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    Demands for restructuring symptoms of poor leadership- Bugaje


    From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna

     

    A former member House of Representative Dr Usman Bugaje has said demands for restructuring of the country are in many ways symptoms of poor leadership at various levels of governance over a period of time.

     

    He said that, it is important for the north to respond to the demands driven by a discontent whether genuine or otherwise.

     

    He made the assertion during a two – day conference on ‘The North and the future of the Nigerian Federation ’, organized by the Arewa Research and Development Project (ARDP), in kaduna today.

     

     

    According to him,  the north not only because of its landmass and population but also because of its culture and values has always accommodated the others and provided the leadership that had stabilized the federation especially in times of crises.

     

     

    Bugaje who is the convener of the conference said the

    immediate objective of the conference is to bring clarity, accuracy and precision to the debate on the future of the Nigerian federation.

     

     

    “This is necessary because at the moment there is a lot of confusion about what a federation is supposed to be.

     

     

    “People who talk about true federalism clearly need to revise their notes and realize that true federalism is not only misleading but also untenable since every federation is unique and there are no two federations that are the same.

     

    ‘Similarly the concept of fiscal federalism has been grossly misunderstood and many are reading their parochial wishes and confusing the debate. The conference’s immediate objective is to get experts in the field to clarify all of these issues.

     

     

    “The other objective is to get experts to guide the North in identifying its priorities as we go into this debate and negotiations.

     

    “The north has a history and has come a long way, sharing values and aspirations and has therefore a collective responsibility to chart its future together.

     

    “In this respect it is important to say that the knowledge generated in this conference will feed into the committee of Northern Governors and Traditional Rulers, which is headed by the chairman of this occasion, Governor Tambuwal of Sokoto State.

     

     

    “Yet another object is to bring together the North in all its diversities, Christians and Muslims, male and female, the young and the old, those in politics and those out of politics, professionals and laymen, indeed all our diversities to listen, ask questions and make inputs into the process of shaping of a Northern position in this current national debate and the positioning of the North in the Nigerian federation. In doing all these we need to bear in mind the lessons from history.

     

    “But even more import is the need to interrogate ourselves, precisely the abdication of the North from its traditional role of being the stabilizing factor for this country. Clearly these”

     

     

    Bugaje stressed that the conference was conceived not only as a response to the demand for a review of the nature and structure of the Nigerian federation but also as an internal self evaluation of the North as a major component of the Nigerian federation.

     

     

    In his remark,  the Governor of Sokoto State Hpn. Aminu Wsziri  Tambuwal said the idea that the north is against restructuring because it benefits most from the current state of things is circumscribed and patently false.

     

     

    Tambuwal who is the Chairman Northern Governor Forum Committee on Restructuring of the Nigerian Federation  added that    the fact that some people continue to parrot such a lie only help to give credence to the flawed argument.

     

    ” Let us be clear: the North wants restructuring as much as anyone else. However, as a people we do not easily jump unto the bandwagon because we are always there for the long haul.

     

    “We believe that any decision we take must be inclusive, and respect procedures and processes so that the outcome is sustainable.

    ”  I think we should first, as a country, agree on a mutual definition of the term restructuring.” he stressed

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