Influential Northern Leaders and know pressure groups from the North had expressed their divided opinions and views on the recent issue of restructuring in the country Nigeria.
The Governor of Sokoto state, Waziri Tambuwal the first to talk on the issue had said the North is not against the restructuring in the country.
Governor Tambuwal in an event organized by Dr Usman Bugaie of Arewa Research And Development Project ARDP with the theme ‘the North and future of Nigeria federation’ where he chaired the opening of the ceremony.
Tambuwal said; Therefore, the idea that the North is against restructuring because it benefits most from the current state of things is circumscribed and patently false.
The fact that some people continue to parrot such a lie only help to give credence to the flawed argument.
Let us be clear: the North wants to restructure as much as anyone else.. However, as a people, we do not easily jump unto the bandwagon because we are always there for the long haul.
“We believe that any decision we take must be inclusive, and respect procedures and processes so that the outcome is sustainable.
I think we should first, as a country, agree on a mutual definition of the term restructuring.
In my view, if restructuring means taking stock of our arrangement to ensure that no state takes a disproportionate amount of the resources, or most of the available space in the education or job sector, or subjugate the others’ culture or religion, or lords it over the other so that the number of the poor and uneducated whose future is circumscribed by their circumstance is shared proportionately, then we are game.
We all want a country where there are peace and progress, where justice is given, where all lives are safe, and people can pursue their legitimate livelihoods wherever they choose.
I believe each state in this country has areas of comparative advantage and life is a cycle so that what was once the largest revenue earner can in time become less so while something else takes ascendancy.
As a country, we must look to the future and agree on what in the long run will benefit us all.
Also, Atiku Abubakar a former vice-president of Nigeria advised that resources and power should go to the states as part of the restructuring strategy.
Dr Awwalu Anwar who represented Atiku Abubakar said,
My idea of restructuring is devolution of power to the States with the resources.
The Federal Government should only be bothered about the economy while the States should be left to provide education, security and build roads.
To me, if the State is given the responsibility of providing security, State police will better secure their areas because they will be familiar with the nature and peculiarity of their security challenges.
In the whole of this, the North has nothing to fear because we have the land, we have the population, and we have the resources. North has nothing to fear because oil will soon become history.
Read also: Atiku talks about restructuring in Nigeria
Another prominent North leader to say something on the issue of restructuring is Prof. Ango Abdullahi the former Vice-Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University ABU, Zaria and the spokesman of Northern Elders Forum, NEF.
Abdullahi said that the North is not scared to go their separate ways if the whole country insists on restructuring.
According to Abdullahi, The North has always sacrificed for the unity of Nigeria. I was a student when we got independence, and we saw that each time there was need to unite Nigeria, the North made the largest sacrifice.
Now we have 36 states from three regions which existed in 1960. No country has had a constitutional conference like Nigeria, yet it has not created a basis for a united country.
We ought to have realised from that that, the failure of operators of the country is needed, if we want to restructure Nigeria, we have to start from the beginning, 1914, North and South, let’s go our separate way.
He said that such clamouring is not new because it has always been an antecedent of the South whenever a Northerner was in in charge of leadership.
Things happening since 1999 to 2006 tazarce, and 2015 when a party agreed that Presidency should rotate, and that was the beginning of what we saw.
Some of our various formations were unhappy with what was happening to the North; we decided that we must confront it and thanks to our efforts we succeeded in changing leadership.
Since assumption of Northern leadership, we have witnessed demands like they always occur whenever a northerner takes over leadership.
The Governor of Sokoto State who is the chairman of the Northern Governors restructuring committee, and chairman of this conference We do not want you to rush into committing us, but views of the north should be collected; nobody should stampede us
For the Northern chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) as well as the Jamatul Nasir Islam (JNI), the country was better together than to restructure it.
Another person to raise opinion on the issue of restructuring is Jam’ivar Matan Arewa of the Northern Women Assembly stated that even if the country should agree to restructure and go their separate ways into smaller units, there would still be problems when it comes to leadership.
Ambassador Marina Mohammed representing Jam’ivar Matan Arewa said,
Nigeria cannot afford to be divided because our strength in the comity nations is our number.
So rather than restructuring the country we should focus on the real problem, and the real problem is the failure of leadership and not our structure.
Even if we break up to family units what is more paramount is for the leaders of such units to do the right thing.
The reason why youth are agitating is because the leaders have failed. You cannot pocket money meant for development of your State and expect things to go the right way.
Even in our places of worship, our Imams and Pastors cannot pocket money meant for entire congregation, flying private jets, establish private schools that members of their congregation cannot afford to send their children and expect things to go right
Rev. Yakubu Pam, the chairman of the Christian Association Of Nigeria, CAN northern states represented by Air Commodore Tanko Ato (rtd) said,
North can stand for the unit of the region and the nation as a whole.
Our position on the restructuring debate is that Nigeria is better and firmer together.
To us it does not matter whether we restructure or not, what matters to us is the United North and Nigeria where we respect each others faith and freedom of worship.
Bashir Dahiru Bauchi representing Jamatul Nasir Islam JNL said,
The North has always contributed to the Nigerian project even before the coming of the colonial masters. So the region should see itself as a big brother.
We are better as the United Nigeria than going our separate ways. Nigeria is held in high esteem in the world politics, but it will be devoured by the world powers if broken into pieces.
Bala Bantex deputy to Governor Nasir el-Rufai said,
We should be bothered about poverty, illiteracy and insecurity in our region. We should strive to reverse this trend.