Restructuring: Northern ethnic groups disagree with govs, traditional rulers
A group under the umbrella of Conference of Autochthonous Ethnic Nationalities Communities Development Association (CONAECDA), said the position of northern governors and traditional rulers in the region on the quest for restructuring the country would be rejected if all ethnic nationalities were not properly consulted.
In a press statement jointly signed by the National Coordinator of CONAECDA, Zuwaqu Kali Abungon Bonnat, General Secretary, Suleman Dauda Sukukum and the Conference President, Da. Ericson Fom, the group urged northern governors to intensify efforts toward the implementation of the 2014 National Conference, convene by former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The release read in parts: “We are concerned by the effort of some categories of people to chart new agenda on the quest for National restructuring. These are the position of the Northern State Governors Forum and Northern traditional rulers on one hand, the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, on another hand and the renewed positions of many other agitators.
“Any position presented by the Northern Governors and Traditional rulers committee, if it does not engage properly with our people, will be considered as the opinion of the committee and not of the over 400 Ethnic Nationalities of the North.
“We believe that a common position can be achieved where honest dialogue is allowed and the opinion of the diverse peoples of the geographical North cutting across ethnic and religious communities is sought and respected.”
The group advised Federal Government to detach itself from the political ideology of the All Progressive Congress (APC), saying restructuring cannot be done on the basis of any group or political party’s ideas but on national consensus.
“A Political party is not the Federal Government of Nigeria. Restructuring cannot be done on the basis of any group or political party’s ideas but on national consensus.
“This is why we consider it needful to make it public and to advise the APC leadership and committee on restructuring to consider their assignment and the outcome to be strictly a party affair and their position a party position, which should be subjected to national scrutiny and consensus.
“It is a dangerous trend to have situations whereby Political parties or successive Governments jettison the outcome of a national dialogue involving all key stakeholders such as ethnic nationalities, political parties, religious leaders, civil society, security agencies, and traditional rulers that produced acceptable resolutions be thrown away by a succeeding Political Party/ Government simply because they were carried out by different individuals, Governments or Political parties.”
The group also reminded President Muhammadu Buhari that sovereignty in democracies was with the people which was encapsulated in the constitution, saying Nigerians should be allow to decide the fate of the nation and should be involved in any discussion on what type of country they desire.
It resolved that the Federal Government should revisit the resolutions of the 2014 National Conference, where issues were successfully resolved by Nigerians for urgent implementation.