Afenifere Championing Restructuring To Destabilise Nigeria; Uninformed Igbo People Following Them – Yakassai

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An elder statesman, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai has derided the calls for restructuring as a plot to destabilise the country.

Yakassai, a founding member of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), added that restructuring of the country is an agenda being pushed by Yoruba sociocultural group Afenifere with the support of some “uninformed” Igbo people.

The elder statesman also warned the Igbos against being fooled by the calls for restructuring, describing the concept as “problematic”.

Yakassai, who spoke at a Forum in Kano on Wednesday, said, “Restructuring, as many other problematic concepts, was conceived by Afenifere, an offshoot of Action Group, to destabilise the country.

“It is upon those who are agitating for restructuring to tell Nigerians the real meaning of restructuring. For example, how will Nigeria look like after restructuring? What is your fate?

“If restructuring means constitutional amendments, there is laid down procedure for constitutional amendment, because constitutional amendment is being conducted through elected representatives and the North by virtue of its population has higher number of representatives, that is why they are afraid to call for constitutional amendment.

“Some people are advocating we should adopt the 1962 Constitution. To the best of my knowledge, the 1962 Constitution recognised four regions. Now we have six geo-political regions. But they failed to explain which regions should be retained or merged.

“If the Igbo, who lost their wealth during the Nigerian civil war emerged prosperous and presently own 70 percent of Lagos industries, the North has no cause to fear any threat from other parts of the country.

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“During the civil war, regional governments took over landed properties belonging to Igbos in their respective regions. But in Kano and entire Northern part, the landed properties were handed over to the Igbos after the civil war.

“In Kano, a committee was constituted under the leadership of Dr Uba Adamu who renovated Igbo properties vandalised during the civil war and returned them to Igbos after the war. But their properties in Port Harcourt were not given to them till date.”

He also explained his decision to support Goodluck Jonathan against Muhammadu Buhari in the historic 2015 presidential election.

Yakassai said, “I supported Jonathan during the national conference, though I have never met him. Igbo and Yoruba have common enmity against Hausa. There is need to establish relationship with Southern minorities, because we share similar fate.

“Niger Delta has petroleum resources, North has human resources but they are lagging behind the West and the East in terms of education and economy.”

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