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Arewa forum makes position on restructuring known to northern lawmakers

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Chairman of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) Audu Ogbe, has called on lawmakers from the northern region to support the calls for the restructuring of Nigeria whenever a bill is presented in the House of Representatives.

Ogbe who was part of a one-day retreat organised by the Northern Caucus of the House of Representatives held in Abuja on Monday, advised the northern lawmakers to be ready to endorse restructuring once it is passed by the National Assembly.

Ogbeh stressed that with the North lagging behind in industrialisation and jobs creation for its teeming population owing to lack of proper planning and determination by its leaders to invest in the region, it was imperative for the lawmakers to support the calls for restructuring.

“The last time Mr President met with a delegation from the South-South, he made a statement that revealed his body language.

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“He said that if a bill is presented before the National Assembly on the question of restructuring and the Assembly passes it, he will have no objection than to sign it. It then means that the matter may not be too far away.

“During the last ACF meeting in Kaduna, we extended an invitation to Ohanaeze, Afenifere and the South-South in order to have a conversation on the subject.

“We believe that there is no reason for undue warfare and that we all need to have a conversation across table to solve the problem. However, I will like you, as legislators, to take note of this.

“Many of the people who are clamouring for restructuring are referring to the 1963 Constitution. Somehow, they believe that constitution gives to every part of Nigeria whatever resources they have.

“But looking at Item 25, part 1 of section 69 of the first schedule, it says that mines, minerals, including oil fields, oil mining, geological surveys and natural gas are on the exclusive list.

“The 1963 Constitution is an exact copy of the 1960 Constitution and a copy of the 1999 Constitution which has now made to look as if it was written by the government itself.

“Take out this constitution and read it well. We will meet, discuss and something will be presented to you. It will be up to you to make it work after which Mr President will be ready to sign it,” he added.

By Isaac Dachen

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