From: Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Northern socio-cultural group, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), on Wednesday, opposed implementation of the report of the 2014 national conference organised by past administration.
ACF said its opposition to the report was because the North was not adequately represented at the conference compared to number of representatives from other parts of the country.
This was contained in a communique issued its national publicity secretary, Muhammad ?Ibrahim Biu after the Forum National Executive Council meeting in Kaduna.
Communique read in parts, “The opposition of the North to the implementation of the recommendations in report of 2014 National Conference is not so much because of any legal consideration as to its legitimacy, but also because the selection of the conference delegates was skewed against the North in number considering its population.
For emphasis, there are contentious issues like the abolishment of the present local government councils, creation of 18 additional states that were not resolved in accordance with due process of the conference proceedings.
” ACF, therefore,is of the opinion that it would be morally preposterous and anti-democratic for anybody or group to canvass for the implementation of the reports by a conference of unelected delegates. This is more so by the elected government which did not participate in the conference and its recommendations were not part of the manifesto of the ruling party.
“ACF has observed with deep concern the continued altercations between the Executive arm of government and the National Assembly, in particular the Senate, over interpretations of certain sections of the Constitution regarding confirmation of appointments of public officers and other contentious issues.These kind of disagreements are avoidable precisely because they are not helpful for good governance. ACF, therefore,urges the parties concerned to amicably resolve their differences in the interest of Nigeria or better still approach the Supreme Court and seek the correct interpretation of the relevant sections of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended in order to avoid future occurrences of the present situation.
“ACF has observed with keen interest the current nationwide debate on the term “Restructuring” of the country as being canvassed by some people, groups and even prominent citizens.The term, however, means different things to different people or groups. To some, it is “true federalism” whatever that means, for others it is “fiscal federalism”, while some group tout “resource control” .
“Yet we have those for “resource ownership”. ACF notes with regret that those clamoring or demanding for the so-called restructuring are yet to define what they actually mean by the concept and its application in our present democratic setting. In most cases, the meaning depends on which section of the country or the person advocating for it comes from.
“It is, therefore, the considered view of the ACF that any acceptable restructuring meant to improve the unity, stability, harmony and peaceful coexistence must be based on just, fair and equitable principles to all Nigerians that come with clarity of definition.