The apex Northern socio-cultural organisation, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) said yesterday that the North will only support a restructuring that is genuine, just, fair and equitable to all Nigerians, as well as in which stakeholders come to the table without sentiments.
Reacting to the growing calls for the nation’s restructuring, ACF spokesman, Muhammad Ibrahim Biu, observed with regret that in most cases, the discussions on restructuring had been taking place without regards to the present democratic structure.
According to ACF, it should be cleared to all agitators that restructuring of 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.
ACF hinted further that it will back restructuring discussions that are free of threats, intimidation or blackmail from any group or individual.
The statement reads: “Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) wishes to lend its voice to the debate as to whether or not to restructure the federation of Nigeria.
“However, ACF has observed with regret that in most cases, the discussions are taking place without regard to our present democratic structure, as the issues are in some cases presented as ‘demands’ by one group or the other.
“Unfortunately, in most cases they are followed up by some ultimatum to the government to accept or face deadly consequences.
“It should be cleared to all the agitators that restructuring a complex, big and diverse country as 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.
“More so, such discussions must be free of threats, intimidation or blackmail from any group or individual. A genuine restructuring must therefore be just, fair and equitable to all.
“Furthermore, it must strengthen our democracy, unity, peace and development of the Nigerian components.
“ACF therefore calls for a due process through our present democratic structure rather than just crass agitation, if we are to achieve ‘true’ federalism.”
Recall that the former military president, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (retd), had in his Eid-el-Fitr message to the nation joined the call for restructuring of the country, a development which sparked fresh debate on the matter within the week.