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New Year speech: South-East, South-West, Middle Belt elders attack Buhari

The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders’ Forum has knocked President Muhammadu Buhari over his stand on restructuring.

The group, in a statement on Monday, in reaction to Buhari ’s New Year broadcast, insisted that Nigeria cannot be productive without restructuring.

Buhari had said, “In respect of political developments, I have kept a close watch on the ongoing debate about ‘restructuring.’

“No human law or edifice is perfect. Whatever structure we develop must periodically be perfected according to changing circumstances and the country’s socio-economic developments.

“When all the aggregates of nationwide opinions are considered, my firm view is that our problems are more to do with process than structure.”

New Year speech: South-East, South-West, Middle Belt elders attack Buhari

The forum’s statement was signed by Yinka Odumakin (South – West); Senator Bassey Henshaw (South- South ); Prof. Chigozie Ogbu (South- East ), and Isuwa Dogo (Middle Belt ).

The group said Nigeria could not be productive under the 1999 Constitution.

The statement was titled, “Nigeria in crisis: Restructuring, not processing is the way out.”

It stated, “We cannot become a productive country under a 1999 constitution which keeps 68 items on the exclusive list, including mineral resources, which abound all over the country but which the states, whose governors are constitutionally vested with the authority over land, cannot touch.

“Nigerians must organise, mobilise and work towards building an inclusive and productive country in 2018 using all democratic and peaceful means.

“It is a year to battle for the soul of the country by forces of federalism and upholders of a suffocating unitary system.”

According the statement, the imperative of state police was more urgent now than ever.