Issues of restructuring being collectively agreed upon by the Southern and Middle Belt parts of Nigeria will constitute the most important factor that will determine who becomes the next president in Nigeria in 2019.
The Executive Secretary, Nigerian National Summit Group (NNSG), Mr. Tony Uranta, who expressed this view yesterday during a chat with journalists at his Omole, Lagos residence, said Nigerians have made their desire for restructuring known through the report of the last National Conference and that if not addressed, it would modify the opinion of majority of voters in 2019.
According to Uranta, the fundamental decision of the 2014 conference indicated that most Nigerians want restructuring, and if not addressed, it will be a major consideration in who majority of the regions will consider in 2019.
He said: “Mark my word, restructuring is going to be the central issue around which Nigeria’s next president will be determined whether for or against. Restructuring is going to be the determinant factor to bring about the next president of Nigeria.”
Earlier, he had said: “Unfortunately, I have heard a lot of people being intentionally mischievous about what restructuring really means. And also, I have found out that we have let the debate about restructuring fall into the politics of Nigeria.
“Restructuring honestly means changing the economic face of Nigeria so that every Nigerian can have a better life. Because all we are saying is let everybody – every federating unit truly have control of its resources, pay something to the centre and develop itself along the line and manner it so decides is best for it.
“Nigeria is currently at a crossroads and the perception is that the Hausa-Fulani have ulterior agenda but recently, we have been having a kind of partnership between the South and the middle belt.”
Assuring that the current understanding between the Southern and Middle Belt Nigerians could withstand every feudalistic and parochially centred domination by one ethnic group in the national picture, he said: “If the Arewa youths had not threatened the Igbo, the Southern Leaders’ Forum would not have been created and Southern unity would not have come into existence. In fact, the North shot itself in the foot and also in the mouth, as they would find out soon.
“I can tell you now and I would stand to be corrected by anybody, as a fact, that the federal government invited the Southern Leaders Forum to attend a meeting with Arewa Consultative Forum – that the vice president would chair and we told the federal government that we are not attending any meeting that does not recognise the middle belt zone as a people. The middle belt has declared very clearly North as one entity. No! The days of attempting to fool Nigerians that the North is one indissoluble block are over.
“It is good that the Southern and middle belt leaders are now coming together, resolving difference and strengthening commonalities and this is going to create a new dynamics within the next three months at the most.
“Even the party called APC is not going to to depend on any one man’s word to make any region vote enmass for any candidate. Each candidate will have to come to the people of each zone and convince them that he is their leader and should be given a chance.”
He scored the President Buhari administration low, comparing it to the President Donald Trump’s administration in the United States (US), saying “I think the present Nigerian administration is in love with the Trump administration in America because I just see both administration working as twins brothers; pushing out lies as their basic policy and expecting that their words would bring about change, not their actions.”