BY EMEKA MAMAH
The Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, has said that the North would not support autonomy for ethnic nationalities during the proposed National Conference in the country.
ACF, however, expressed support for devolution of power from the centre to the states in such a way that ”the centre is strong enough to keep the country one, but, not too strong as to push the country towards a unitary system.”
The National Publicity Secretary of ACF, Mr. Anthony Sani made this known in a statement in Kaduna, yesterday.
Sani was reacting to reports that the Yoruba would push for ”ethnic autonomy” during the conference.
The statement read: ”We have read the reports that the Yoruba will push for some form of ethnic autonomy during the coming National Conference that is reminiscent of con-federal arrangement.
“As we have repeatedly made clear, ACF did not canvass for the Conference.
”This is because of the forum’s belief that the problems of Nigeria lie on the collapse of national ideals, fall in moral values, collapse in social contract and fall in sense of what is right and what is wrong.
There is no problem in the structure of the country in the constitution and in the form of government or in the type in ethnic nationalism that promotes cleavages of the country.
”But since some sections of the country believe that coming together in the conference is capable of furthering the cause of a united Nigeria when issues of national importance or real issues of real concern to Nigerians are discussed; we have said, so be it.
”Surely, if such issues are raised in the conference, delegates from the North will not lack what to say. It must be noted that there is no system of true federalism that is accepted universally. And that is why no two federal systems are clones of each other.
”This is because, a federal system has a lot to do with the circumstances of its emergence. For examples, the 13 American Colonies came together to form USA while in Nigeria, the national government formed the federating units.