BIAFRA: Niger Delta elders advocate restructuring

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Niger Delta leaders have recommended immediate restructuring to address the nation’s socio-political crisis.

The Chief Edwin Clark-led Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) in a statement by its Central Working Committee (CWC) of the PANDEF said only restructuring can save the nation from persistent agitations.

The statement was signed by co-Chairman of PANDEF, Obong Victor Attah yesterday.

The leaders pointed out the success of the recent Biafra agitators’ sit-at-home order was an indication all was not well with the federation.

They said though dismantling the federal structure was never a good alternative but asked the federal government to address nagging issues fuelling angry reactions like the Biafra’s agitation through restructuring.

They charged the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to urgently adopt the recommendations of the 2014 National Conference, insisting restructuring does not mean the dissolution of the Nigerian union.

“The challenges that we face today have been as a result changes that have been introduced into this system.

“Today we live like jealous siblings of a polygamous parentage. We are at each others’ throats, fighting and clamouring for more from an incapacitated father who has lost his ability to provide for his children.

“Rather than the competitive development that characterised the past, we are now stagnated by destructive rivalry.

“Biafra is born out of a deep-seated and agonising feeling of marginalisation and discrimination.

“So, as has been advised, let us listen to the Ibos and the Biafra agitators.

“We listen to them, knowing that there is no harm in discussing the unity of Nigeria; we listen to them with the clear understanding that Nigeria is better off united and that disintegration is not in anyone’s interest,” PANDEF stated.

They went on: “We in PANDEF are convinced that the solution to the challenges that agitate us today are contained in the over 600 recommendations of the 2014 National Conference.

“The answer is to restructure as recommended by the conference. Restructuring does not, by any stretch of the imagination, suggest a break-up of the country.

“We also acknowledge that restructuring cannot happen overnight or in one fell swoop but must be diligently embarked upon for our harmonious coexistence.

“The conference report did not suggest the abolition of states but carefully spelt out the steps to be taken to restructure our federal system without pain.

“The wisdom of implementing the recommendations of that conference cannot be overemphasised.”

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