The ongoing calls for the restructuring of economic and political architecture have attracted support from an unlikely quarters as Northern Elders Forum now sees it as the only way to address Nigeria’s fundamental questions.
Reacting to questions thrown at him on Channels TV programme, ‘Sunrise daily’, the Spokesman of the group, Dr Hakeem Baba Ahmed made a call for the reversal of Nigeria’s constitution.
He said Nigeria is no longer working and needs to maintained that restructuring is the panacea to numerous problems facing the country.
In his words, “The two basic functions of the state is to secure citizens and provide for their welfare. Now, the Nigerian state is failing in both camps. So, restructuring for us means addressing those failures and identifying ideas, suggestions, and changes that can actually fit into the process of improving them.”
“Policing is a fundamental issue. Here in the north where I come from, you could spend three days with bandits ravaging communities and you will not see a single policeman. Something is wrong with the way the country is structured to provide security for citizens. So, we need to revisit some of these issues.”
“We need to look at our constitution, look at the way it provides for the Nigerian state, the federating units, allocate responsibilities in power, the works of vital institutions, or the failure of vital institutions to work and how we can improve them.”
Baba-Ahmed added that Nigerians call for restructuring is a legitimate call which should not be seen as demanding the unthinkable.
“When we make demands for the restructuring of the country, we are not necessarily saying that the government is deliberately causing the problems – they are cumulative issues, matters that should have been addressed a long time ago but they were not addressed. Nations must accept to revisit how they live.”
“Nigerians have a right to ask for changes, for amendment, for improvement in the manner in which we live. There is nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is for the government to specifically say we don’t want to hear anything about restructuring.
“We believe that Nigerians should never be tired about demanding that their country must be made to work. If the government is not going to do it on its own, it needs assistance. If it needs some pressure, we believe we can provide that pressure,” he added