Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, the apex socio-cultural organization of the South-South geo-political zone, has vowed to continue with its advocacy for the restructuring of Nigeria, the misgiving of President Muhammadu Buhari, regardless.
Idongesit Nkanga, National Chairman of PANDEF, said against the backdrop of the position of the President, as conveyed by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, who berated the agitations coming from various parts of the country, said in Uyo, explained that those against the move still did not understand how restructuring stood at the heart of the very existence of Nigeria.
The retired Air Commodore regretted in a statement that the presidency saw the calls by Nigerians to restructure Nigeria as a threat instead of advice, stressing that in any democratic setting people must be allowed to speak their mind and the truth too.
Warning that Nigerians must not be pushed into dictatorship because it is no more fashionable, he said: “Our reaction to that statement is very straight forward. To start with PANDEF doesn’t threaten, we speak the truth. And we will never stop talking, and asking for restructuring because to ask us to do that is like saying we should abandon our liberty. The moment you abandon asking for justice and liberty, then you are not fit to live.
“So we will continue to advocate for restructuring. If you like to hear it, fine, and if you don’t like to hear it, it is up to you. We believe whoever said this administration will not tolerate those advocating for restructuring is ignorant of what restructuring is all about and he doesn’t understand what democracy is all about.
“If something is not going right what you do is to adjust it. Today we are seriously marginalized in the Niger Delta and they don’t want us to talk about restructuring? God forbid!, we will talk about it. If you can remember, we (PANDEF) have said before that if you don’t restructure Nigeria, Nigeria will restructure itself, we cannot go back on what we said because that is the truth.
“There are other people, groups that are saying the country could break up if it is not restructured. They are just advising. It is no threat. In a democracy, the Rule of Law is prime. And a leader is as strong as his followers. If all the followers are saying restructuring, let the people who don’t agree on restructuring come out and say they don’t agree and not for you to sit down somewhere and say that Nigerians don’t agree. It is as simple as that.”
The former governor, however, said it was not surprising that some people would be kicking against the agitation, because they did not see peace as a priority and the President as their own, even when those advocating for restructuring were still part of the 200million Nigerians elected him.
Hear him: “In that statement, I also read where he said they are paying attention to insecurity challenges. He should have known that it is a lack of restructuring that is even causing the insecurity in the country. They should continue pretending that all is well and someday they will see the result of it. At the end of the day, the majority will have their way and not the leadership, so if he is pushing us into dictatorial tendencies, let him know that dictatorship is no more fashionable and it is not profitable. We will advise him strongly to go by what the majority of people are saying.”Add to favorites