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By; AMOS TAUNA, Kaduna.
Following the recent killing of the traditional ruler of Bokkos local government area in Plateau State, the Saf Ron Kulere, Lazarus Agai and the kidnapped of another traditional ruler in Benue State for ramson, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has condemned in strong terms the dastardly act of the unknown gunmen.
The forum called on the security agencies to not only fish out the perpetrators of the heinous crimes but also to prosecute them to serve as deterrent to others.
A communique signed by the ACF National Publicity Secretary,  Muhammad Ibrahim, after a National Executive Council of the forum held on Wednesday in Kaduna said, “ACF also extends its condolences to the government and people of Plateau State, the family of the paramount ruler of Bokkos over the killing of the traditional ruler.
“ACF also observed with serious concern the health hazards illegal mining poses to the various communities in many Northern States, especially in Zamfara State. For so many years, communities within the solid mineral mining zones have been subjected to lead poisoning and other health problems due to illegal mining.
“ACF therefore calls on the governments and appropriate agencies to not only enact and enforce laws governing solid minetals extraction but also put in place adequate health measures to ensure the safety of the lives of the people leaving in the mining areas.”
On the issue of the long running debate as to whether or not to restructure the Federation of Nigeria, ACF observed with regret that most of those discussions were taking place without decorum or civility, as the issues were often presented as demands by one group or the other.
The Communique added that “Unfortunately, in most cases,  they are followed up by some ultimatum to the authorities to accept or face deadly consequences. Some groups refer to restructuring to mean true federalism, others calls it resource control.
“However, restructuring a complex, big and diverse country like Nigeria is a serious business that must take account of the views of all its citizens, and not just of those that shout the loudest or issue threats, intimidation or blackmail.
“Our present democratic structure provides ample opportunity for groups and individuals to present their agitations through their representatives in the National Assemblies.
“Nigeria now fases more serious security challenges, social and economic problems like the destruction of our oil pipelines by the Niger Delta Militants, Boko Haram insurgency, youth restiveness, drastic drop in oil revenue, uneccessary killings and kidnapping of innocent persons that requires all hands to be on deck, rather than diverting the attention and resources of government on an issue that could be tackled by our present democratic structure.
“ACF therefore, considers such agitations at this material time as diversionary and a misplaced priority.”

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