Southern, middle belt leaders ask Tinubu to implement 2014 confab report

Elders and leaders of southern Nigeria and Middle Belt have urged President Bola Tinubu to salvage the rapidly depreciating Naira, begin efforts to restructure Nigeria to full fiscal federalism, end marginalisation of some sections of the country in terms of appointments, creation of states and local councils as well as release Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.

These were some of the decisions taken at a meeting of the elders and leaders on the banner of the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum, SMBLF, in Abuja, on Thursday.

At the meeting were leaders and elders of the South-East, South-West, South-South, and Middle-Belt Regions represented by Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Afenifere, Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, and the Middle Belt Forum, MBF.

Chaired by Chief E. K. Clark, the parley was attended by Chief Ayo Adebanjo – Leader, Afenifere; Chief Dr. Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, President-General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo; Dr. Pogu Bitrus – President, Middle Belt Forum; Senator Cornelius Adebayo, former Governor of Kwara State; Obong Victor Attah, former Governor of Akwa Ibom State; and Senator Emmanuel Ibok-Essien – National Chairman, PANDEF.

Others include General Zamani Lekwot Retd., former Military Governor of Rivers State; General Lawrence Onoja Retd., former Military Governor of Katsina State; Lt. General Ishaya Bamaiyi, retd., former Chief of Army Staff; Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, former Governor of Anambra State; Chief S.N. Okeke, former Chairman, Police Service Commission; Chief Onyema Ugochukwu, former Chairman of NDDC; Chief Sola Ebiseni, National Secretary, Afenifere; Amb. Godknows Igali; Amb. Okey Emuchay, Secretary General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo; Senator Nimi Barigha-Amange; Senator Musa Adede; Prof. G. G. Darah; and Chief Solomon Asemota SAN.

The rest include DIG. Potter L. Dabup, retd; Engr. Marcus Gundiri; Chief Akin Oshuntokun; Dr. Akin Fapohunda; Prof Charles Nwakeaku; Dele Farotimi; Prof. Echefuna Onyebeadi;  Jonathan Tsaku; Mr. Mac Emakpore; Dr. Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia; Prince Maikpobi Okareme; Jonathan Asake; Mrs. Elizabeth Jibrin; Chief Hon. Olivia Agbajoh; and Dr. Ken Robinson.

According to a communique signed by EK Clark, Adebanjo, Iwuanyanwu, Lekwot, Pogu and Ibok-Essien, the leaders and elders discussed exhaustively the current developments in the country and urged the Federal Government to, “as a matter of urgency, and priority, work towards the Restructuring of the country and enthrone True Federalism as was originally entrenched in the 1960 and 1963 constitutions.”

According to them, “Without restructuring, the future of Nigeria and democracy remain bleak and must, therefore, be carried out immediately.”

They expressed “great concern and total rejection of the trend where certain sections of the country are continually marginalized in the number of states, local governments, and even appointments into the Federal Executive Council,” and “particularly request that the South-East be appropriately represented on the Federal Executive Council, similar to other geo-political zones.”

They insisted that “Nigeria must always remain a country where all citizens and sections enjoy a full sense of belonging and equality.”

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Sydney Okafor

I am so passionate about this my profession as a broadcast journalist and voiceover artists and presently a reporter at TV360 Nigeria

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