerian elites should embark on instilling moral values in their children to enable them become good citizens through ethical re-orientation. Family upbringing is becoming a problem among the elites of the country as there is no more respect in the home where charity is supposed to begin. Nigerians should ensure proper upbringing of their children to reduce, if not completely eradicate the present moral decadence that is eating the fabrics of the society.

By Dayo Johnson, Ola Ajayi, Shina Abubakar, James Ogunnaike, Rotimi Ojomoyela

Dr Kunle Olajide, Secretary General of the Yoruba Council of Elders

Keeping Nigeria one is a simple task provided we have a patriotic leader of good character who is committed to keep the country one. We need a patriotic leader who is confident and has a good character. He must realise that we are not where we are supposed to be.

To keep Nigeria one, the National Assembly should pass a bill to include referendum into our constitution. So, whenever there are issues people don’t agree with, we go into referendum. There should be establishment of Constituent Assembly Commission that will be saddled with the responsibility of giving us a new Constitution. To keep Nigeria one, we need a new Constitution. With the current constitution, we are just revolving on the same spot like a barber’s chair. We don’t expect a bad tree to produce good fruits; this constitution is bad and nothing good can come out of it.

Nigeria is a country of many nations. Each region should be allowed to have its own Constitution. Also, the federalized police system can’t take us anywhere. We should have a state and local government police, not to bring a commissioner of Police from Kebbi to be in charge of security in Oyo State. We must also realise that the current political system is too expensive.

We need a parliamentary system of government which will allow Ministers and commissioners to contest in their constituencies. I hate to hear devolution of power. It should be restoration of power to the owners. We need a Nigeria where the constitution guarantees equity, justice; where merit should dictate who serves the country and not through any other means.

Ayo Fadaka- former South West zonal publicity secretary of PDP

Keeping Nigeria one has been a long standing task, a daunting one that continues to remain a challenge through our history. Obviously our nation seems not to have learnt a lesson from the immediate factors that contributed to the outbreak of the civil war as periodic ethnic cleansing continues to be prosecuted in the North. The current genocide in the North dubiously tagged bandits action is a serious challenge to the peace of the nation.

It is a shame that this oddity continues to thrive under President Buhari and it seems there can be no answer to this challenge. If our nation must remain united Government must get its act together and stamp out this malady once and for all. It is a shame that in spite of the acclaimed might of the Nigerian Armed Forces, ragtag bandits or armies continue to deliver devastating blows on it. Again it is also important that sub-national groups within our federation agitating for a restructure of Nigeria must be given a hearing and not repressed.

Chief Ebenezer Babatope, former Minister

We must be honest to our federal system of government, we must harmonise our tribal differences which has been able to push us forward. We have problems no doubt but if we’re committed to true federalism we shall be able to surmount all these problem and remain as one

Chief Sehinde Arogbofa, Secretary General, Afenifere

“The solution is in the system of governance. Nigeria is going unitary and of course unitary is like military. Let the center relax and give more power to the state which some refer to as restructuring, there’s so much money at the center and this should not be so. The center should encourage the states to tap what they have and give a percentage to the center.

Security of live has to be ensured, state police must be introduced. Let the president give a sense of feeling that he’s the father of all. Yes, he could be a politician but after winning the election he should see himself as father of all, there must be inclusiveness in governance. I see it as lack of inclusiveness for not adopting the 2014 confab report.

Nigerians came up with the report after spending about five months working on it, he should have accepted that report and make use of those ones that are relevant and good. We need to work hard to restore the unity in this country. From the way things are, Nigeria has never been badly divided and hardly can you get Nigerians of different tribes now trusting one another, the trust is no longer there, things are so bad now. Nigeria is badly divided and the President must rise up especially now and has to listen to voice of reasoning and see how he can make things work and unite us as one.We're living in hell, Niger gov cries out to Buhari

Yinka Odumakin, spokesperson, Afenifere

We can keep Nigeria one by doing the opposite of most of the things Buhari has concentrated on in the last five years. We must run the country as an inclusive entity and give autonomy to the federating units. It must be less of the Centre

Abagun Kole Omololu, National Organising Secretary, Afenifere.

“We should not deviate from the original vision of the founding fathers of Nigeria. Sir Ahmadu Bello, the first Premier of Northern Nigeria emphasised that we should recognise our differences as people inhabiting the country. Our differences are culture, religion and orientation. Further more, the advice of Ahmadu Bello was taken into consideration in drafting the independence constitution.

The regions operated their own constitution and had constitutional power to do many things unlike what is operating today where Unitary constitution is the order of the day. Yoruba should be allowed to operate one government inside Nigeria as it used to be. Nigeria should be rearranged to accommodate a true Federal system.

Dr Yemi Faroumbi, Nigeria’s ex-envoy to the Philippines

Proper structuring of the country is the panacea to the agitation for break up. A multi ethnic society like Nigeria could only be united by embracing true federalism, where the federating units are allowed to control and determine what to do with their resources.

At this point in time, we need to revert to the 1960 or 1963 constitution, which gives more power to the federating units. We must return the money for Agriculture, Education, Road, Housing, Health, Culture etc., to the federating units, once that is done the people would be more concerned with what happens at the units rather than wanting to do whatever it takes to go to the central.

If we are honest to keep the country as one, then we must embrace true federation where the federating units must be a counter balance to the centre and not where the centre will be too powerful and turned the units to errand boys”.

Senator Femi Okurounmu, Afenifere Chieftain

The restructuring of the country is the only parameter that would guarantee the continued unity of the country. President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government should as a matter of urgency heed to the call on restructuring. There are many agitations by different groups who feel frustrated that Nigeria is not listening to their cry for restructuring.

All the agitations are expressions of frustration that Nigeria is not willing to restructure. So, what they really want is restructuring. Autonomy of each of the region is part of the restructuring, so that, each of the federating units should be more autonomous and less dependent on the federal government. They will be able to mobilize their resources and plan their own programmes in accordance with their needs and priorities, instead of everything being planned and directed by the center.

Eid-el-Kabir: AMAC boss calls for prayers to heal NigeriaLAGOS, NIGERIA – SEPTEMBER 12: Muslims perform the Eid Al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice) prayer at Center mosque in Lagos, Nigeria on September 12, 2016. Muslims worldwide celebrate Eid Al-Adha, to commemorate the holy Prophet Ibrahim’s (Prophet Abraham) readiness to sacrifice his son as a sign of his obedience to God, during which they sacrifice permissible animals, generally goats, sheep, and cows. Eid-al Adha is the one of two most important holidays in the Islamic calendar, with prayers and the ritual sacrifice of animals. (Photo by Sodiq Adelakun/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

The autonomy will make way for rapid development of each of the region or state of the federating units. It is not only Yoruba who are agitating for autonomy. Everybody who wants restructuring is agitating for autonomy of the various components of the generating Nigeria. Centralizing everything in Abuja has not helped Nigeria as a nation in any way, it has stunted the growth of the country and that is why everyone is crying for restructuring”.

Mr Niyi Ajibulu, Secretary, Ekiti Council of Elders

To keep Nigeria one, there’s need to renegotiate the country’s corporate existence. We have to be fair to one another, see each other as equal, put a stop to the thinking that some are second class citizens or that you are the overlords of the country and resources must be equitably utilized. Restructuring is another key to the sustainable peace and social political development.

It would allow each state to keep their resources and engender healthy rivalry, it would also stop incompetence in governance, like the situation in the country today, where states wait for the federal allocations. Each state or region should be allowed to keep their resources and allowed to develop at their own pace.

Our position all along has been that this country should be restructured and wherever you are, you just have to be seen as people of equal right. Since the opinions of all the ethnic groups within the entity called Nigeria were not sought before being amalgamated, there is the need for renegotiation. It was not as if we all agree to be together, we need to renegotiate our existence as nation.

On his part, former National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and Ex- Minister of Defence, Bello Haliru Mohammed said, “to keep Nigeria one we have to love and trust each other regardless of ethnic, religious, political, regional or other differences. To love and trust each other we must be equitable and just to all at all time as prescribed in our constitution. Those in power must eschew winner takes all attitude.”

For the Senate Deputy Minority Leader, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha,”The agitation for restructuring if addressed will be key in strengthening the bond of unity remarkably.”



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