From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has stated that President Muhammadu Buhari dos not have the final say on the contentious issues of restructuring, state police, and the release of detained agitators for self-determination.
Reacting to President Buhari’s statement in an exclusive television interview on Wednesday, spokesman of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Hakeem Baba-Ahmad said the voice of majority of Nigerians advocating restructuring must be respected.
Ahmad also said that Buhari’s fear that state police might be abused by state governors did not hold water, adding that there is federal might to checkmate such abuses.
On the release of agitators, NEF Spokesman cautioned Buhari to allow judicial process has its way, rather than heating the already tensed situation.
“The worry now is the huge distance which appears to exist between the thinking and posit of the President and those of other Nigerians.
“There is virtually unanimity on the need to restructure the country, even if the details may vary. To shut out a major issue like restructuring that could determine the future of the country is insensitive at best and contemptuous at worst.
“On state police, if the President’s objection is predicated on abuses by governors over local government assets, we have to ask what he has done to stop such abuses with his huge powers. In any case the country should work towards producing better quality of leadership at all levels so that our federal system is not held hostage to incompetence and corruption of elected leaders.
“On the release of agitators, we have made our position very clear. The judicial process should be allowed to determine whether they are guilty of threatening our existence as a country or not, as well as their involvement in criminal activities.
“There should always be room for political solutions, but they must not cause more damage that already exists,” Baba-Ahmad said.