Amid the sustained clamour for a restructured federal project, Chairman of the Southern Senators Forum, Senator Hope Uzodinma, will lead his colleagues to Calabar for a historic retreat on National Unity and Restructuring scheduled to hold from November 23 to 26, 2017.
In an interview with journalists in Abuja at the weekend, Uzodimma stated that the retreat is specially designed to bring together top rate stakeholders, who are highly knowledgeable on national issues to brainstorm and proffer options for the right way forward on restructuring.
The resource persons for the retreat are men with impeccable nationalist credentials. They cut across the different zones of the country.
Among those expected to speak at the retreat are Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson; the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Most Rev. Dr. Matthew Hassan Kukah, and the former Senate President, David Mark.
Others are the Anglican Bishop of Enugu, Rt. Rev Emmanuel Chukwuma; Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN); Jigawa State Governor, Mohammad Badau Abubakar, and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami.
Prominent traditional rulers such as the Emir of Kano, the Ooni of Ife, King Jaja of Opobo, Eze CC Ilomuanya and the Obong of Calabar are expected to grace the occasion. All the southern governors and national senators will also be at the retreat.
The theme of the retreat is ‘National Unity and Restructuring’. Senate President Bukola Saraki is the special guest of honour while his deputy Ike Ekwerenmadu will deliver the keynote address while the Governor of Cross River State, Professor Ben Ayade, is the chief host.
Uzodimma, who is also the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariffs, stated that the high profile retreat will certainly illuminate the paths on the way forward with restructuring vis-à-vis, national unity.
“As legislators, we are sensitive to the challenges facing our democracy and what we are doing is to see how we can make our own contributions towards finding solutions to such challenges. On this score, we hope that the retreat will rise with a common position on how best to preserve our unity in a restructured Nigeria where equity and justice is guaranteed to all citizens,”Uzodimma said.