The Northern Reawakening Forum (NRF) has called for the setting up of a technical committee that is inclusive where a discussion can be held to come up with a citizen document for restructuring.
The Chairman of NRF, Umara Kumalia, who was contributing to the 18th Daily Trust Dialogue held in Abuja on Thursday with the theme, ‘Restructuring, Why? How?’ said, the document is very important to make the discussion valid.
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“Because when we talk of a concession, and you discuss the lack of it and then leave, we wait for another 19th dialogue of Daily Trust or another occasion to address it.”
Kumalia also said NRF supports restructuring but the how is the issue, adding that they support restructuring based on the challenges they have experienced in the system, particularly in the past 19 to 20 years since the coming of democratic dispensation.
“I am talking about good governance because one of the reasons why we are in support of restructuring is because of bad governance.
“Look at the 36 states of the federation, the problem we have is that power is given to one person to decide the future and the fate of everyone.
“Take for instance in Borno, a state of about six million people, the governor in power and the party in power decide everything for everybody.
“The House of Assembly we have, the quality of representation and the way money is sent to respective states is such that it is common in all the states.
“The principle of check and balance which is supposed to be the underpinning of having democratic governance is not happening across the country.”
He also said they want restructuring and a return to the six geo-political zones because when you talk of state, even if you increase the states from 36 to 42 for instance, there will still be states or a portion of a state that may not be able to present a representative.
“Take for instance in Borno State where I come from, southern Borno, they call them the minority, they have never provided a governor.
If you create a northeast region, out of the 27 LGAs we have in Borno, create seven to eight provinces and let them have their own administrative structure and let everybody report to the regional sector, it will help.”
Kumalia also said one of the reasons why they are calling for restructuring is because of the issue of security in the country, adding that he was never a supporter of decentralisation of the police but he started supporting it when he saw what was happening in Borno with the Boko Haram insurgency.
“What I saw civilian JTF doing, the sacrifice they made by laying their lives to protect the people, what the police would have done but they couldn’t do when they came to the terrain.
“Secondly, there wasn’t that motivation and again the size of the police is not enough to tackle what is happening in the community.
“Therefore, we need regional police and if possible, provincial police.
“Let every zone go, if the South East wants to create 100 provinces and South West 200, let everyone do that.
“Let there be good revenue formula between the federal government and regions.”