Northern govs, monarchs plan public hearings on restructuring

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Godwin Isenyo and Tofarati Ige

The North has announced plan to hold hearing in the 19 states of the region on the ongoing agitation for the restructuring of the country. This was disclosed at the inaugural meeting of the Northern Committee on Restructuring in Kaduna on Wednesday.

 The Chairman of the committee and Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, also stated the region’s commitment to the country’s unity.

This was re-echoed by the Emir of Kano and former Central Bank Governor, Muhammad Sanusi.

The Northern Governors’ Forum set up the committee in the midst of the heat generated by agitators for restructuring across the country.

Other members of the Restructuring Committee are the governors of Gombe, Bauchi, Benue and Kaduna states as well as the emirs of Kano, Zaria, Gummi, the Etsu Nupe and the Gbong Gwom Jos. The deputy governor of Plateau State is the secretary of the committee.

The committee is saddled with the responsibility of collating and collecting views from the North on the agitation for the restructuring the country.

Shortly after the inaugural meeting, Tambuwal told journalists the committee had agreed that a technical committee would be set up to work on previous documents, conferences as well as position papers and report back to the main committee within three weeks.

The governor noted that the committee would conduct public hearing on restructuring and hopefully meet on October 24 and thereafter submit its report to both the Northern Governors Forum and the Northern Traditional Rulers Council.

The chairman also stated that the reports from the technical committee would be subjected to a robust debate across the 19 northern states and the “outcome of that will be presented to northern governors and traditional rulers.”

Tambuwal said, “We agreed that a technical committee be set up to work on the previous documents, conferences and position papers and then come back to us within three weeks.

“Thereafter, every state will conduct public hearing and we will be meeting on 24th October, 2017 by the grace of God to review all that. So by the end of October, God willing, we shall be able to get back to the larger body of the Northern Governors’ Forum and northern traditional leaders and council.

“All the issues that are going to be brought up by a technical committee that has been constituted by this body will be critically looked into so that we can subject them to a very robust database debate across the North and the outcome of that will be presented to northern governors and traditional rulers.”

He added, “There is a process going on in the country for engagement and I am sure the Federal Government is willing to listen to all these agitations at the end of the day.

“Don’t forget that, even if you embark on a war at this stage, you don’t get result through war, you will always come back to the roundtable and discuss the issues. So, I want to call on all Nigerians to give peace a chance.”

The Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi, harped on the unity of the country.

Sanusi, a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, noted that there was the need to look into the constitutional reform of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The monarch said, “I believe in the conversation. We have just looked into three main items that stood out clearly. The first is that we have heard our commitment to the unity of the country and we are going to have a regional conversation to express the pressing issues that have been raised.

 “The second point is that, we have to look into is the constitutional reform of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

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