Again, Southern, Middle Belt Leaders Task Tinubu On Restructuring, Economy

Sunday Aborisade in Abuja

Leaders and elders of the South-east, South-west, South-south, and the Middle Belt regions have asked President Bola Tinubu to restructure Nigeria based on the recommendations contained in the 2014 Confab Report.

The elder statesmen made the appeal in a communique they issued yesterday at the end of their meeting in Abuja on Thursday.

They insisted that President Tinubu should take an urgent look at the 2014 National Conference Report, concluded by 494 of the country’s leaders, as well as the All Progressives Congress (APC) Report on True Federalism.

The meeting resolved to set up a strategic committee on restructuring and expressed readiness to interface with the federal government, the National Assembly, and all other stakeholders, on the enunciated issues.

The meeting also urged the federal government to, “as a matter of urgency, and priority, work towards the restructuring of the country and enthrone true federalism as was originally entrenched in the 1960 and 1963 constitutions.”

The communique added that “without restructuring, the future of Nigeria and democracy remain bleak and must, therefore, be carried out immediately.”

It expressed a great concern and total rejection of the trend where certain sections of the country are continually marginalised in the number of states, local governments, and even appointments into the Federal Executive Council.

The group, “Particularly requests that the South-east be appropriately represented on the Federal Executive Council, similar to other geopolitical zones.”

It insisted that Nigeria must always remain a country where all citizens and sections enjoy a full sense of belonging and equality.

The communique further noted that the Supreme Court judgement on the 2023 presidential election had effectively brought to an end the legal processes on the conduct and outcome of the presidential election, held on 25th February 2023.

It however said, “We will, in the coming days, make a substantial pronouncement on the judgement.”

The communique added, “SMBLF urges that efforts be redoubled to assuage the daily depreciating living standard of Nigerians.

“SMBLF calls on the federal government to urgently salvage the Naira, which continues to depreciate daily.

“Advices that the federal government should take urgent steps to release Nnamdi Kanu since a court of competent jurisdiction has ordered so. We believe that doing so will promote peace and security in the South-east.

“That the Federal Capital Territory remains the national patrimony of all Nigerians; thus, condemns the present efforts by some to arrogate exclusiveness. This must be rejected and the promoters of such views should be called to order.”

The meeting was attended by the representatives of the

Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide; the Afenifere; Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), and the Middle Belt Forum, respectively.

The SMBLF Leader, Chief Edwin Clark, chaired the meeting which also had in attendance several national leaders including Chief Ayo Adebanjo (Afenifere); Chief Dr. Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu (President General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide) and  Dr. Pogu Bitrus (President, Middle Belt Forum).

Others are, Chief Cornelius Adebayo (former governor of Kwara State); Obong Victor Attah (former governor of Akwa Ibom State) and Senator Emmanuel Ibok-Essien,National Chairman, PANDEF. 

The meeting also had in attendance, General Zamani Lekwot (rtd); former military governor of Rivers State, General Lawrence Onoja (rtd); former military governor of Katsina State, Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ishaya Bamaiyi; former Chief of Army Staff, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife and former governor of Anambra State, Chief S.N. Okeke and Prof. G.G. Darah among others.

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