From Mohammed Ibrahim, Kaduna
A group under the aegis of Coalition of Northern Groups on Monday said the recommendations by two committees set up by Northern state governors and that of the All Progressives Congress APC on Nigeria’s restructuring be discredited and abandoned.
The group disclosed this in a communiqué signed by its spokesman, Abdul’azeez Suleiman issued at the end of All Northern Groups Summit in Kaduna.
The communiqué said the group frown at mistake about to be committed by the present crop of Northern political leaders in accepting a proposal that could mortgage the region’s collective interest and its future.
It explained that the endorsement by some northern leaders of a brand of restructuring that clearly places the region at a disadvantage is unacceptable and must be discountenanced.
The youth groups said, “the North fully supports the restructuring of the country and shall be prepared to represent itself in any debate on the issue.
“The North shall however not settle for any restructuring plan that falls short of a total, comprehensive and holistic reordering that should first and foremost include the peaceful, democratic and civil determination of the people or groups of people that truly and sincerely wish to remain part of the Nigerian federation.
“Any reorganization process that fails involve the discussion of the limits and extents of all the federating components with regards to available space and resources shall not be acceptable to the North.
“We insist that the recommendations by both the committees of the set up by the northern state governors and the All Progressives Congress be discredited and abandoned.
“A new all-encompasing process that will ensure the accurate representation of all interests be constituted,” he said.
The Northern youth groups also rejected the idea of leaders above 70 years old to represent the region at the proposed national dialogue on restructuring.
“Older generation of Nigerians above age 70 must not take up more than 15percent of the delegate composition to the proposed national dialogue on restructuring.
“It is important to note here that those who fall within the above definition of old generation Nigerians have in the past participated in debates that gave birth to the current national arrangement that is largely acknowledged as having failed our national aspirations.
“Nigerians of between the ages of 18 to 60 should, therefore, competently compose 85 percent of the delegation to the new debate process for the reorganization of the country.
“This is in recognition of the reality that Nigerians within this age bracket are growing worried that the nation has not fared well by being on the same political and economic lanes for 58 years (1960-date), resulting in no meaningful developmental impact,” the communiqué said.
The groups insists that youths should eventually form the cornerstone for a platform for Nigeria to deliberate, decide, design, and develop a roadmap for an
ultimate generational power transition.
They said frustrated young Nigerians, having paid their dues in the national development effort, are left to suffer from the suffocating consequences of the prevailing exclusive and defeatist leadership selection process being imposed on the country over the years, by succeeding ruling elites.
“We recommend the immediate setting up of a multi-purpose committee to in the North with the mandate to embark on massive campaign for the enlightenment and sensitization of all northerners in preparation for the national debate on restructuring.
“A second committee should liaise with other critical stakeholders in other regions with a view to articulating common grounds for the restructuring of the country,” the youths said.
The coalition also said they resolved to set up committees to provide the framework to guide the north and its people in coming up with an articulate common position on the issue of restructuring and to position the north
properly in a restructured Nigeria.