by Lekan Olanrewaju
A Christian group known as the Northern Elders Christian Forum, NORCEF, has called for a restructuring of Nigeria, advocating a return to the regional system of government. The group believes this will be the solution to the wave of insecurity currently being witnessed by the country, and has released a statement detailing the various aspects of the suggestion.
A communiqué issued at the end of its National Executive Council meeting in Kaduna and signed by the Chairman and Secretary, Evangelist Matthew Owojaiye and Iliya Yusuf respectively, reads: “We are hereby calling for National Conference. We need to restructure Nigeria. We want the six geopolitical zones to become regions with a little alteration here and there according to the wishes of the people.”
“Each zone will manage its resources and pay tax to the Federal Government as it was in the 1960- 63 Constitution. The federal government will take off its hands from Education, Agriculture, Water Resources, Industries, Mineral Resources, Research and Technology, Health, Power Generation, Women Affairs, Youths and Sports, and Works and Housing.”
“The federal government will be solely in charge of Defence, Foreign Affairs, Customs and Aviation. The regions and the FG would share Judiciary, the Police and Information ministry.”
“All the government parastatals and ministries that siphon trillions of naira every year will be scrapped. Wastages and outright looting of public funds would be a thing of the past. Each region will develop at its own pace. The FG will get less than 30 per cent of what it is getting now. Taking power at the centre will become less attractive.”
“We warn the National Assembly and the FG not to turn deaf ears to the cry for a national conference. It is an urgent need. Failure to do this may consume them as it may consume Nigeria.”
“We agree with Elder Dr. Maitama Sule that Nigeria should not be allowed to break. We commend the Northern Elders for calling for meetings to see how to build unity in the North.”