SOME southern leaders and groups, yesterday, received northern leaders’ call for restructuring of the country to 12 states, devolution of powers and 100 per cent resource with suspicion and cautious optimism.
PAN-Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, umbrella group of monarchs, leaders and stakeholders of the coastal states of Niger-Delta, said the news that Northern leaders, who identified themselves as Friends of Democracy, advocated a return to the 12-state federal structure of 1967 and 100 per cent resource control was thought-provoking, but calls for restraint and further cross-questioning.
Elder statesman, Alhaji Othman Tofa, Alhaji Sule Hamma, Dr Abubakar Mohammed, Ambassador Fatimah Balla; Mr. Sam Nda-Isaiah; Bashir Yusuf Ibrahim; Mai Bilya Bala; Mr. Hubert Shaiyen; Dr Kabir Az-Zubair, Professor Jibrin Ibrahim and Dr Usman Bugaje, had in a memorandum to the National Assembly Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution had, among other recommendations, said: “The 12 states shall be designated as regions and shall have control of their resources, while paying appropriate taxes to the Federal Government.”
They also canvassed that “mining should be reassigned to the concurrent list with on-land mining under the federating units and off-land mining under the control of the government of the federation.’’
The Pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, said it agrees with most of the views of the northern leaders and hoped to inter-face with them later.
National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, told Vanguard: ‘’We agree with most of their submissions, which show there may be yet another opportunity to save this country from total collapse. We shall be interfacing at some point.’’
However, one of the six South-West governors, who prefers the 36 states to remain as the federating units with full devolution of powers. opposed making the six geo-political zones or the 12 states of 1967 as the federating units.
‘’We want a Nigeria that meets the yearnings of Nigerians. Powers and functions must be devolved to the states with the accompanying funds to handle those functions. Any restructuring that will make my state return to Ibadan (the capital of old Western region and Western State) is not acceptable to us,’’ he told Vanguard.
The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, rejected the Northern leaders’ proposal on control of natural resources, saying it is still skewed in favour of the north.
Noting that it was good that some people in the north have realised the need to restructure the country, President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, who spoke through his Adviser on Media and Publicity, Emeka Attamah, said their proposal on onshore/offshore resources mining was unacceptable to Ndigbo.
It said: “While it is refreshing to know that some people in the North are beginning to realise the inevitability of restructuring as the only panacea to the country’s multifarious problems, their onshore/offshore prescription is unacceptable as it still leaves greater control of the nation’s wealth in the hands of the Federal Government.
“The states or the federating units should control all the resources in their areas and pay some percentage to the centre. Their proposal is still skewed in favour of the north.”
Second Republic politician, lawyer and elder statesman, Chief Guy Ikokwu, said: ‘’Nigeria needs urgent restructuring not an indefinite talk shop represented by a rubber stamp legislature.’
‘’The last Federal Government decision of the geo-political equitable representation after the 12- state Gowon structure of 1967 before the civil war, was Abacha’s reform of six geo-political zones with three in the North and three in the South. The only shortfall was that the real federal structure for these zones was not legalised for governance purposes.
“It was after this uncompleted political reform that one minority ethnic nationality unilaterally aborted our advancement and with military fiat foisted by a decree the current diabolical 1999 Unitary/Federal Constitutional miasma unknown to Constitutional Jurisprudence which has rapidly foisted corruption, impunity, brigandage, unemployment, criminality and insecurities as a Nigerian ethos leading to our world award of the Capital of Poverty with a per capita income of one USD per day with three recessional economic developmental index in a row.”
PANDEF, Anietie Okon, Mitee, Annkio-Briggs, others kick
PANDEF, speaking through the National Publicity Secretary, Ken Robinson, described the proposal for a return to the 1967 12-state structure and 100 per cent resource control, as “intriguing,” adding: ”We received the news of that call with considerable feelings of caution.
“Recall that a few weeks ago, the Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, said Nigerians calling for restructuring of the country ‘are insulting the North.’
“Therefore, for a group of northerners to now be advocating for 100 per cent resource control, calls for caution and further interrogation. However, if they are sincere, then good. Though the Niger Delta people are not asking for 100 per cent resource control.
“But if ‘100 per cent resource control’ is what Alhaji Othman Tofa and his group want, then good and excellent. But they should take their advocacy beyond submitting a memorandum to the National Assembly. They should take the message to the northern oligarchy and their elite, who seem to be finding it difficult in coming to terms with the verity that the country cannot continue with its extant skewed and lopsided structure, and in the way and manner the affairs of state are being conducted.
“Whereby a section of the country is considered superior to other parts and where a presidential fiat in the form a presidential artisanal gold mining development initiative would guarantee persons in some parts of the country to ‘mine and refine’ their ‘gold’, and sell to the Central Bank of Nigeria, while natural resources in other parts of the country are for everybody with host communities benefiting little or nothing.
We Will End Every Agreement We Have With Britain Since They Are Aiding IPOB – Lai Muhammed Blows Hot
The Nigeria minister of information and culture has Stated that the buhari led administration will terminate all documents Nigeria had with Britain because according to him, they are aiding IPOB.
Speaking to news men in Abuja, Lai Mohammed Expressed his displeasure over the inability of UK GOVERNMENT to repatriate NNAMDI KANU for him to continue his court case…
In his words…
We have written to Britain and the queen including the Prime minister to repatriate NNAMDI KANU to us so that he will continue his court case but they keep declining it…
This is a sabotage to Nigeria from the people that colonized us. It’s just like a man sabotaging the progress of his son.
Nnamdi kanu is just like shekau who is leading a dangerous organization called IPOB that has army, media power and many diplomats working for them yet Britain cannot help us in this trying time.
It only shows that Britain are the ones aiding IPOB because of their continuous silent over what kanu is doing to our nation.
Is just like America allowing the leader of ISIS to live in their country…
We will have no other option than the terminate every agreement we have with them including taken our oil free….
Enough is enough…
He angrily said…
WHAT’S YOUR TAKE ON THIS?
DOES LAI MOHAMMED THINKS UK IS NIGERIA….
FCT Minister, Muhammad Bello Orders The Arrest Of Those Who Looted Warehouse Where Covid 19 Palliatives Was Stored In Abuja
The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Authority (FCTA), Malam Muhammad Bello has ordered the immediate arrest of hoodlums responsible for the looting of warehouses in Abuja where Covid-19 palliatives were stored.
The FCTA Minister who issued the order at an emergency meeting in Abuja on Monday where he stated that there would be massive deployment of security operatives in and around the factories at the Idu Industrial Layout, also advised the hoodlums to return the looted food items immediately.
He said; “What is going on is no longer #EndSARS protest but broad daylight stealing by hoodlums.
“No nation can survive without food reserves which are now being looted across the country,” Bello noted.
Similarly, Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola also issued an ultimatum to hoodlums who looted warehouses in the State where Covid-19 palliatives were stored.
Governor Oyetola who issued the ultimatum on Sunday during an assessment tour of some of the locations attacked warned that failure to abide by the directive will lead to the prosecution of anyone arrested for the act.
While speaking with newsmen during the assessment tour of some of the locations attacked, Governor Oyetola told the culprits to surrender all stolen items to the security agencies, traditional rulers, local government chairmen and community leaders close to them.
Full Text Of President Buhari’s Speech
Fellow Nigerians, It has become necessary for me to address you having heard from many concerned Nigerians and having concluded a meeting with all the Security Chiefs.
I must warn those who have hijacked and misdirected the initial, genuine and well-intended protest of some of our youths in parts of the country, against the excesses of some members of the now disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
On Monday 12th October, I acknowledged the genuine concerns and agitations of members of the public regarding the excessive use of force by some members of SARS.
The choice to demonstrate peacefully is a fundamental right of citizens as enshrined in Section 40 of our Constitution and other enactments; …
but this right to protest also imposes on the demonstrators the responsibility to respect the rights of other citizens, and the necessity to operate within the law.
As a democratic government, we listened to, and carefully evaluated the five-point demands of the protesters. And, having accepted them, we immediately scrapped SARS, and put measures in place to address the other demands of our youth.
On approving the termination of SARS I already made it clear that it was in line with our commitment to the implementation of extensive Police reforms.
Sadly, the promptness with which we have acted seemed to have been misconstrued as a sign of weakness and twisted by some for their selfish unpatriotic interests.
The result of this is clear to all observers: human lives have been lost; acts of sexual violence have been reported; two major correctional facilities were attacked and convicts freed; public and private properties completely destroyed or vandalised;
the sanctity of the Palace of a peace-maker, the Oba of Lagos has been violated. So-called protesters have invaded an International Airport and in the process disrupted the travel plans of fellow Nigerians and our visitors.
All these executed in the name of the ENDSARS protests. I am indeed deeply pained that innocent lives have been lost. These tragedies are uncalled for and unnecessary.
Certainly, there is no way whatsoever to connect these bad acts to legitimate expression of grievance of the youth of our country.
The spreading of deliberate falsehood and misinformation through the social media in particular, that this government is oblivious to the pains and plight of its citizens, is a ploy to mislead the unwary within and outside Nigeria into unfair judgement and disruptive behaviour.
On the contrary, both our deeds and words have shown how committed this administration has been to the well being and welfare of citizens, even with the steadily dwindling revenues, and the added responsibilities and restrictions due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Government has put in place measures and initiatives principally targeted at youths, women and the most vulnerable groups in our society. These included our broad plan to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years;
the creation of N75 billion National Youth Investment Fund to provide opportunities for the youths, and the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Survival Fund, through which government is:
a. paying 3-months salaries of the staff of 100,000 micro, small- and medium- enterprises b. paying for the registration of 250,000 businesses at the Corporate Affairs Commission c. giving a grant of N30,000 to 100,000 artisans d. guaranteeing market for the products of traders.
These are in addition to many other initiatives such as: a. Farmermoni, b. Tradermoni, c. Marketmoni, d. N-Power, e. N-Tech and f. N-Agro.
No Nigerian Government in the past has methodically and seriously approached poverty-alleviation like we have done.
With regard to the welfare of police personnel, the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission has been directed to expedite action on the finalization of the new salary structure of members of the Nigeria Police
The emoluments of other paramilitary services are also being reviewed upwards.
In order to underscore the importance of education in preparing youths for the future, this administration has come up with a new salary structure and other incentives for our teachers.
Let me at this point reaffirm the Federal Government’s commitment to preserving the unity of this country.
We will continue to improve good governance and our democratic process, including through sustained engagement.
We shall continue to ensure that liberty and freedom, as well as the fundamental rights of all citizens, are protected.
But remember that government also has the obligation to protect lives and properties, as well as the right of citizens to go about their daily businesses freely and protected from acts of violence.
To our neighbours in particular, and members of the international community, many of whom have expressed concern about the ongoing development in Nigeria, we thank you and urge you all to seek to know all the facts available before taking a position.
or rushing to judgement and making hasty pronouncements.
In the circumstances, I would like to appeal to protesters to note and take advantage of the various well-thought-out initiatives of this administration designed to make their lives better and more meaningful,
and resist the temptation of being used by some subversive elements to cause chaos with the aim of truncating our nascent democracy.
For you to do otherwise will amount to undermining national security and the law and order situation. Under no circumstances will this be tolerated.
I therefore call on our youths to discontinue the street protests and constructively engage government in finding solutions. Your voice has been heard loud and clear and we are responding.
And I call on all Nigerians to go about their normal businesses, and enjoin security agencies to protect lives and properties of all law-abiding citizens without doing harm to those they are meant to protect.
Let me pay tribute to officers of the Nigeria Police Force who have tragically lost their lives in the line of duty.
I would like to thank those State Governors, traditional and religious leaders who have appealed for calm and restraint.
I also thank youth leaders who have restrained their followers from taking the law into their hands.
This government respects and will continue to respect all the democratic rights and civil liberties of the people, but it will not allow anybody or groups to disrupt the peace of our nation.
Thank you all. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
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