Arewa Research and Development Project (ARDP)
Northern leaders have resolved to consult further before taking a common position on the issue of restructuring the Nigerian federation.
They had earlier declared that the North was not afraid of restructuring.
The northern elders passed the resolution after a two day conference on “The North and the future of the Nigerian Federation.”
The gathering was meant to collate the views of stakeholders from the region on the pattern the North would want Nigeria to be restructured.
Most of the speakers held divergent views on the issue though they were unanimous that the north should not be against restructuring the country.
They however disagreed that there was anything like true federalism, arguing that every nation structures its political process in the best way suited for its system.
One of the speakers, Yima Sen, argued that many theories have been ascribed to the north which are not real and needed to be corrected for the north to take a stand on restructuring.
The conference ended with a resolution to prepare and consolidate on one northern united position on the current debate.
Five key speeches were delivered and eight position papers were presented with two panel discussions chaired by 15 panellists,
The conference was organized by the Arewa Research and Development Project (ARDP) in collaboration with key groups of the North including; the Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation, the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), the CODE Group, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), the Northern Reawakening Forum, the Northern Delegates Forum, the Jam’iyar Matan Arewa and the Forum for Northern Youth Organisations in Kaduna.
Convener of the conference, Dr. Usman Bugaje, in a communiqué at the end of the conference, said the ARDP and the other collaborating teams will liaise with the Northern governors and the Traditional Rulers Committee to make sure that the views expressed at the conference see the light of the day in the formation of the Northern stand.
He said the report of the conference will be communicated to all participants through their e-mails.
“The conference was attended by the various segments of the North – the political leaders, the traditional rulers, the elders, the scholars and intellectuals as well as women and youth.
“The main objective of the conference was not only to respond to the demand for the review of the nature and structure of the Nigerian federation, to examine and evaluate the North as a major component of the Nigerian federation, but to also get experts to guide the north in identifying its priorities and position as it goes into the debate and the forthcoming negotiations,” he stated.
Daily Trust reports that former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who has thrown his weight behind the calls to restructure the country, was absent from the Kaduna even