KANO—AN elder statesman, Tanko Yakasai, has described the agitation for restructuring as a Yoruba agenda promoted by uninformed Igbo people.
Yakasai said the agitation is another attempt to foment trouble in the country.
He said this at a public lecture organised by Africa Research and Development Agency, ARADA, in Kano.
His words: “Restructuring, as many other problematic concepts, was conceived by Afenifere, an offshoot of Action Group, to destabilise the country.
“It is upon those who are agitating for restructuring to tell Nigerians the real meaning of restructuring. For example, how will Nigeria look like after restructuring? What is your fate?
“If restructuring means constitutional amendments, there is laid down procedure for constitutional amendment, because constitutional amendment is being conducted through elected representatives and the North by virtue of its population has higher number of representatives, that is why they are afraid to call for constitutional amendment.
“Some people are advocating we should adopt the 1962 Constitution. To the best of my knowledge, the 1962 Constitution recognised four regions. Now we have six geo-political regions. But they failed to explain which regions should be retained or merged.”
“If the Igbo, who lost their wealth during the Nigerian civil war emerged prosperous and presently own 70 percent of Lagos industries, the North has no cause to fear any threat from other parts of the country.
“During the civil war, regional governments took over landed properties belonging to Igbos in their respective regions. But in Kano and entire Northern part, the landed properties were handed over to the Igbos after the civil war.
“In Kano, a committee was constituted under the leadership of Dr Uba Adamu who renovated Igbo properties vandalised during the civil war and returned them to Igbos after the war. But their properties in Port Harcourt were not given to them till date.
On why he supported Goodluck Jonathan in 2015 against Muhammadu Buhari, Yakasai said: “I supported Jonathan during the national conference, though I have never met him. Igbo and Yoruba have common enmity against Hausa. There is need to establish relationship with Southern minorities, because we share similar fate.
“Niger Delta has petroleum resources, North has human resources but they are lagging behind the West and the East in terms of education and economy.”
In his remarks, the Executive Director of ARADA, Sule Bello, said the lecture was organised to share experiences, sensitise people and develop a common roadmap on the development of Nigeria.