Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the Northern Elders Forum, NEF, Coalition of Northern Groups, CNG, Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF and other conveners of the Northern Peoples Summit have described restructuring as a vital necessity for survival as one united entity.
The North, they insisted, will not be stampeded or blackmailed into taking major decisions around rotating the Presidency.
While reading the communiqué of Northern Peoples Summit on Friday at the Arewa House Kaduna, Prof.Doknan Danjuma Sheni, Chairman of the Communiqué Drafting Committee, said the Northern Peoples Summit convened on the 7th and 8th April 2021 at Arewa House, Kaduna discussed issues bedevilling the North and the Nigerian State.
“These include security, restructuring, economic, political and the survival of the Nigerian State. After two days’ intensive discussions, they resolved to sustain the Summit as a productive forum for utilizing Pan-Northern assets in the search for resolution of Northern problems.
According to him, they also resolved to encourage Northern elites and political leadership to improve their levels of sensitivity to inclusiveness and management of the North’s pluralism.
“The North will be stronger if it addresses its internal weaknesses, particularly around ethnoreligious matters as it relates to its challenges with the rest of Nigeria. Perception and practice of creating minorities and majorities among Northerners should have no place in the North, nor is discrimination on the basis of place, faith or ethnic group of any Northerner;” he said.
“The North believes that restructuring the country is now a vital necessity for survival as one united entity. The North will not be stampeded or blackmailed into taking major decisions around rotating the Presidency.”
He said the North drew attention of the country to the inherent fragility of the Nigerian State.
“For Nigeria to survive, all parts of the country must equally commit to supporting its continuation as one entity, without equivocation or subterfuge. The North extends an invitation to groups that are genuinely interested in discussing the future of the country. The North believes that every interest can be accommodated in one united, just and equitable nation, but the North cannot be the sole custodian of this endeavour.”
“The North warns against the continuation of demonization, attacks and killings of Northerners in the Southern parts of the country. It demands that federal and state governments must take firmer steps to protect members of Northern communities who live in the South. This includes the arrest and prosecution of persons who are involved in these dangerous activities.”
“The North urges Northern communities to continue to exercise restraint and be good hosts.’
“The North invites the attention of President Muhammadu Buhari, Northern Governors and legislators to the fact that under their watch the North has sunk lower in all indices of human existence. Delegates at the Summit commit to continuously engage in searching for solutions, as well as raising their voices against poor governance, corruption and absence of commitment to deal with insecurity, poverty and hopelessness among Northerners.,” he said
He added that “Government should show effective presence in all ungoverned spaces in the North.’
“The North appreciates the response of H.E. Governor of Plateau State and Chairman, Northern Governors Forum (NGF) Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong, to its invitation to attend the Summit, and be a resource person who enriched our discussions. The Northern Peoples Summit will reconvene in the near future,” he said.
The communiqué was co-signed by representatives of the various groups at the summit such as Air Marshal Al-Amin Daggash of Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Amb. Ibrahim Mai-Sule of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Dr. Usman Bugaje of Arewa Research Development Project (ARDP), Engr. Bello Suleiman of Code Group (CG),Dr. Sadiq Umar Abubakar Gombe of The Northern Movement (TNM).
Others were Comrade (Dr.) Innocent Ahure: Northern Dev. Resource Centre (NDRC),Alh. Bashir Othman Tofa : Kano Concern Citizens Initiative (KCCI) Haj. Bilkisu Oniyangi: Arewa Initiative for Good Governance (AIGG), Dr. Rose Danladi Idi : Northern Initiative Forum for Dev. (NIFD), Nastrura Ashir Shariff: Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG),Yerima Shettima : Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF), Murtala Mohammed: Joint Action Comm. Of Northern Youth Ass (JACNYA) , Comrd. D. S. Rimoni: Middle Belt People Assembly (MBPA) ,Alh. Muhammed Tahir: – Amalgamated Union of Food Stuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria,Alh. Awual Tukur (Galadiman Delta) : Northern Union Rep. South-South, Alh. Iliyasu Yushau (S. Hausawa Onitsha) : Northern Union Reps South East and Alh. Aliyu Yaro: Northern Union Rep. South West.