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PANDEF carpets Buhari for threatening ‘war’ over restructuring

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The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), yesterday, declared that President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent reaction to the issue of restructuring amounted to a threat of war and destruction of livelihoods of Nigerians.

In a statement issued yesterday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, National Publicity Secretary of PANDEF, Ken Robinson, said for the president to make such comments, through a representative, at the launch of a Peace Foundation in Zaria, Kaduna State, reflected the core of the nation’s problems.

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He argued that Buhari’s reaction revealed that the Presidency was insensitive, callous and cared less about the unity and future of the country.

The Guardian recalled that the president had in Kaduna, reminded the citizens of the nation’s military might, but surprised at the comment, PANDEF said the president’s statement indicted not only the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), but also himself.

“It speaks to the fact that they are either dishonest or incoherent and confused. How could a president whose party constituted a committee on restructuring headed by Governor Nasir El-Rufai make such comments?

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“The Governor el-Rufai Committee concluded its assignment and submitted a report to the party, of which the president is the supposed leader, over two years ago,” the statement said.

The group lamented that the president did not address how to deal with the banditry and abduction of school children in Kaduna and other states in the North West.

“Rather, he reminded citizens of the nation’s military might, which he has been unable to deploy against the terrorists, bandits and criminals making life unbearable for Nigerians and undermining the nation’s territorial integrity,” it added.

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Continuing, he said Executive Secretary of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Shehu Mohammed Bello, could afford to voice the remarks on behalf the President, because he was aware of their crooked agenda to perpetuate subjugation and injustice against the rest of the country.

“A situation where every strategic executive position in the nation’s public sector has to be occupied by a Northern, of which Bello is a prime beneficiary, is a gross disservice to the country and its unity.

“They are against restructuring because they are benefiting from the flawed military imposed 1999 Constitution. Every month, the 19 Northern states receive a 57 per cent of oil revenue to which they contribute nothing, while the South-South, which contributes 87 per cent receives less than 20 per cent.

“Of Nigeria’s 774 local government areas, the 19 Northern states have 419, while the 17 Southern states have 357,” PANDEF lamented.

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