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Address demands for restructuring, PANDEF tells FG

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Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF)


National Chairman of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Emmanuel Ibiok Essien, has urged the Federal Government to address agitations from all sections of the country now to restructure the country.

Maintaining that the country could no longer continue with the kind of federalism it operates, he said Nigeria should be restructured to devolve more powers to the state, adding that there was a lot to gain in staying together if the centre should cede more powers to the states.

He stated this in an interview with The Guardian in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State, stressing that there was the need for reorientation of the people to ensure that no matter what anyone gets from corruption, such ill-gotten wealth could be destroyed suddenly.

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He insisted that to make it difficult for desperate politicians to manipulate the 2023 elections, electronic voting should be used, maintaining that when power is devolve to states, each state should explore their full potential.

Essien explained that unity would be maintained in the country if the states are encouraged to maximise their full potential to encourage healthy competition among them, adding that Nigerians have a lot to benefit from country’s unity in diversity. 

He, however, lamented that it is only in Nigeria that the federation does not give power to the federating units, saying a major way to stop insecurity in the country was to devolve power to states to enable them create their own police.

On corruption, he stressed that graft has drawn the country backward, adding that despite the fact that Nigeria’s democratic system was still at the experimental stage, it was getting worse, because the executive arm of government was wielding too much powers.

On open grazing, Essien said Southern Nigeria and the Middle Belt region were right in supporting the decision of their governors to reject open grazing.

“Rearing of cattle is a business and anyone that want to rear cattle should buy land and build where they should breed, feed and trade their cattle,” he said.

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