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Published On: Thu, Sep 14th, 2017

Northern govs call meeting to debate restructuring

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From Femi Oyelola , Kaduna

The committee set up by the Northern Governors Forum and the Northern Traditional Rulers Council to aggregate the views of Northerners on the restructuring debate will hold public hearings in the 19 states of the region, the committee’s chairman and Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, has said.
He stated this in at a press conference after the committee met with traditional leaders yesterday.
The governor said that the committee has initiated a process of engagement with other stakeholders in different parts of the country.
“We have reaffirmed our commitment to ensuring Nigeria remains a trong, united country. We have also decided to present the case of the North as a single entity desirous of a prosperous country.
“Today’s meeting agreed on the need to hold town hall meetings in all the 19 states to hear the views of our people on the restructuring debate currently going on in the country.
“We are not limiting the area of discussion because it is better to put all questions on the table and have it discussed. We will discuss on federalism, fiscal federalism, state police, revenue structure and any other issue of interest.
“We have also decided to analyse previous documents and position papers that proffered viable options to Northern development. A technical committee will study these documents, talk to the authors and present the report to us at our next meeting on October 24 here in Kaduna,” he added.
He also said that peaceful dialogue and negotiation is what Nigerians need to address the agitation for the breakup of the country instead of war.
Tambuwal said nobody is going to get positive result through war or violence in as much as restructuring Nigeria is concerned rather all party concerned must now come to the round table for discussion.
The governor who led other members of the committee for the meeting amongst which are ; Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasiru El-Rufai and Nassarawa State Governor Tango Almukura said the committee was constituted by the Northern Governors’ Forum to Collate all matter on restructuring and present a robust data base of information from across the North that will be presented to the forum for the benefit of the region.
“ We agreed that the technical committee should work on previous documents, conferences and position papers presented by stakeholders from the North. Thereafter the technical committee will report back to us within 3weeks.
“ Every state will conduct public hearing in all its senatorial zones before the 26th October,2017 when we will be meeting to present our finding to the Northern Governors’ Forum and the Traditional Rulers Council”, He said.
Speaking on behalf of the traditional rulers the Emir of Kano Mohammadu Sanusi II said the joint meeting has looked into three (3) key issues which are; commitment to the unity of the country, constitutional reform and regional conversation to express the pressing issues of restructuring.
Those at the meeting include Governor of Nassarawa, Umar Tanko Al-Makura, his Kaduna State counterpart, Nasir El-Rufai and deputy governors of Gombe and Plateau states, Charles Iliya and Soni Tyoden respectively.
Others in attendance were Sanusi, Etsu Nupe Yahaya Abubakar, Gbong Gwom Jos, Da Jacob Buba Gyang, Emir of Fika, Muhammadu Abali and Emir of Gummi, retired Justice Lawal Gummi.

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