The Northern Elders Forum has supported the call for Nigeria to be restructured, saying it’s the only way to battle the fundamental issues and set the country on the path of progress.
Speaking on Sunrise Daily, a Channels TV programme, the spokesperson for the group, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, emphasised on the importance of revising the constitution guiding the country.
He stressed that the country was not working and the demand for restructuring is to find a lasting solution to the problems facings the country.
He said, “The two basic functions of the state is to secure citizens and provide for their welfare. Now, the Nigerian state is failing in both camps. So, restructuring for us means addressing those failures and identifying ideas, suggestions, and changes that can actually fit into the process of improving them.
“Policing is a fundamental issue. Here in the north where I come from, you could spend three days with bandits ravaging communities and you will not see a single policeman. Something is wrong with the way the country is structured to provide security for citizens. So, we need to revisit some of these issues.
“We need to look at our constitution, look at the way it provides for the Nigerian state, the federating units, allocate responsibilities in power, the works of vital institutions, or the failure of vital institutions to work and how we can improve them.”
Baba-Ahmed also condemned government attitude of trying to gag Nigerians from expressing their demands, pointing out that it is the right of citizens to ask for changes.
“When we make demands for the restructuring of the country, we are not necessarily saying that the government is deliberately causing the problems – they are cumulative issues, matters that should have been addressed a long time ago but they were not addressed. Nations must accept to revisit how they live.
“Nigerians have a right to ask for changes, for amendment, for improvement in the manner in which we live. There is nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is for the government to specifically say we don’t want to hear anything about restructuring.
“We believe that Nigerians should never be tired about demanding that their country must be made to work. If the government is not going to do it on its own, it needs assistance. If it needs some pressure, we believe we can provide that pressure,” he added
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