Convener of Arewa Research and Development Project, Usman Bugaje, has described the growing demands for Nigeria restructuring as full of incoherence and promised that the Northern intelligentsia will soon bring some clarity to the matter.
He stated that after its two-day conference, the north will be clear and straightforward on its position on restructuring.
Bugaje, who stated this in a statement on Sunday, said the two-day conference will start this Wednesday, and that the North will ensure it distances itself from the confusion surrounding the call for restructuring.
“In the last one year, or so, ‘restructuring’ and ‘true federalism’ have dominated political discourse in Nigeria, unfortunately, when you listen to the speeches and read the articles on these issues, you will find out that there are as many comprehensions of these terms as there are people speaking or writing.
“Besides, most of the discussions seem to ignore the history of the evolution of our federalism and this failure has actually helped to rob the whole exercise of its propriety, accuracy and clarity,” Bugaje stated.
The two-day conference organised by the Arewa Research and Development Project (ARDP), which would hold in Kaduna, Bugaje said would afford the North solid ground on which it will anchor its position on restructuring..
He said, “This conference seeks to blend academic presentations with realpolitik,” he said, adding that “while academics and experts will lead with papers, a panel of practitioners will discuss the issues extensively. The audience will also be given a chance to raise issues and make their inputs into the discussions.
“Some of the key papers will be on the historicity of the Nigerian federation; an examination of the constitutional developments in pre- and post-colonial Nigeria; and the dangers of war, the dynamics of peace. Others will look at the principles of fiscal federalism and revenue allocation; the land question and the development agenda of the North. In the afternoon of both two days a panel of experts will focus on these presentations and bring the practical dimensions to the fore while the audience gets a chance to make their inputs.”
The planning committee of the conference was drawn from northern academic institutions and Northern organisations like the Northern Elders Forum (NEF); Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Sir Ahmadu Bello Foundation, Code Group, Northern Delegates Forum, Northern Re-awakening, Jamiyyar Matan Arewa and Arewa Initiative for Good Governance, among others.
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