A group under the umbrella of Conference of National Autonomous Ethnic Communities Development Association (CONAECDA) in northern Nigeria said the position of governors and traditional rulers in the region on the quest for restructuring the country will be rejected if all ethnic nationalities are not properly consulted.
In a press statement jointly signed by the National Coordinator, Zuwaqu Kali Abungon Bonnat, General Secretary, Suleman Dauda Sukukum and the Conference President, Da. Ericson Fom, urged Northern Governors to intensify efforts towards the implementation of the 2014 National Conference convened by former President Goodluck Jonathan.
“We’re concerned about efforts of some categories of people to chart new agenda on the quest for national restructuring. These are the positions of the Northern State Governors’ Forum and Northern traditional rulers on one hand, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) on another hand, and the renewed positions of many other agitators.
“Any position presented by the Northern governors and traditional rulers’ committee, if it does not engage properly with our people, will be considered as the opinion of the committee and not of the over 400 ethnic nationalities of the North.
“We believe a common position can be achieved where honest dialogue is allowed and the opinion of the diverse peoples of the geographical North, cutting across ethnic and religious communities, is sought and respected.”
The group advised the federal government to detach itself from the political ideology of the APC. It said restructuring cannot be done on the basis of any group or political party’s ideas, but on national consensus.
“A political party is not the same as the Federal Government of Nigeria. This is why we consider it needful to make it public and to advise the APC leadership and committee on restructuring to consider their assignment and the outcome to be strictly a party affair, which should be subjected to national scrutiny and consensus.
“It is a dangerous trend to have situations whereby political parties or successive governments jettison the outcome of a national dialogue involving all key stakeholders, such as ethnic nationalities, political parties, religious leaders, civil society, security agencies, and traditional rulers that produced acceptable resolutions simply because they were carried out by different individuals, governments or political parties,” the statement read.
The group reminded President Muhammadu Buhari that sovereignty in democracies is with the people as encapsulated in the constitution. It said Nigerians should be allowed to decide the fate of the nation and be involved in any discussion on what type of country they desire.
The group resolved that the federal government should revisit the resolutions of the 2014 national conference, where issues were successfully resolved by Nigerians, for urgent implementation.