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NORTH Ready to restructure when south is set –Ango

…South shouldn’t be talking about restructuring after destroying Nigeria’s federal structure
…Adebanjo, Clark part of 1966 coup

Convener of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Prof. Ango Abdullahi, yesterday said contrary to the persistent calls by leaders from the Southern part of the country to restructure Nigeria, they were not actually ready for restructuring.

This is as he also declared that the North had always been the “principal restructurer” of the country and was ready to discuss when the southern leaders are set. The former Vice-Chancellor of the Ahmadu Bello University, (ABU) also tasked Southern leaders calling for restructuring to come up with their positions, saying that they will find the North ready.

The elder statesman also accused the leaders from the South of destroying the structure of the country in the first place, adding that they were the ones that championed the 1966 coup that truncated democracy and Federalism in the country. Also reacting to reports credited to Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El- Rufai, that anyone from the North that opposes restructuring is selfish, Ango said: “I don’t know if there is anybody opposing restructuring in the north, I don’t know if anybody is speaking against restructuring in the North, if you know anyone, then let me know.

“If Governor Nasir El- Rufai said there were people speaking against restructuring in the North, did he mention their names, did anyone ask him to mention names. “The North has always wanted a restructured Nigeria for Nigerians, the North has been the principal restructurer of Nigeria and it has remained so. The North is ready to discuss the restructuring of Nigeria and anything they want to call it and that is it.

“If the South-South leaders are ready to discuss restructuring anytime, we are ready to discuss with them anytime.” Reminded that the South- South leaders had always been at the forefront of the calls for restructuring, unlike the North, Ango said: “No they have not, they were the ones that destroyed the structure of Nigeria in the first place, leaders from the South destroyed the democracy and the Federalism that we started in this country. “They destroyed it, the Southerners destroyed it.

Who did the military coup in 1966, Southerners, their soldiers and their leaders. They destroyed the Federal system which we were operating and Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi introduced a unitary system of government. “They destroyed Federalism.

So, I don’t want to hear this type of remarks that cannot be explained by history. History is very clear in terms of who did what at any given time.” He also posited that the military could not be separated from the leaders of the zone, who led the military coup in 1966.

He added: “We are ready to restructure Nigeria, anytime any other person is ready, but we don’t want to hear all these rhetorics and so on. Some people don’t even believe in what they are talking about.

“When they are ready about restructuring Nigeria, they should come out with clearly stated positions and they will find us absolutely ready and prepared to discuss with them. “Edwin Clark was part of the coup in 1966, Ayo Adebanjo was also part of the coup. We are tired of all the things that are coming from these people, but when they are ready, we are ready to talk to them.” On his part, Second Republic lawmaker, Junaid Muhammad, said he was not ready to ‘waste his time” on those calling for restructuring of the country, until they explain to Nigerians what they actually mean by restructuring and what they intend to achieve. He also wants the proponents to specifically come out with the problems bedevilling the country that restructuring will help to solve.

He said: “I don’t know the people who attended the meeting (presidency with the South-South), who sent them and sincerely, unless anyone is particular enough to explain to me what restructuring is, or what they meant by restructuring, what they want the restructuring to be and what problems restructuring is going to solve, ‘am not going to waste my time commenting on anything they are saying. “Let them come out with the definition of what they mean by restructuring, link it with the problems we are having today and tell us what their own version will do to resolve or solve the problem we are having in Nigeria today.”

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