The Arewa Consultative Forum on Wednesday gave conditions for the restructuring of the country.
According to the forum, the word ‘restructuring’ should be properly defined to all Nigerians.
The ACF, in a communiqué issued by its publicity secretary, Alhaji Muhammad Ibrahim, at the end of its National Executive Council meeting said the northern group had keenly observed the nationwide debate on restructuring.
It said, “The ACF has observed with keen interest the current nationwide debate on the restructuring of the country as being canvassed by some people, groups and even prominent citizens.
“The term, restructuring, however, means different things to different people or groups. To some, it is ‘true federalism’ – whatever that means, for others it is ‘fiscal federalism’, while some group say ‘resource control’. Yet we have those for ‘resource ownership’.”
The meeting which was held at the forum’s secretariat along 11A Sokoto Road, Kaduna, was attended by members from the 19 northern states and the FCT.
It was presided over by its chairman, former Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Coomassie.
On the 2014 National Conference organised by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, the ACF noted that it would be undemocratic for anybody or group to canvass for the implementation of the report by a conference of unelected delegates.
This, the forum added, was because the composition of the delegates to the confab was allegedly skewed against the North as a region.
The three-point communiqué added, “The opposition of the North to the implementation of the recommendations in the report of the 2014 National Conference is not so much because of any legal consideration as to its legitimacy, but also because the selection of the conference delegates was skewed against the North in number considering its population.”
But a pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, has reacted to the position of the ACF on restructuring, saying the members of the association did not understand the principles of restructuring.
The group, which spoke through its Secretary-General, Chief Sehinde Arogbofa, said there was the need for all Nigerians to embrace the call for the restructuring of the country.
He said the only way to move the country forward was to restructure it.
Going against the criticism of the ACF on the 2014 confab, the Afenifere secretary insisted that the 2014 confab was a composition of the representatives of all sections of the country, who came out with over 600 recommendations.
He said, “All those that are saying all manners of things against restructuring of this country don’t understand the principle and if anybody doesn’t understand a concept, it will take a time for such a person to understand the concept.
“Also, I don’t want to believe that they (ACF) don’t understand that concept but it is only they don’t want it to happen for reasons best known to them. But we have said it times without number that restructuring is the way out. God blessed this country with a lot of human and natural resources that can take care of each state. But our people don’t want to sit down and think about that because they benefit from the current system. “