Northern Elders Forum Backs Calls For Restructuring

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Dr. Hakeem Baba Ahmed

By; AMOS TAUNA, Kaduna

The Northern Elders Forum (NEF), has supported the call for restructuring the country by the present government.

The forum noted that the Nigerian state has failed, particularly in the management of security.

It stressed the need to revisit the way the country is structured to provide security for citizens.

The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, had called on the President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently restructure the country.

Adeboye, speaking in a symposium warned that it was either the country restructured as soon as possible or it broke up.

The Presidency, in a reaction, had described the calls as recurring threats to the corporate existence of the country.

Speaking on Tuesday morning while featuring on Channels Television‘s programme, Sunrise Daily, NEF spokesperson, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, reiterated that the country must be restructured to address fundamental issues that ought to have been addressed since Nigeria gained independence.

He noted that the two basic functions of the state is to secure citizens and provide for their welfare but lamented that the Nigerian state is failing on both camps, adding, “So, restructuring for us means addressing those failures and identifying ideas, suggestions and changes that can actually fit into the process of improving them.”

He noted that in the North, one could spend three days with bandits ravaging communities and you will not see a single policeman, pointing out that something is wrong with the way the country is structured to provide security for citizens. “So, we need to revisit some of these issues,” he explained.

Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed observed that the Nigerian constitution must be revised to deal with issues that divide Nigerians rather than unite them.

He stressed that there is the need to look at the country’s constitution, and the way it provides for the Nigerian state, the federating units, allocate responsibilities in power, the works of vital institutions, or the failure of vital institutions to work and how we can improve them.

The NEF spokesman explained that the forum make demand for the restructuring of the country, saying that they are not necessarily saying that the government is deliberately causing the problems but that there are cumulative issues, matters that should have been addressed a long time ago but they were not addressed, hence nations must accept to revisit how they live.

The NEF further explained that Nigerians have a right to ask for changes, for amendment, for improvement in the manner in which they live. “There is nothing wrong in that. What is wrong is for the government to specifically say we don’t want to hear anything about restructuring,” the statement explained.

Right now according to NEF, no one would dispute that the federal government carries too many responsibilities most of which it doesn’t discharge, has too many resources and is not well run, adding that it has become a focus of intense competition. 

It said the type of competition that makes the political system unstable is everybody wants the Presidency, everybody wants to go to Abuja and Abuja is everything. “This is wrong,” it stressed.

Baba-Ahmed observed that many conferences whose recommendations have not been implemented need to be implemented.

He noted that Nigerians should never be tired that demanding that their country must be made to work. “If the government is not going to do it on its own, it needs assistance. If it needs some pressure, we believe we can provide that pressure,” he observed.

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