By Gabriel Enogholase
BENIN— FORMER President of Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, and Convener, Integration Submit Group, Nigeria, Dr Chris Ekiyor, has said national unity can only be attained if the country was restructured and the principles and tenets of true federalism practised to accommodate all sections of the country.
Ekiyor, who reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s Monday broadcast, said the unity of the country had been settled and was not negotiable, adding that he agreed with the President that Nigeria must remain a united country.
He said: “I aligned with his comment that the unity of the country is not negotiable and is settled. My group, the Integrated Submit Group, is pursuing national unity and integration, therefore, we are not part of those calling for the breaking up of the country. We believe that Nigeria is better as it is now.
“However, we support in totality the need to restructure the political and social infrastructure of our country. Therefore, I believe that those calling for the restructuring of the country are not necessarily saying that the country should break into regions, but they are saying that the tenets and components of federalism should be sacrosanct in the country.
“We are calling for restructuring of the country and true federalism because it will promote national integration, resource control and development.
“What I mean is that the current agitations in different parts of the country will not be there if we were practising true federalism, call it restructuring or national integration, but the Integration Submit Group calls it national integration.
“You cannot have a President who says that I will do 97 percent for those who voted for me and five percent for those who did not. You will not have a President who in his first major appointments appointed only persons from his region at the expense of other parts of the country.
“You will not have a President who, after returning from the United Kingdom, where he spent 104 days, talking tough about Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, while the eradication of terrorism and the menace of herdsmen was just mentioned in passage.
“But we have more dangers in the Fulani herdsmen than IPOB, which is a non-violent organisation demanding for Biafra, which is not possible and like he said, the late Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu said Biafra was dead.”