N’Delta Stakeholders Lashes Out At Buhari Over Statement On Restructuring


LAGOS JUNE 28TH (NEWSRANGRS)-Some Niger Delta leaders, stakeholders and groups, yesterday, lashed out at President Muhammadu Buhari over his Monday avowal that those clamouring for restructuring of the country had selfish motives, saying the President was misled as no force, including him (Buhari) can stop restructuring.
President Buhari, playing host, Monday, to Urhobo leaders from Delta State, who visited him in Abuja, had said: “You mentioned something which is typical these days, the cause of restructuring Nigeria. For every group asking for restructuring has got their own agenda and I hope it can be accommodated by the constitution.”
Reacting, spokesperson of Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, Chief Anabs Sara-Igbe, said: “It is quite unfortunate. I do not know if the President was quoted wrongly or it is true, but let me be clear. If the President says those calling for restructuring do not mean well for the country, it means APC as a party does not mean well for this country.
“The party, APC, had already recommended restructuring of the country. The Nasir El-Rufai Committee had also affirmed that the party should go into restructuring. So if the party that brought you (Buhari) to power also believes in restructuring, and he is saying that those for restructuring do not mean well, it means his party does not mean well.
“Having said that, we in Niger Delta believe if this country is restructured, we will be at peace and it will be good for us. Those in the West also believe that if the country is restructured, it will be in their own interests.”
Former Vice Chancellor, Rivers State University and President General, Ogbako Ikwerre Worldwide, Prof Simeon Achinebu, said: “He is a democratic president but still acting like a military Head of State. I do not think he is used to democracy. If he is democratic and his party made a recommendation supporting restructuring, if he is a democrat he will respect it.
“Several Nigerians are talking about restructuring and he cannot impose his personal opinion on the nation. If he does that, his stay in the office is temporary, one day he will leave office and Nigeria will continue. Restructuring can’t be pushed aside,”
Also, President, Ijaw Professionals Association, IPA, (Homeland chapter), Bayelsa State, Iniuro Will, on his part, said “Restructuring is a task that must be done, no force can stop it.”
Former Delta state governorship aspirant, Chief Sunny Onuesoke, told our reporter on phone: “Buhari is saying this because he is afraid of change and is not ready to join the digital age. Buhari is against restructuring because oil is from the Niger Delta.
“If Buhari is against restructuring, why is he allowing cattle grazing at these modern age where ranching is the order of the day globally. We need state police, we need independence of the power sector and it is time states take care of their resources and as well as pay taxes to the Federal Government to run security and general social welfare of the masses.”
A former member of the House of Representatives, John Edijala, said: “You do not need to worry about what comes from his mouth, he is a finished product.”
Chairman, Civil Liberties Organisation, CLO, Bayelsa State, Chief Nengi James, said: “I believe that those he referred to as being selfish are those that are using restructuring for political propaganda. I believe that restructuring cannot be waved aside.
“If Mr. President is not misinformed, I want to believe that he should understand the plight and the agitation of the people and take the people into consideration. Whether he suspends the talk, whether he refuses to accommodate it, it has come to stay. President should‘ve consulted widely. Niger Delta environmentalist, Mr. Alagoa Morris, told Vanguard: “While one can understand the disposition of Mr. President, that no one in that office wants to take the responsibility for such revolutionary step, l think it would have been better if the president did wide consultations before coming out with such disappointing statement.
“The country, as at now, has a majority that supports restructuring. From all the six geopolitical zones, Nigerians are in the majority standing on the side of restructuring. It may not be surprising to see a scenario where parts of the North do not have majority aligning with restructuring, but that should not mean the president should align with such minority view or stance.”
Factional president of Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, Eric Omare, said: “The comment by President Buhari clearly shows that the party’s position is just to deceive Nigerians to get votes in 2019. It is unacceptable for the leader of a political party to take a public position on a burning national issue different from the position taken by the party. It again shows the disconnect between the party and those elected on its platform.
“The IYC completely disagrees with President Buhari that the present constitutional arrangement can address the call for restructuring. The present arrangement is inadequate, hence Nigeria must be restructured. Whether President Buhari accedes to the demand or not, the call for restructuring would continue, it is an idea whose time has come and there is no going back on the quest for restructuring,” Omare said.
Also reacting, another factional IYC president and president-general of Ethnic Nationalities Youth Forum of Niger Delta, Pereotubo Oweilaemi, said “As the president of IYC, who has the mandate of Ijaw people to speak on their behalf, we are disappointed at the statement by Mr President. I want to state that restructuring is part of the Niger Delta struggle for fair share of our common wealth.”
Secretary, Ndokwa National Youth Movement, NNYM, Presley Idi, said: “The current system of government we are practicing has done more harm than good to the country and until we do the needful by restructuring and employing the principles of true federalism, the problems will continue to occur.
“For us youths of Ndokwa nation, we have been at the fore championing the calls for devolution of powers at the centre, to enable us move away from this over centralized feeding bottle system to a more robust federal system of Government where every region determine their own fate, and we are in the struggle genuinely because we want a better life for our people. “

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Posted by on Jun 28 2018. Filed under National, State. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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