- Southern leaders sent a message to Acting President Yemi Osinbajo
- They called for the implementation of the 2014 confab report
- The group said it would not sit back and watch its people be threatened by northern youths
The Southern Leaders Forum has issued a 5-month ultimatum to Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to implement the confab report and also allow the 36 states assume their status as federating units.
The Sun reports that the group also called on the acting president to inform the southern zone of the federal government’s plan to protect the people on the backdrop of quit notice issued to Igbos by Arewa youths.
The group met in Lagos on Sunday, July 9, where it insisted that it will not take any threat to its people lightly.
In attendance were the forum's president and former director general of the Department of State Security (DSS), Albert Horsfall; former governor of Akwa Ibom state, Obong Victor Attah; Afenifere chieftains, Ayo Adebanjo, Femi Okurounmu; former managing director of Niger Delta Development Commission, Timi Alaibe; Tony Uranta; President of Ijaw Monitoring Group, Joseph Eva; Senator Bassey Ewa Henshaw and Afenifere spokesman, Yinka Odumakin.
Horsfall noted that no action has been taken against the youths that issued the ultimatum to Igbos .
He said: “We are disconcerted that, up till now, no action appears to have been taken regarding the October 1 threat issued by Arewa youths. We, therefore, demand that Osinbajo inform Nigerians of what actions and steps has been taken to protect the Igbo and all Southerners who live in the North against the threats of the Arewa youths. We reiterate that any threat or action against anyone from the South will be treated as a threat or action against all Southerners.”
The forum called on the federal government to do the needful in restructuring the country.
“We note with gratitude, a statement by the acting president, that the issue of restructuring will be addressed soon and we urge him to follow his statement with immediate action by acting on the recommendations of the 2014 National Conference. The issue of restructuring and change was an integral part of the All Progressives Congress (APC) manifesto.
“We want the 16-point agenda that was submitted by the South-South delegation, submitted in their meeting with the acting president to be acted upon immediately, to avoid youth restiveness and sustain the current peace.
“There is an urgent need to restructure Nigeria to achieve true federalism. We will not be distracted by individuals who claim ignorance of what restructuring means or those who try to imply a non-existent sinister plan to break up Nigeria because of the demand for restructuring. We affirm our commitment to the unity of Nigeria and also, insist on the urgent need to restructure Nigeria, to achieve true federalism.
“For the avoidance of doubt, restructuring is a return to the constitution of independence which our founding fathers bequeathed to us. That constitution allowed the states autonomy in the management of their affairs.
“The states will be federating units, with its own with rights to have their own constitution. The states will have control of its resources and make agreed contributions to the federal government for general services.
“We will identify those areas of our Constitution which should allow for effective administration in the states. It is important that action be commenced immediately, to ensure that the entire changes are implemented by December 2017.”
“We want to alert the international community and we also want the FG to take appropriate actions against them. We want the FG to make an official statement on this and take appropriate action to put them in check.”
Meanwhile, A report by The Punch indicates that APC leaders met over the crisis between the presidency and the Senate on the appointment of EFCC boss, Ibrahim Magu.
According to the report, the party intervened in the crisis and would declare its position before the end of this week.
A presidency official quoted in the report said those who attended the meeting, which was held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Thursday, July 6, included the national chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun; the deputy national chairman, northSenator Lawal Shuaibu; the national secretary, Mai Mala Buni; the national treasurer, Mohammed Gwagwaruwa; and the national organising secretary, Senator Osita Izunaso.
The source also disclosed that it was the Senate president, Dr Bukola Saraki, who contacted Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, on Tuesday, July 4, after the Senate passed the latest resolution on Magu.
Watch a NAIJ.com TV video of Professor Osinbajo speaking about Biafra agitation: