Biafra: Northern Nigeria reacts


Northern Nigeria on Wednesday in Kaduna reacted to agitations for separatist State of Biafra, restructuring, state police and other burning issues by consulting their people at town hall meetings and producing a common position for the North as “a single entity.”

Though they reaffirmed their “commitment to ensuring that Nigeria remains a strong and united country,” they nevertheless said the time had come to discuss all “issues of interest” regarding the future of the nation.

The meeting coincided with the bloody clashes between soldiers and members of the Independent Peoples of Biafra in parts of Abia and Rivers states, which have claimed 10 lives.

The Kaduna meeting was the inaugural gathering of governors chosen by the Northern Governors’ Forum and Northern Traditional Rulers’ Council and headed by Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal.

Speaking after the inaugural meeting of the committee in Kaduna, Tambuwal said members had agreed to hold extensive consultations with stakeholders and leaders of thought in member-states with a view to coming up with an acceptable position that will reflect the views of the entire North.

“We have reaffirmed our commitment to ensuring Nigeria remains a strong, united country. We have also decided to present the case of the North as a single entity desirous of a prosperous country.
“Today’s meeting agreed on the need to hold town hall meetings in all the 19 states to hear the views of our people on the restructuring debate currently going on in the country.
“We are not limiting the area of discussion because it is better to put all questions on the table and have it discussed. We will discuss on federalism, fiscal federalism, state police, revenue structure and any other issue of interest.
“We have also decided to analyse previous documents and position papers that proffered viable options to Northern development. A technical committee will study these documents, talk to the authors and present the report to us at our next meeting on October 24 here in Kaduna.
“We will key into the opportunity provided by the ongoing amendment of the 1999 constitution by the National assembly to see how our position can be reflected in the larger scheme of things,” he added.
Also speaking, Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, said all stakeholders will make inputs before the final report is presented .
Those at the meeting include Governor of Nassarawa, Umar Tanko Al-Makura, his Kaduna State counterpart, Nasir El-Rufai and deputy governors of Gombe and Plateau states, Charles Iliya and Soni Tyoden respectively.
Others in attendance were Sanusi, Etsu Nupe Yahaya Abubakar, Gbong Gwom Jos, Da Jacob Buba Gyang, Emir of Fika, Muhammadu Abali and Emir of Gummi, retired Justice Lawal Gummi.


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