Following the sustained and united position on the restructure debate across southern Nigeria, the north has voiced fears that the region might lose “its advantages” to the south if Nigeria is restructured.
The Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, and the Northern Elders Forum, NEF, have always been against restructuring, and have defended their position with the argument that an attempt to restructure Nigeria can lead to the country’s break-up.
Chairman of the NEF, Paul Unongo, in an interview, said, “…Today, we understand the advantage of being a big region. So, if today, you don’t offer them (the north) anything and you say give us your advantage so that we can have a restructured Nigeria… It will not be easy for the North to say take away our advantages and give us nothing.”
The recent clamor for a restructured Nigeria took an interesting turn over the weekend following a speech delivered by a national leader of Nigeria’s ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, government, Bola Tinubu.
As keynote speaker at the annual dinner of the King’s College Old Boy’s Association, Tinubu had said that Nigeria needed to restructure so as to create balance and become “a standard of decency, justice and prosperity for all Nigerians”. This was a sharp u-turn from his previous position.
“We cannot become a better Nigeria with an undue concentration of power at the federal level… It would be better to restructure things to attain the correct balance between our collective purpose on (the) one hand and our separate grass-roots realities on the other,” Tinubu said at the dinner.
PHOTO: Paul Unongo is the chairman of the Northern Elders Forum.