Leaders from Southern Nigeria and their counterparts from the North-Central part of the country rose from a one-day meeting in Abuja, Saturday and called for a restructuring of Nigeria to ensure justice and equity in the administration of the country.
A communique issued in Abuja after the meeting convened by foremost Ijaw leader, Edwin Clark, said restructuring was the panacea to rising agitations in Nigeria. They also called for the implementation of the 2014 National Conference report.
The Saturday meeting was attended by leaders from the South-South, South-West, South-East and Middle Belt.
Those in attendance were Chief Olu Falae, Prof. Jerry Gana, Idris Wada, Dan Suleiman, Labaran Maku, among others.
The communiqué was read by the spokesman of the pan Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, Dr Yinka Odumakin.
Odumakin said the leaders held the view that the current federal structure was ‘’unbalanced, unjust, unfair, over centralised, unstable, anti-development and therefore unacceptable.
“Accordingly, we firmly our support for the demand to restructure the federation in line with the recommendations of the 2014 National Conference.
“Recommendations to restore the country to the principles of federalism enshrined in the Independence Constitution negotiated by our founding fathers.
“ For the federation to function properly in the interest of the constituent parts there should be fundamental devolution of powers and functions to the federating units.
“This is important so that each federating unit can effectively serve the development interests of the people.
“This is the central essence of a good federation, not the current over-centralisation of powers and functions in the central government.’’
Odumakin said Nigeria must work out a new fiscal formula that would lead to the diversification of the economy.
“A diversified economy where all federating units are encouraged to develop their abundant natural human resources for regional and national development.
‘’`The federating units shall remit agreed percentage of their revenue to the federation account, ‘’ Odumakin said.
The leaders also called for the implementation of the 2014 National Conference report.