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NORTHERN LEADERS CALL FOR RESTRUCTURING

By NBF News

Northern leaders, under the aegis of Coalition of Concerned Northerners, yesterday declared support for the restructuring of Nigeria. A meeting held in Asokoro, Abuja by prominent northern politicians, academics, professionals and politicians resolved to support the calls for restructuring of the country in the hope that the lopsidedness in the structure of the nation's 'politics and economy will be a key agenda issue.'

The meeting had in attendance governors of Niger and Jigawa States, Dr. Mu'azu Babangida Aliyu and Alhaji Sule Lamido as well as other northerner leader, like Dr. Junaidu Muhammad, convener of the meeting; former Senate President, Dr. Iyochia Ayu; Dr. John Wash-Pam, Alhaji Yayale Ahmed, Dr. Shettima Mustapha, Alhaji Adamu Maina Waziri, Mallam Lawal Batagarawa and Professor Nur Alkali. Also in attendance were publishers, journalists, council chairmen and businessmen from the North.

A statement signed by Dr. Junaidu, said that the Northern Governors' Forum (NGF) would liaise with other stakeholders in the North, such as the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Northern Union, Jama' atul Nasril Islam (JNI), Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), women, youth, student bodies and other groups to tackle identified threat to the region.

The northern leaders expressed concern on the deteriorating security situation, particularly, with regards to the growth and spread of attacks by Boko Haram. The meeting also noted threat posed by the resurgent activities of Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) and the Movement for the Actualisation of Biafra. (MASSOB).

The meeting also reflected on the elements that bond northerners together and expressed sadness that the basis of unity of the region has come under serious assault.

It described as positive, the fallouts of the recent nationwide strike in which the ordinary citizens from the North and other parts of the country manifested a refreshing desire to support and protect one another.

The northern leaders, however, frowned at what it described as: 'The excesses of the Joint Task Force (JTF), which amounted to no less than gross human rights abuses.'