State of the Nation: Northern group also seeks restructuring of Nigeria



The deteriorating state of the nation has elicited   intervention from a Coalition of Concerned Northerners.The group which met   Thursday night in Abuja  said   today  that  it has resolved to support the calls for  restructuring of Nigeria.”The meeting   resolved to support the calls for the restructuring of the Nigerian   Federation in the hope that the lopsidedness in the structure of the nation’s   politics and economy will be a key agenda issue,”it said in a statement   signed by its convener Dr Junaid Muhammed.

The statement released today said “In the course of the   meting the Northern Group reflected on the deteriorating security situation   in the region, particularly with regards to the growth and spread of attacks   and impunity by the Boko Haram insurgents and other ethnic and religious   militias in the North. In addition, the meeting dwelled on the threats posed   by the resurgent activities of Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta   (MEND), other Niger Delta militant groups, Movement for the Sovereign State   of Biafra (MASSOB). In addition, the meeting dwelled on the threats and   recent calls by groups for a Sovereign National Conference.

“The meeting reflected on the elements that bond the   Northerners and their cultures together, irrespective of ethnicity and   religion over many years at their association, and expressed their sadness   that the basis of unity of the region has of recent come under a serious   assault. The meeting noted the positive fallouts of the recent nationwide   strike,, in the course of which the ordinary people of the North, and of the   rest of the country manifested a refreshing desire to support and protect one   another against the clear evidence of orchestrated designs to polarize and   keep the people apart.

Today’s statement equally    revealed that “The meeting also received the shocking details of the   several excesses of the JTF (Joint Task Force) which amounted to no less than   gross human rights abuses. The meeting expressed the view that the threat   posed by Boko Haram insurgency could best be attended to without the   attendant attacks on individual rights and on businesses.

“The meeting resolved to support the calls for the   restructuring of the Nigerian Federation in the hope that the lopsidedness in   the structure of the nation’s politics and economy will be a key agenda   issue.

“It then called on the Northern Governors’ Forum (NGF) to   liaise with other Stakeholders in the North, such as the Arewa Consultative   Forum (ACF), Northern Union (NU), Jama’atul Nasirl Islam (JNI), Christian   Association of Nigeria (CAN), Women, Youth and Student Bodies and other   groups to join hands together to tackle the identified threats confronting   the region

Read the full text of the group’s statement below:

COALITION OF CONCERNED NORTHERNERS

PRESS RELEASE

A coalition of Northern Politicians, academics,   professionals and businessmen met yesterday (Thursday February 23,2012)  at Asokoro, in Abuja to deliberate on   matters of serious concern to the Northern States of Nigeria and their   peoples.

In the course of the meting the Northern Group reflected   on the deteriorating security situation in the region, particularly with   regards to the growth and spread of attacks and impunity by the Boko Haram   insurgents and other ethnic and religious militias in the North. In addition,   the meeting dwelled on the threats posed by the resurgent activities of   Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND), other Niger Delta   militant groups, Movement for the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB). In   addition, the meeting dwelled on the threats and recent calls by groups for a   Sovereign National Conference.

The meeting reflected on the elements that bond the   Northerners and their cultures together, irrespective of ethnicity and   religion over many years at their association, and expressed their sadness   that the basis of unity of the region has of recent come under a serious   assault. The meeting noted the positive fallouts of the recent nationwide   strike,, in the course of which the ordinary people of the North, and of the   rest of the country manifested a refreshing desire to support and protect one   another against the clear evidence of orchestrated designs to polarize and   keep the people apart.

The meeting also received the shocking details of the   several excesses of the JTF (Joint Task Force) which amounted to no less than   gross human rights abuses. The meeting expressed the view that the threat   posed by Boko Haram insurgency could best be attended to without the   attendant attacks on individual rights and on businesses.

The meeting resolved to support the calls for the   restructuring of the Nigerian Federation in the hope that the lopsidedness in   the structure of the nation’s politics and economy will be a key agenda   issue.

It then called on the Northern Governors’ Forum (NGF) to   liaise with other Stakeholders in the North, such as the Arewa Consultative   Forum (ACF), Northern Union (NU), Jama’atul Nasirl Islam (JNI), Christian   Association of Nigeria (CAN), Women, Youth and Student Bodies and other   groups to join hands together to tackle the identified threats confronting   the region.

Among those who attended the meeting, were the Governors   of Niger and Jigawa States, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, OON, CON and Alhaji   Sule Lamido, CON, the convener of the meeting, Dr. Junaidu Muhammed, a former   Senate President, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, a former Deputy Senate President, Dr.   John Wash-Pam, CON, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation,   Alhaji Yayale Ahmed, CFR, former Ministers, such as, Dr. Shettima Mustapha,   Alhaji Adamu Maina Waziri and Malam Lawal Batagarawa and a former Chairman of   the Presidential Advisory Council, Prof. Nur Alkali.

Others were a former Chairman of Langtang South Local   Government Council, Mr. Solomon Dalung, former Presidential Legal Advisers,   Ibrahim Ismail and Prof. Awwal Yadudu; as well as newspaper publishers   including Sam Nda-Isaiah and Mohammed Haruna. The rest included University   Vice Chancellors, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, Prof. Risqua Arabu, Sokoto, Businessmen   such as the Chairman of Mainstreet Bank, Alhaji Falalu Bello, a former   Chairman of the Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Commission, Engr. Hamman   Tukur, the former Solicitor-General of the Federation, Professor Ignatius   Ayua, Prof. David Iyornem and Alhaji Dahiru Mohammed, and two former Managing   Directors of the New Nigeria Newspapers.

Others included the first female Editor of the New   Nigeria, Mrs. Bilkisu Bintube and another female Editor from Trust   Newspapers, Mrs. Aisha Kabiru Yusuf, Dr. Bashir Kurfi of Ahmadu Bello   University, (ABU, Zaria) and Timaus Mathias, veteran journalist.

Also present were Mr. David Garnva, former President of   the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, Malam Abba Gana, former Deputy   Director of Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), Alhaji Shehu Kaikai, Sanusi   Abubakar, Garba Shehu, Mr. Simon Gunkat, Mallam Adamu Yakubu, Barr. Zannah   Mustapaha, Malam Sambo Ingawa, Kalli Ghazali, Abubakar Michika and Prof.   Abubakar Mustapha, (mni), OFR

Signed:

Dr. Junaid Muhammed

Convener

 

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