By Dapo Akinrefon
The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum, SMBLF, yesterday, called on President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to heed the warning from two former Heads of State, Yakubu Gowon and Olusegun Obasanjo to restructure Nigeria and avoid a war situation.
In a statement by Yinka Odumakin (South West), Gen. C. Ikekire (South East), Senator Bassey Henshaw (South South) and Dr. Isuwa Dogo (Middle Belt), the leaders said restructuring would help solve the problems facing the country.
The statement reads: “Warnings to Nigeria from the two oldest Nigerian ex-Leaders in two months that Nigeria must restructure to avoid a war situation is not lost on the SMBLF, as the country rolls from one challenge to the other.
“First was Gen. Gowon who warned in January that Nigeria must urgently deal with the business of restructuring to avoid another civil war as a country .Gen Gowon was the man who led the country through its last civil war from 1967-70 and proclaimed “No Victor,No Vanquished”, which we observed more in the breach over the years.
“The latest admonition is coming from Gen. Obasanjo who fought vigorously in the war to keep Nigeria united but is now warning us 50 years after the hostilities ended that we need to restructure now to save the country from anarchy and break-up even as he commits to fighting for the unity of Nigeria but on the basis of equality of all citizens.
“This is the core issue at the heart of restructuring calls. That we can live together in peace and harmony once we make justice and equity the cornerstones of our existence as a country and not a union of the horse and the rider that is the order at the time in violation of federal spirit.
“We align with the patriotic interventions of the Leaders and call on those in the saddle now to look beyond temporary gains of power and heed the advice to set this country on the path of negotiation, inclusiveness and a federal constitutional order. A stitch in time saves nine says ancient wisdom.”