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ACF rejects Jonathan's confab report, seeks meaning of ‘restructuring’


The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has rejected the call to implement the 2014 National Conference report describing it as undemocratic and also said the issue of restructuring must be properly defined as it (ACF) is against any restructuring that will affect the country’s unity.
These decisions were reached after the National Executive Council meeting of the northern group on Wednesday, July 12.
In a communique issued after the meeting, the group explained to the federal government that its reason for rejecting the confab report was in the interest of the country. It said: “The opposition of the North to the implementation of the recommendations in report of 2014 National Conference is not so much because of any legal consideration as to its legitimacy, but also because the selection of the conference delegates was skewed against the North in number considering its population.
“For emphasis, there are contentious issues like the abolishment of the present local government councils, creation of 18 additional states that were not resolved in accordance with due process of the conference proceedings.
“ACF, therefore, is of the opinion that it would be morally preposterous and anti-democratic for anybody or group to canvass for the implementation of the reports by a conference of unelected delegates. This is more so by the elected government which did not participate in the conference and its recommendations were not part of the manifesto of the ruling party.”
The group also gave words of advice to the executive and the National Assembly saying issues that pitch them against one another are avoidable.
“ACF has observed with deep concern the continued altercations between the Executive arm of government and the National Assembly, in particular the Senate, over interpretations of certain sections of the Constitution regarding confirmation of appointments of public officers and other contentious issues. These kinds of disagreements are avoidable precisely because they are not helpful for good governance.
“ACF, therefore, urges the parties concerned to amicably resolve their differences in the interest of Nigeria, or better still, approach the Supreme Court and seek the correct interpretation of the relevant sections of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended in order to avoid future occurrences of the present situation,” it stated.
Concerning the issue of restructuring, the group said it has not been properly defined as it means different things to different parts of the country.  “It (ACF) has observed with keen interest the current nationwide debate on the term ‘Restructuring’ of the country as being canvassed by some people, groups and even prominent citizens. The term, however, means different things to different people or groups. To some, it is ‘true federalism’ whatever that means, for others it is ‘fiscal federalism’, while some group tout ‘resource control’. Yet we have those for ‘resource ownership’.
“ACF notes with regret that those clamouring or demanding for the so-called restructuring are yet to define what they actually mean by the concept and its application in our present democratic setting. In most cases, the meaning depends on which section of the country or the person advocating for it comes from. It is, therefore, the considered view of the ACF that any acceptable restructuring meant to improve the unity, stability, harmony and peaceful coexistence must be based on just, fair and equitable principles to all Nigerians that come with clarity of definition,” the group added.
In a related development, the Ohaneze Ndigbo had reiterated that the unity of Nigeria was important and disregarded report that the country was heading towards a break-up.
The Lagos chapter of the apex Igbo group stated this during the inauguration of Colonel Reuben Nwako (rtd) as the chairman of Ohanaeze Ikorodu Division who was presented to His Royal Majesty, Oba Adewale Shotobi, Adegorushen V, the Ayangburen of Ikorodu and his Cabinet members.

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