By Clifford Ndujihe
ELDER Statesmen and members of the Southern Leaders of Thought, SLT, led by Professor Ben Nwabueze, SAN will meet next week to consider the emerging position of the North on restructuring of Nigeria.
Former Military Head of State, general Yakubu Gowon, retd, last week said it would be difficult to restructure the country, contrary to the views canvassed by former Military President General Ibrahim Banding and former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who are in support of devolution of powers to the federating units.
Also, a group of Northern leaders of thought named Friends of Democracy released a northern proposal on restructuring, last week, canvassing a return to a 12-state structure, among other proposals.
Meeting on the plank of Project Nigeria Movement, PNM, members of the Professor Nwabueze-led SLT, according to a notice sent out by PNM Head of Secretariat, Comrade Olawale Okunniyi, are expected to meet in Lagos to consider among others, emerging northern position on restructuring and the plan to initiate a southern synergy to interface with the Northern Leaders on the restructuring debate
Said Okunniyi: “We are not leaving any stone unturned in this matter of democratic constitutional restructuring, which is conceived to help the country achieve political stability and economic prosperity of the diverse peoples of Nigeria. So, all efforts and initiatives in this regard are already being synchronized to ensure productive outcome.”
He also disclosed that PNM secretariat has commenced informal talks with the Northern Elders Forum, NEF, Secretariat and some members of the Friends of Democracy on how best to move the ongoing debates and process of restructuring forward and raise an inclusive platform of both Northern and Southern Leaders of Thought to negotiate the restructuring of the country towards a new people’s constitution.
“The date for the Pan-Nigerian dialogue on restructuring will be announced soon,” Okunniyi disclosed