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Political Leaders From 3 South Geopolitical Zones Meet In Lagos [Update]

Major political leaders from 3 southern geopolitical zones have met in Lagos to deliberate on state of nation as well as issues of national importance.

Major political leaders from the three southern geopolitical zones have met in Lagos to deliberate on state of the nation, as well as other issues of national importance.

Special emphasis was placed on the recent quit notice issued to Igbos living in Northern Nigeria by some radical Arewa youths.

Another highlight of the meeting includes the promise by Acting President Prof Yemi Osinbajo that the nation will soon be restructured.

During the meeting, the participants tasked Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to unfold actions and plans by the administration to protect southerners living in Northern Nigeria.

A statement issued at the end of the meeting reads in part:

“We note with gratitude the statement by the Acting President that the issue of restructuring will be addressed soon and we urge him to follow his statement with immediate action by acting on the recommendations of the 2014 National Conference. 

“The issue of restructuring and change was an integral part of the All Progressives Congress (APC) manifesto. 

“We want the 16-point agenda that was submitted by the South-South delegation submitted in their meeting with the Acting President to be acted upon immediately to avoid youth restiveness and sustain the current peace. 

“There is an urgent need to restructure Nigeria to achieve true federalism. 

“We will not be distracted by individuals who claim ignorance of what restructuring means or those who try to imply a non-existent sinister plan to break up Nigeria because of the demand for restructuring.”

Elombah.com, on July 6, reported that the Osinbajo assured that the Federal Government is putting finishing touches on policies that will see the country restructured soon.

Osinbajo made the disclosure at the presentation and launch of a book titled “Nigeria: The Restructuring Controversy” in Abuja.

The southern political leaders, comprising mostly former office holders, also warned against an attack on any southerner.

They said that it would be seen as an attack on all southerners.

The leaders also tasked the Federal Government to push the implementation of the recommendations of the 2014 National Conference. 

The participants lamented the proliferation of Fulani herdsmen settlements in the south and asked the Federal Government to take actions to check their activities. 

Among those present, yesterday, were:

the former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Victor Attah; 

Afenifere chieftains, Ayo Adebanjo, Senator Femi Okurunmu, Chief Supo Shonibare; 

former Director-General of the Nigerian Intelligence Agency, NIA, Chief Albert Horsfall; 

former chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Senator Bassey Ewa-Henshaw; 

former Managing Director of the NDDC, Mr. Timi Alaibe; 

Coordinator of Ijaw Monitoring Group, IMG, Joseph Evah; 

Afenifere Spokesman, Yinka Odumakin,  

Goddy Uwazurike, 

Olorogun M.O Taiga, among others. 

Speaking to newsmen at the end of the meeting last night, Horsfall said Southern leaders were unhappy that up till date, no action has been taken by the Federal Government against the northern youths who gave quit notice. 

He said Osinbajo must inform Nigerians the actions and plans the federal government has made to protect southerners living in the north.

“We note with gratitude the statement by the Acting President that the issue of restructuring will be addressed soon and we urge him to follow his statement with immediate action by acting on the recommendations of the 2014 National Conference. 

“The issue of restructuring and change was an integral part of the All Progressives Congress (APC) manifesto. 

“We want the 16-point agenda that was submitted by the South-South delegation submitted in their meeting with the Acting President to be acted upon immediately to avoid youth restiveness and sustain the current peace. 

“There is an urgent need to restructure Nigeria to achieve true federalism. 

“We will not be distracted by individuals who claim ignorance of what restructuring means or those who try to imply a non-existent sinister plan to break up Nigeria because of the demand for restructuring. 

“We affirm our commitment to the unity of Nigeria and also insist on the urgent need to restructure Nigeria to achieve true federalism. 

“For the avoidance of doubt, restructuring is a return to the Constitution at independence which our founding fathers bequeathed to us. 

“That Constitution allowed the states autonomy in the management of their affairs. 

“The states will be federating units with their own rights to have their own constitution. 

“The states will have control of resources and make agreed contributions to the Federal Government for general services. 

“We will identify those areas of our constitution which should allow for effective administration in the states.  

“It is important that action be commenced immediately to ensure that the entire changes are implemented by December 2017.” 

The forum also noted what it described as the menace of armed Fulani herdsmen and the proliferation of Fulani armed settlements in the South. 

Horsfall said: “We want to alert the international community and we also want the federal government to take appropriate actions against them. 

“We want the government to make an official statement on this and take appropriate action to put them in check.”                        

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