SAN FRANCISCO, October 12, (THEWILL) – The Northern Elders’ Forum, NEF, Secretary, Prof. Ango Abdullahi on Wednesday wondered why the call for restructuring of the country is most loud now that a northerner was in power as President, adding that it was a “political blackmail against northern Nigeria and we will not tolerate it anymore.”
Speaking at a two-day conference on ‘the North and the Future of Nigerian Federation’, organized by the Arewa Research and Development Project, in collaboration with Sir Ahmadu Bello Foundation; he admonished political leaders in the region not to “rush into committing the North to any agreement or allow anybody to stampede us into agreeing with something that will hurt the North”.
He said those calling for the implementation of the reports of the 2006 and 2014 conferences by Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan respectively were ill-informed because the two conferences were tailored to achieve a predetermined result by the conveners.
The former Vice-Chancellor of the Ahamdu Bello University stated that while the Obasanjo conference was to ensure that he got a third term, President Jonathan convened the 2014 conference to legitimize his ambition to strangulate other regions.
“Let us go our separate ways. If on the other hand we give credit to the British and our founding fathers (and they deserve credit), and we cannot contain restructuring based on what existed in 1914, we should go back to 1960 when the country operated regions. The north is not afraid of getting our north back,” he said.
Abdullahi, who noted that the best option for the country was to return to 1914 or 1960, maintained that the call for a restructuring in the Nigerian federation indicates “the failure of the operators and not the structure”.