The opposition of President Muhammadu Buhari to restructuring is generating mixed reactions from socio-political groups across the country.
While southern groups such as the Ohaneze Ndigbo and Afenifere have knocked Buhari over the statement, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has backed the president.
The ACF National Publicity Secretary, Emmanuel Yawe, in support of Buhari, told The Punch that “the ACF disagree with them (agitators). What we have found rather strange is that some of the agitators for restructuring are the same people calling for the dismemberment of Nigeria.
“We don’t see how you are going to restructure a non-existent country. Before you restructure, we want a referendum so that we have a country to restructure. How can Nigeria be restructured if it no longer exists?”
Reacting, the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, in a statement by its Secretary General, Sola Ebiseni, described Buhari’s administration as “rudderless,” and “nauseating”
The statement read, “It is my submission that the statement could not be the opinion of General Buhari (retd.), who is already seeking restructuring the current Land Use Act under the 1999 Constitution to reopen grazing routes under a law made pursuant to the 1963 Constitution.
“We are at a critical stage where children, particularly in states with the highest population of children out of school in the world can no longer go to school at all for fear of being kidnapped for ransom.
“State governments are demanding the powers to establish state police to deal with insecurity and prominent traditional rulers, especially Emirs have called on their people to rise in their own defence and some uninformed government officials are threatening us with war if we seek restructuring or self determination. It is so nauseating…this rudderless government.”
Similarly, the spokesman for Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Alex Ogbonnia, said that what held Nigeria together for 60 years has changed over the years.
He said, “There is no way he (Buhari) can think that what has held us together for about 60 years ago will remain the same.
“He has made his opinion but the truth now is that there is need for him to understand that the dominant view in Nigeria is that Nigeria should be restructured. We are saying that the centre is too homogeneous. The solution is restructuring.”