Northern elites disagree over restructuring

A chieftain of the Arewa Consultative Forum, Mohammed Abdulrahman, on Saturday stated that northern elites, who are opposing the restructuring of the country, are only interested in their selfish gains.

“I am in total support of the call for restructuring of the country. The North we have today is not what it used to be. Our politicians are not interested in the development of the region. They only care about their pockets. If the country is properly restructured, it is hoped it will benefit the masses and not some politicians who are only interested in buying cars and building houses for their families,” the ACF chieftain told SUNDAY PUNCH.

Speaking in the same vein, the AYCF President, Yerima Shettima, said the North was not afraid of restructuring.

“That (restructuring) has always been the dream of our founding fathers. It is not true that northerners are afraid of the country being restructured. We are interested in development and equitable distribution of resources. We need restructuring. It is only those who are selfish that will kick against it. The structure as it is today only favours a few people. Northern people need restructuring; we need total change.

“The restructuring should ensure that the central government is unattractive to people who are only looking for ways to make quick money. The regions should be made powerful and should be allowed to manage their resources and be accountable for such while contributing a percentage to the Federal Government,” Shettima said.

However, a former spokesman for the ACF, Anthony Sani, said  there was no need for restructuring.

Sani said, “The North is currently opposed to  the restructuring of Nigeria precisely because there is nothing to restructure. The North does not believe the problems of Nigeria can rightly be attributed to the form of government the country chooses. What we believe is that the problems of Nigeria are due to the failure of leadership.

“Those who hanker for ‘true federalism’ to enable each constituent unit to develop at its own pace are unwittingly advocating that Nigerians should live as if they are in different countries, where some citizens would live in a comfort zone while others would live on the fringe. Such a split would be a harbinger for split.”

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