John Shiklam in Kaduna
The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has said allegations of marginalisation by the southern part of the country against the North has created anxiety, fear and mistrust among Nigerians.
According to the forum, most of the allegations against the North were not based on facts.
The forum also expressed concern over the open disagreement between the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu and the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, over allegations of contract awards bordering on managerial imperfections and acts of insubordination.
The minister had in a recent letter to President Muhammadu Buhari accused Baru of contract awards without following due process.
The ACF in a communique issued yesterday at the end of its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting which held on Wednesday in Kaduna, maintained that it was unfortunate that most of the allegations against the North were not based on facts.
â€œAs a result they threaten our national cohesion by generating more heat than the needed lightâ€ the forum said in the communique signed by its spokesman, Muhammad Ibrahim Biu.
The communique said the forum had would set up a committee on restructuring which would examine all aspects and suggest a common perspective on the interest of the North within the Nigerian project.
The forum reiterated that restructuring should be aimed at enhancing unity, peaceful coexistence, stability and balanced development of the country as well as ensure social justice, fairness and equity to all.
On the NNPC controversy, the forum called on President Buhari to thoroughly investigate the mat
ter by giving both parties fair hearing in the interest of transparency in management practices of the NNPC.
The forum also decried the bad condition of the road network, rail tracks and other facilities across the country due to lack of maintenance, especially in the North.
The communique called on governments at all levels to ensure adequate budgetary provisions for the resuscitation and maintenance of the facilities in order to boost economic growth.
The forum further expressed concern over the alarming rate of drug addiction among the youths in the country, saying it was disturbing and worrisome.
â€œThe figure of about three million youths said to be involved in illegal consumption of drugs is frightening, considering the dire health effects such consumption would have on the future generations of Nigerians.
â€œConsequently, the meeting agreed to set up a committee that will critically examine the remote and immediate causes of this menace and suggest practical solutions to the problem,â€ the communique said.