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Clamour for restructuring laced with parochial interest – Buhari

..Vows to punish military officers selling Urhobo lands
…Urhobo demands ministerial slot
…Urges FG to restructure Nigeria
ABUJA
—PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, said calls for restructuring of the country might not have caught his attention owing to the parochial interest with which stakeholders were making the request.

President Muhammadu Buhari receiving a delegation of the Urhobo Progressive Union comprising the Ohworode of Olomu Kingdom in Delta State, and Chairman, Urhobo Traditional Rulers Council, His Royal Majesty, Ovie Richard Ogbon Ogoni-Oghoro 1 (fifth left); while the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire (R); President-General, Urhobo Progressive Union Worldwide, Olorogun Moses Taiga (fourth left) and other dignitaries at the State House, Abuja, yesterday. Photo: Abayomi Adeshida.

The President said some of the views being expressed by different interest groups for the restructuring were uncoordinated, adding that such clamours might not also be backed constitutionally.

President Buhari, who stated this when traditional rulers, leadership of Urhobo Progress Union, UPU, and Urhobo members in All Progressives Congress, APC, of Delta State, led by a 101-year-old traditional ruler, His Royal Majesty, Dr. Laiyeguen, Ogbon-Ogoni Oghoro I, the Ohworode of Olomu Kingdom, paid him a courtesy visit at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Vows to punish military officers selling Urhobo lands

President Buhari, while reacting to some of the requests of Urhobo nation, which included the need for restructuring of the country, the reclaiming of Urhobo lands that were given to the military but had been left unutilised for the purpose they were given, stated that he had received many complaints from different people over land grabbing and non-utilisation of the lands.

He assured the people that military officers selling the lands donated to the military would be dealt with.

He also promised them that his government will not forget Urhobo nation in his development agenda and pleaded with the Urhobo nation to protect oil installations in their communities the way they protected it during the 16 years administration of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

He, however, told them that the request for Urhobo person in his cabinet might not be possible as the constitution has specified that there will be one person from every state of the federation without mentioning a particular community the person should come from.

He said:  “You mentioned something which is topical these days, the cause of restructuring Nigeria. Every group asking for restructuring has got its own agenda and I hope it can be accommodated by the constitution.

“I assure you that you are not forgotten and I am pleased you appreciate the appointments by this administration of some citizens of your kingdoms.”

UPU tells FG to restructure Nigeria

The Urhobo nation had in their address read by President-General of UPU, Olorogun Moses Taiga, told the President to ensure the restructuring of the country, adding that there was serious hunger and poverty in the country, which required immediate solution.

Urhobo leaders also demanded that President Buhari appoint an Urhobo indigene in his cabinet, noting that Urhobo was the biggest ethnic group in Delta State and the fifth biggest ethnic group in the country.

The Urhobo nation complained that the military was selling Urhobo lands donated to them and pleaded with the President to help them recover their lands, which they claimed had been unutilised.

They said: “We urge the Federal Government to look into the issue of unutilised lands, which we voluntarily donated to the military years ago but which are now being farmed out in parcels and sold for non-military uses. We request that such lands be returned to the owner communities in Urhobo land.”

On boundary crisis between Delta, Edo

On boundary crisis between Delta and Edo states, the Urhobo nation asked for the intervention of the President in resolving the issue as it relates to boundary adjustment.

“We appeal to Mr. President to use his good offices to look into the festering boundary dispute between the Edo and Delta states, which has led to communal clashes between the Urhobo and the Edo.”

Fielding questions from State House correspondents after the courtesy call, on whether the Urhobo nation will vote for President Buhari in 2019, Olorogun Taiga said the votes of the Urhobo people will go to him, if he fulfilled their demands.

On whether the demands were pre-condition for their support, he said, “Well, they are not pre-condition, they are requests.”

Security operatives stop Emerhor at Aso Rock

Meanwhile, the fallout of the ripples in the Delta APC at the just concluded national convention reechoed as the APC leader in the state, Olorogun Otega Emerhor, who apparently made the visit possible, was said to have been stopped at the gate by security operatives.

Emerhor was absent at Council Chamber during the visit, but National Chairman of Urhobo Political Movement and a member of  APC, Chief Ominimini Obiuwevbi, said Chief Emerhor was present.

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