The Northern Elders’ Forum (NEF) and Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, have charged President Muhammadu Buhari to be more open to addressing the legitimate clamour of Nigerians for more substantive changes in the structure of the country. The admonishment came yesterday as leaders of the two groups met in Abuja to discuss matters relating to the improvement of security of lives and properties in communities across the country. In the meeting, co-chaired by the Acting Convener of the NEF, Amb. Yahaya Kwande and President-General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Amb. George Obiozor, the regional pressure groups agreed that in order to strengthen the unity of Nigeria, there was the need to address the growing citizens’ disaffection with the nature of the federal system practiced in the country.
A communiqué issued at the end of the meeting emphasized the need for the government to entrench the values of justice, equity, and fairness for all Nigerians in the basic structures, processes, and laws of the country. The meeting observed that misperception, deliberate misinformation, and the alienation of some sections of the populace, particularly the young people, have done a lot of damage to the country.
They argued that most young people have been excluded from mainstream economic and political activities, adding that the situation is largely responsible for the restiveness, fear and yawning gap between citizens across the different regions of the country. “In particular, the matter of security and livelihood of Northerners in the South East and Igbo people living in the North was discussed. The meeting noted the need to improve the capacities of security agencies to deal with threats to the country.
It noted the need for Buhari to be more open to the legitimate clamour of Nigerians for more substantive changes in the structure of our country. “The meeting noted the value of elites and elders engaging in sincere and constructive activities to build bridges and recover lost grounds which is hurting all Nigerians.” they said.