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Northern Elders Forum Stands Against Breakup Of Nigeria, Say They Are The Root Of The Country |RN

The Northern Elders Forum has said that the North has never agitated for the breakup of the country, hence, it does not have any plan for it.

This is just as a member of Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Hakeem Baba-Ahmed expressed disappointment in the leadership style of Northern peoples who hold various political offices in the country.

Making the assertion on Monday, a former presidential candidate of the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC) party Bashir Othman Tofa, during the inauguration of students’ wing of Northern Youth Groups, organised by Coalition of Northern Youth held at Bayero University, Kano.

According to him, “If you look at our population and what we have together is more than what anyone can hope for. So to try to destroy this is certainly a lose-lose situation. That is why we here in the North would never say we want to leave this country. “

His words “If you examine the situation, you would find out it is only in Northern Nigeria that there is no agitation for the breakup of this country”

He said that the unity of the country is sacrosanct, adding that the North has been playing the role of encouraging the unity of Nigeria “That is why we are the root of this country. If the root is uprooted, the tree will not be there.

He then added that so we like to be patient, we like to encourage Nigerians to love their country to be united and tolerate one another. So that we can build a kind of country we like to build.”

He then advised Northerners to exercise patience in building the unity of the country, as they are the root of Nigeria’s unity.

It is Northern Nigeria that doesn’t have any specific plan of its own, in case Nigeria is divided. This means we have absolute confidence that being together is the best thing for all of us.”

Our responsibility is to exercise patience to make sure we guide this country to the kind of unity and progress we need to develop into a better country and even become a nation-state,” Mr Tofa said.

A member of Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Hakeem Baba-Ahmed expressed disappointment in the leadership style of Northern peoples who hold various political offices in the country.

His words Northerners who hold different political positions had failed to address the region’s problems in areas considered to be of paramount importance for the region.

“We are disappointed with our northern leaders at all levels. We will be putting pressure on them to correct their mistakes of tackling the problem of insecurity, poor quality of education and health, the problem of economy among others.”

Alhaji Baba-Ahmed then charged northern governors to provide shelter for cattle headers in the zone to stop them from wondering about anyhow.

However, on the occasion, three regional coordinators for Northwest, Northeast and Northcentral geopolitical zones were inaugurated during the event.

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Nigeria Remains Better As One, Says Osinbajo |The Republican News

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Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo

From: Obinna Odogwu, Abakaliki

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on Saturday, said that Nigeria’s unity remains non-negotiable. According to the Osinbajo, the country is and would remain better of as one nation than divided. He insisted that dividing the country into different entities across ethnic lines would serve no one any good.

Osinbajo spoke in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capiral, during the solemnisation of his Chief Detail, Ekene Nelson Nwokoro and his wife, Ngozi, at the Pastoral Centre of the Catholic Diocese of Abakaliki.

The Vice President noted that the country was a great country and has everything in it to provide for the people. It was also a wedding involving another couple, Stella Awoke and her hubby, Peter Nwenyi.

Osinbajo also opined that the country is better together, stronger together than separating but identified corruption as its only problem.

“This country is better together, stronger together than separating. There is nothing that we will gain by being separated. The countries around us are all tiny countries, very tiny countries. Rwanda which is celebrated in Africa, Lagos state alone is six times the economy of Rwanda. So, we are a great country and anybody who wants to separate us, we must reject the person because this country can provide for every one of us, it can carter for all of us.

“Our problem is corruption. If we check corruption in this country, there is more than enough for all of, more than enough. We should just bear it in mind that this country must remain a united country, we must stand together and as we go along, where there are difficulties, we must sit down and look at those difficulties, resolve them and move along as brothers. That is the way great countries developed. Let us come together, stay together and I want to thank his Excellency the Governor for his stand on the unity of the country” he said.

On the request by Governor Umahi for the Federal Government to construct railway that will pass through the South East, the Vice President said, “the Port Harcourt–Maidugari end of the road has been approved by President Muhammadu Buhari and that will pass thorough Enugu, Abakaliki and Awka, the capital of Anambra State.”

“So, there is no question at that the railway will pass through Enugu, Abakaliki and Awka. So, there is no need to make that request because it has already been granted by Mr. President. The budget has been approved,” he said.

Osinbajo also lauded the agricultural policy of the Ebonyi State Government which he described as phenomenal and therefore promised that the federal government would support the state to realize its full agricultural potentials. This is even as he described Gov. Umahi as one of the bridge builders of federal government administration.

“We will do our best to support Ebonyi State. The progress Ebonyi State has made is phenomenal and it is what everyone in the country has the knowledge about. I listened to all that His Excellency has said about what Ebonyi state required and I want to say that there is very little we will not do for Ebonyi state” said he.

Earlier, Governor Umahi commended the Federal Government for support of the state. Present at the ceremony is the former Governor of the state, Chief Martin Elechi; Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi; Mrs. Rachel Umahi; Sen. Sam Egwu and wife, Ukamaka; among others.  (The Sun)

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Buhari Advises Nigerians Against Use Of Harsh Words, Hate Speeches |RN

 

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President Muhammadu Buhari

 

The Presidency on Wednesday advised opinion leaders in the country to exercise restraint in their choice of words as they criticise Buhari based on his position on restructuring.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, gave the advice in a statement.

Shehu said the restraint was necessary to avoid heating up the polity and causing acrimony across the country.

He noted that while Nigerians are free to express themselves, they should “exercise such liberty with restraint and a sense of responsibility.”

The presidential spokesman said calling Buhari an enemy of Nigeria was in “extremely bad taste.”

He added that nothing in the President’s service record would justify “such scurrilous language.”

Shehu said he was satisfied that majority of Nigerians welcomed Buhari’s broadcast.

He, however, said it was off the mark to criticise him for not responding to calls for restructuring.

“To criticise the President for not imposing a restructuring on the country – whatever that means – is completely off the mark,” he said.

Shehu said Buhari had no power to impose a restructuring on the country by military fiat.

He said National Assembly members were the elected representatives of the people who can handle agitations for restructuring and other constitutional changes.

He explained that the President is constitutionally bound to work with the National Assembly to deal with such issues, reminding critics that the President would not exercise arbitrary powers or bypass the legislature in taking fundamental decisions.

He added, “Changes don’t happen on a whim in a democracy. The ‘immediate effect’ military mentality cannot work under a democratic order.

“Since the President has sworn to defend the Constitution, he would remain faithful to that oath by working with the legislature in taking major decisions on the future of Nigeria’s federal system.

“The country’s parliament is ready and willing to discuss all issues but the pundits are more interested in TV and newspaper headlines.

“Threats don’t work in a democracy. Democracy requires planning and proper process. Issues are resolved through established processes, not by abuses, insults or irresponsible statements.”

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Your Claim That Nigeria’s Unity Is Settled Not Tenable, Southern Leaders Tell Buhari |RN

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                        President Muhammadu Buhari

Olalekan Adetayo and Gbenga Adeniji

The Southern Leaders Forum on Wednesday in Lagos faulted President Muhammadu Buhari’s statement that issues of national discourse should be taken to the National Assembly and the National Council of State.

Buhari made the statement among others in his Monday broadcast after a 104-day medical trip to the United Kingdom.

Related: Nigeria’s Unity Not Negotiable, Says Buhari |The Republican News

The forum, represented by Chiefs Edwin Clark, Albert Horsfall (South-South); Chief John Nwodo, Prof. Joe Irukwu (South-East); and Chief Reuben Fasoranti, Chief Ayo Adebanjo (South-West), spoke in Lagos at a press conference titled, ‘Only Restructuring will Ensure the Unity, Peace and Development of Nigeria.’

Others at the event included Prof. Banji Akintoye, Tony Uranta, National Coordinator of the Oodua Peoples Congress, Chief Gani Adams; Supo Shonibare, Guy Ikokwu, Tony Nyiam and Prof. Walter Ofonagoro.

The forum stated that while it did not dispute the legality of the National Assembly and NCS, the bodies were not the appropriate bodies to superintend the discourse on the social contract that could bind Nigeria together.

“While the composition of the National Assembly is clearly jigged and indeed one of the bodies to be restructured, the National Council of State is not open to Nigerians. If any discourse is to take place on constitutional changes within the democratic framework, Mr President is the one who has the responsibility to initiate the process,” the SLF said.

The forum added that the attempt to treat hate speech as terrorism was a veiled threat to bare fangs and criminalising dissenting opinions in the national discourse.

The group accused the President of deploying the imagery of the late Chief Emeka Ojukwu in his broadcast to play down the demand for the renegotiation of the structure of Nigeria by saying they both agreed in Daura in 2003 that the country must remain one and united.

The SLF said, “The meeting between the two of them could not have been a Sovereign National Conference whose decisions cannot be reviewed. We agree with their conclusion that we should remain united, but that does not foreclose discussions of the terms and conditions of the union.

Related IPOB Releases Statement In Response To Buhari’s Broadcast, Meeting Ojukwu In 2003 |RN

“The claim that Nigeria’s unity is settled and not negotiable is not tenable. Every country is in a daily dialogue and there is nothing finally settled in its life. Stable nations are still fine-tuning details of the architecture of their existence. How much more Nigeria that has yet to attain nationhood? If we are settled as a nation, we will not be dealing with the many crises of nation-building that are afflicting us today, which have made it extremely difficult to squarely face issues of growth and development.

“The British negotiated to put the various ethnic groups together. All the constitutional conferences held in the years before independence were negotiations. When the North walked out of the parliament in 1953 after Chief Anthony Enahoro moved the motion for independence, it took negotiations to bring them back into the union after an eight-point agenda, which was mainly about confederations.”

It pointed out that the one sentence in the President’s speech that every Nigerian could live anywhere without let or hindrance if meant to address the quit notice by Arewa youths to the Igbo living in the North was too short to check the unwarranted threat.

The group further said it was miffed by Buhari’s description of the attacks by deadly Fulani herdsmen on defenceless farmers as a conflict between two quarrelling groups.

“To present the various onslaughts on farmers by the herdsmen as ‘two fighting,’ would portray the President as taking sides with the aggressive Meyitti Allah. While we do not hold the administration responsible for all agitations in Nigeria due to the crises of a unitary constitution, there are clearly many errors of commission and omission that have accentuated the strong self-determination feelings across the country which only restructuring can tame,” the group said.

According to the leaders, some of the errors made by the current administration are lopsided recruitment and appointment into federal institutions, breach of the Federal Character principle, early retirement of mostly Southern senior officers from the Armed Forces and other security services and concentration of most heads of Armed Forces and other national security agencies in a section of the country.

The group identified others to include the appointment of the legal adviser of Meyitti Allah as the secretary of the Federal Character Commission, indifference to the deadly activities of herdsmen and the President’s declaration that he could not treat those who gave him five per cent votes equally with those who gave him 97 per cent votes in the 2015 presidential election.

The Southern elders noted that having spent most part of their lives fighting for the country’s unity based on justice, fairness and equity, it was necessary to urge the President to realise the mess the country was in and exhibit statesmanship and not ethnic, religious, regional and political partisanship in renegotiating Nigeria along federal lines to tackle separatist feelings and agitations.

No united Nigeria without restructuring, says N’Delta agitators

Some Niger Delta agitators on Wednesday faulted the position taken by President Buhari on the calls for restructuring.

They said without restructuring as being suggested by prominent Nigerians, the nation would not remain united.

The agitators’ position was contained in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja.

Signatories to the statement included John Duku (Niger Delta Watchdogs); Ekpo Ekpo (Niger Delta Volunteers); Osarolor Nedam (Niger Delta Warriors); Henry Okon Etete (Niger Delta Peoples Fighters); Asukwo Henshaw (Bakassi Freedom Fighters); Ibinabo Horsfall (Niger Delta Movement for Justice); Duke Emmanson (Niger Delta Fighters Network) and Inibeghe Adams (Niger Delta Freedom Mandate).

“We wish to thank all well-meaning Nigerians who threw their weight behind restructuring and disassociated themselves from the President’s position on restructuring.

“We want to remind him (the President) that without restructuring, there would be no united Nigeria,” the agitators said.

They said they were surprised that the President said the unity of Nigeria was not negotiable when “indeed he did not believe in other Nigerians apart from those from the North.”

They insisted that Northerners and the Yoruba must leave their region before October 1.

“The Coalition of Arewa Youths’ quit notice to Igbo was in collaboration with the Northern elders, the President’s cabal and top security chiefs from the North. They were properly consulted by the youths.

“Therefore, we maintain our previous position that Northerners and Yorubas should vacate the Niger Delta region before October 1, 2017, until justice is done,” the statement read.

The agitators called on Buhari to reshuffle the Federal Executive Council, as well as appointments to boards of agencies and parastatals in a manner that would reflect federal character.

They also called for the return of oil blocks to natives of the region and the immediate relocation of the oil companies’ headquarters to their operational base, as well as relocation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s headquarters to the Niger Delta region.

They claimed that over 75 per cent of the oil blocks in the Niger Delta region were owned by Northerners, 20 per cent by Yoruba, three per cent by Igbo and the remaining two per cent of people of the region.

“We can no longer tolerate this injustice, marginalisation and be treated as slaves in our own land. We, therefore, demand that the Northerners should return 70 per cent and Yorubas 15 per cent of their oil blocks to the Niger Delta people for justice to prevail,” they said.

They claimed that they had put all machinery in place to protect Niger Delta from external forces, adding that they would not hesitate to bring the Nigerian economy to a standstill.

The Presidency advises Nigerians against harsh words

The Presidency on Wednesday advised opinion leaders in the country to exercise restraint in their choice of words as they criticise Buhari based on his position on restructuring.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, gave the advice in a statement.

Shehu said the restraint was necessary to avoid heating up the polity and causing acrimony across the country.

He noted that while Nigerians are free to express themselves, they should “exercise such liberty with restraint and a sense of responsibility.”

The presidential spokesman said calling Buhari an enemy of Nigeria was in “extremely bad taste.”

He added that nothing in the President’s service record would justify “such scurrilous language.”

Shehu said he was satisfied that majority of Nigerians welcomed Buhari’s broadcast.

He, however, said it was off the mark to criticise him for not responding to calls for restructuring.

“To criticise the President for not imposing a restructuring on the country – whatever that means – is completely off the mark,” he said.

Shehu said Buhari had no power to impose a restructuring on the country by military fiat.

He said National Assembly members were the elected representatives of the people who can handle agitations for restructuring and other constitutional changes.

He explained that the President is constitutionally bound to work with the National Assembly to deal with such issues, reminding critics that the President would not exercise arbitrary powers or bypass the legislature in taking fundamental decisions.

He added, “Changes don’t happen on a whim in a democracy. The ‘immediate effect’ military mentality cannot work under a democratic order.

“Since the President has sworn to defend the constitution, he would remain faithful to that oath by working with the legislature in taking major decisions on the future of Nigeria’s federal system.

“The country’s parliament is ready and willing to discuss all issues but the pundits are more interested in TV and newspaper headlines.

“Threats don’t work in a democracy. Democracy requires planning and proper process. Issues are resolved through established processes, not by abuses, insults or irresponsible statements.”

Buhari cancels FEC meeting, receives probe report

The meeting of the Federal Executive Council that holds every week did not hold on Wednesday.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, did not disclose the reason behind the decision to cancel the meeting.

This is just as Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday submitted the report of the committee that investigated allegations against the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal; and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ayo Oke, to Buhari.

The committee, which had the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN); and the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, as members, was initially billed to submit its report to Buhari on May 8, 2017, but could not do so because the President left the country on May 7 for London.

Speaking to State House correspondents after submitting the report, Osinbajo declined to divulge the details of the report.

He said the ball was in the President’s court to study the report and take his decision.

He said, “It is a fact-finding committee and our terms of reference were to find out what transpired in the cases; one involving the SGF and the other, the DG of NIA.

“We have concluded our job and we submitted a full report with recommendations to the President.

“We cannot, of course, give you any detail because the President has to look at the report, study it and then make his own decisions based on the report.”

Osinbajo said members of the committee were fair-minded, adding that justice was done in all cases.

He said it was in the interest of the nation that things were done properly.

When asked how soon Nigerians should be expecting the President’s decision on the report, the Vice President said, “All I can say now is that we have submitted the report to the President and it is a very detailed report as a matter of fact. The President has to study the report and make decisions.

On whether heads will roll based on the report, the Vice President said, “How can I tell you? If you want to know that, you have to wait. You really have to wait.”

Present at the brief ceremony where Osinbajo presented the report to the President were the two other members of the committee and the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari.

The President had on April 19 suspended Lawal and Oke and constituted a three-man committee led by Osinbajo to investigate them.

The panel investigated allegations of violations of law and due process made against Lawal in the award of contracts under the Presidential Initiative on the North-East while it probed Oke on the discovery of large amounts of foreign and local currencies by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in a residential apartment at Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos, for which NIA is laying claim to.   (Punchng.com)

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Buhari Meets Security Chiefs, Orders Them To Ensure Nigeria Remains One |RN

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Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday directed the nation’s security chiefs to ensure that Nigeria remains one in accordance with his position as stated in his nationwide broadcast on Monday.

The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Olonishakin, disclosed the presidential directive to State House correspondents after a meeting Buhari had with the nation’s security chiefs at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Buhari had in his broadcast to the nation said, “Nigeria’s unity is settled and not negotiable. We shall not allow irresponsible elements to start trouble and when things get bad they run away and saddle others with the responsibility of bringing back order, if necessary with their blood.”

Olonishakin said the President asked them to ensure that the directive was carried out to the letter.

“In his address, the President talked about the unity of the nation which is non-negotiable. We have all been fully instructed to ensure that that directive is carried out to the letter,” he said.

Olonishakin said Buhari was specific in his directive that security chiefs ensure that the life and property of Nigerians are protected.

He said they were also directed to ensure that they secure the nation and also that troops that are outside the country carry out their jobs effectively.

He said security chiefs updated Buhari on all security issues within and outside the country where the nation’s troops are during the meeting that lasted over three hours.

He said after the briefing, the President directed in some areas they should look at in order to enhance their operations.

When asked what the President told them of the Indigenous People of Biafra’s secret service, Olonishakin said, “All security threats were treated one after the other ranging from terrorism to kidnapping, herdsmen/farmers clash, to IPOB issue. They were all treated. Comments were made as to what to do as regards those issues.”

The defence chief parried a question on whether he will mobilise forces to the South East.

“Every security issue, like I said, have been treated and we are going to enhance our operations in all the areas we need to do that. Like I said, he has given the necessary directives which will be carried out by the military and the security agencies,” he simply said.

Olonishakin said despite the recent attacks carried out by Boko Haram, it would be wrong to believe that members of the sect have stepped up their game.

“On the Boko Haram issue, you all know it is an asymmetric warfare. It is not that the Boko Haram has stepped up their game. It is just the issue of the suicide bombing that has been the problem and of course we also working with the security agencies and the intelligence agencies to make sure that we address that menace,” he said.  (Punchng.com)

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Secession: Nigeria Is Better Together, Says U.S, APC Rejects Restructuring

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• APC, El-Rufai reject restructuring

By Adetutu Folasade-Koyi and Romanus Ugwu, Fred Ezeh,  Abuja 

The United States of America has cheery news for Nigeria: the country is better together, amid calls by some secessionist groups.

The bearer of the unity message was United States of America Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington, who said Nigerians who preach unity will overcome those calling for secession.

Symington said this at an event to celebrate America’s 241st anniversary, in Abuja, yesterday.

The US envoy said his country and Nigeria share many similarities and, most notably, diversity.

Symington recounted how the first American President, George Washington, warned that those who seek to weaken a country would always seek to start by causing disunity.

He said, just like America, Nigeria will remain a united country because of its determined people and leaders.

“Every time we have been challenged, we overcame danger because we had visionary leaders committed to union and citizens committed to ensuring justice for all.

“Today, Nigeria is fortunate to have such leaders and citizens. Together, they are dedicated to keeping Nigeria united and just ensuring that every Nigerian is heard and taken into account and treated fairly.

“Together, those Nigerians will overpower any call to divide this nation. Thanks to them, thanks to you, the lamp of unity and justice burns brightly both in our nations tonight. And the sight of a united Nigeria’s light lifts Africa and with it, the world.”

The US envoy said Nigeria’s diversity is an inspiration to many countries. He said that, just like the US, Nigeria’s plurality is a source of strength.

“Wherever I meet a Nigerian, I ask ‘What do you like the most about your country?’ I like our diversity, our resilience, our energy, our warmth, our spirit, our food’ is the response.

“Just like the United States, Nigeria is a wonderfully diverse nation whose differences and diversity are sources of strength and reason for pride.”

Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, have rejected calls for the restructuring of the country.

National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, stated that the priority of the Federal Government is not restructuring, but “to fix the economy, restore hope to Nigerians and create jobs for the teaming youths”, while El-Rufai described those calling for restructuring as “opportunists and irresponsible.”

El-Rufai, who spoke on a television programme monitored in Lagos, yesterday, said President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has done far more in practical terms than past administrations. He said many of those calling for restructuring see it as opportunism.

The governor said some of the practical steps taken towards restructuring is the inclusion of state governors in economic policy-making at the national level.

He said things that had been hidden from state governments are now much more open as they are now more involved in investigations of finances of the Excess Crude Account, among other things.

“We meet every month under the auspice of the National Economic Council (NEC), and working together with the Federal Government, we chart directions of economic policy, and that is part of shifting the federal-state balance. A lot of the talk about restructuring is political opportunism and irresponsibility, in my opinion.

“People who have presidential aspirations think there is a platform upon which they will exploit this. As I said, if you look at the APC manifesto, all the elements to divulge power to the state to change the balance in the Federation are there, and we are committed to that as a party.

“The national chairman of our party will restate that commitment and we are discussing it and, as I said President Muhammadu Buhari and (Prof. Yemi) Osinbajo’s government has taken very concrete steps, rather than rhetorics, to actually move in that direction, and we are going to move in that direction. But, we do not believe the basis, for it is rhetoric and opportunism; we do not believe that the 2014 National Conference report is a sensible basis to even begin.

“We all know the circumstances under which the so-called Confab was put together, we all know the composition, how lopsided it was, how important stakeholders were not taken into account, how even the composition and numbers do not reflect the demographics and the diversity of this country, and we took a position, as a party, not to participate, but to encourage our state governors to be there at the table.”

Speaking in Abuja, Oyegun noted that although the party avoided the word ‘restructuring’ in its manifestoes, it promised devolution of power and true federalism.

He, however, declared that the party won’t renege on its manifesto. “A lot of people talk about restructuring without any commonality. We have stated clearly what we want to do; devolution, true federalism.

We really avoided the word restructuring because it means so many things to so many people. But, our priority for now, for today is to fix the economy and restore hope, provide jobs to the teeming millions of our youths all over the country. So, it is a matter of priority.”

Asked if the APC-led federal government will allow ‘Biafrans’ to secede, Oyegun said: “I think that is the most unlikely thing, I don’t think it will go that far.”

Meanwhile, former Information minister and chieftain of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Prof. Jerry Gana, has joined the call to restructure Nigeria.

He insisted that the solution for increased agitation by different ethnic groups lies with the implementation of the 2014 confab report. 

Gana, who spoke at the public presentation of a book, “African Study Bible” in Abuja, yesterday, said government “cannot afford to turn deaf ears to the loud cry of Nigerians to the call for the restructuring of the Nigerian system.”  (The Sun)

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Only Divine Powers Will Stop Nigeria From Breaking, Says Doyin Okupe

 

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Doyin Okupe

 

Former media aide to the immediate past administration of Goodluck Jonathan, Doyin Okupe has said that only God holds the key to the nation’s continuous indivisibility.

In an article, he entitled, “Drums of war and Cries for Separation,” Okupe relied on the supernatural forces to keep the country in one piece.

He wrote, “Yes, again and again, there are drums of war, rumours of Coups and heightened cries for separation. Yet Nigeria will not break. I repeat as God liveth Nigeria is not about to break up.

“Those who rely on what is seen physically and those who are not too knowledgeable about life may want to hold this assertion in derision.

“Yet there is more than meets the eye in matters that controls the affairs of Nations and Men.

“True, all the Ingredients required to justify a dismemberment of our union are fully present: inequality, injustice, nepotism, corruption, deception, sectional neglect and lack of inclusivity, mutual distrust etc; fortunately or unfortunately it is not in the manifest destiny of this great Nation to disintegrate.

“To anyone who is discerning, it has been crystal clear that God has shown His guiding hand in the affairs of Nigeria since the June 12 debacle. God does not act in vain but for a purpose. It will be preposterous to assume that the purpose of God’s intervention in the affairs of Nigeria in the past 25 years is to lead us to a breakup.

“In truth, the Nigerian experiment or marriage is grossly imperfect and obviously not working.

“The Nigerian Union presents some of the outstanding features of a dysfunctional marriage.

“There is sustained anger, mutual contempt and distrust, lack of openness and poor communication among its component parts.

“In recent times the health of Mr President has been a source of concern to all. But more importantly, the North is more apprehensive in view of the previous experience with late President Yaradua.

“But they are not willing to discuss this openly. Official handling of the situation suggests sectional protectionism rather than presenting a national problem seeking for a national solution.

“Afterall this is a President loved and voted for by nearly a fanatical nationwide followers. Why should his adversity be borne and protected only by a section or just a few disciples?

“On the other side are those, mainly southerners who gloat over the President’s health challenges and cannot wait for power to be handed over to the Vice President and for the latter to actually assume the full status of the President, almost immediately.

They rely exclusively on the provisions of the Nigerian constitution, totally ignoring the main and the central abiding political philosophy of power sharing in Nigeria.

“Obviously there are serious and genuine fears across the divide. But as typical of a dysfunctional union, nobody is ready or willing to discuss these fears openly or even within leadership caucuses.

“What we then get are heightened calls and counter calls for the breakup of the country, calls for restructuring and official rumours of Coups.

“This is not the way to develop a great Nation. There is the need for a unity of purpose, an abiding faith in the Unity of the Nation.

There is an urgent need to develop a national platform from which we can nurture the emergence of an elite political “consensus from where we can always look at our problems as national problems and bring about unified national solutions.

Then and only then can our Nation be on its ultimate journey to its divine destiny of greatness.

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