Senate leader, Ndume, flays calls for restructuring
The Senate Leader, Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume (APC Borno South), has described the clamour to restructure the federation as unnecessary and cautioned the agitators to respect the views of other Nigerians while making the demand.
Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in June this year at a public forum in Abuja called for restructuring of the Nigerian federation using the first republic as a model with strict adherence to the principle of fiscal federalism between the centre and the states for genuine development to take place. The South West caucus of the All Progressives Congress (APC) restated this call in Ibadan recently.
While addressing journalists in his office yesterday, Ndume said good leadership at all levels of the federation is the solution to turn the country around and not restructuring.His words: “Whatever it is, my own position on the clamour for restructuring is that since we are in the era of democracy, the people should be allowed to decide and not individuals. Nobody should claim a monopoly of interest of the people from his or her area by sitting down with few others and calling other zones saying that Nigeria should restructure, no I don’t support that.
“I support collective decisions by Nigerians. We came together collectively not by force, not by insult, but by negotiation. Even when our colonial masters wanted to carve out a country called Nigeria and out of three basic regions, north, western and eastern regions. There was a series of conferences that led to that.”
According to him, “calling for restructuring at this critical stage of our nationhood and enormous challenges ranging from economic to security is like missing the point. What we need is good leadership at both the centre and the co-ordinate units otherwise known as states. This would ensure good governance across the country.”
He cautioned those calling for restructuring to respect the feelings of other Nigerians in their agitations by not imposing the idea “which is largely individualistic now on others.”