Southern Monarchs Berate Sultan For Opposing Restructuring

Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III; and Emir of Argungun, Alhaji Samaila Mera. NAN

Some traditional rulers in the southern part of Nigeria have berated the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar for opposing the call for restructuring, saying that view is against the wish of the people.

The Sultan, at the Niger State Investment Summit, which held recently in Minna had urged Nigerians­ to focus on the devolution of the economy, rather than the restructuring of Nigeria.

Meanwhile, in an interview session with Punch, some traditional rulers disagreed with the Sultan’s stance on restructuring.

The Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji said, “If the people of Nigeria want the country to be restructured, as traditional leaders, we are not in a position to oppose it. We are closer to the people, so we must lead by example. It is important to find a way of addressing the yearning of our people.

“Without the people, there cannot be a leader. We can see clearly what is wrong with the present system. The people and all the major political parties are calling for restructuring. We should allow people to develop at their own pace. It is the only way out of a potential crisis. That is how we can address all the agitations across the country. We support the restructuring of the nation.”

Obong Etim Abia from Eket, Akwa Ibom state said, “I think the general opinion is that, as Nigerians, we all need to come together, sit down and discuss how we want this country to be governed. This is the only country in the world that people have to go to the centre and share money. Things cannot continue like that — that is why some people insist on resource control.

“To say the country should not be restructured and that we should leave it to what the military decided to make it — with the military all from one side of the country — is unfair and unrealistic. We must agree on resource control in which every state will control its own resources and give a percentage, even if it is 50 percent, to the centre.”

For the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladelusi Aladetoyinbo, a paramount ruler in Ondo State, “I must say that we cannot shy away from the restructuring of this country. Remember that we are talking about an equitable society where we will all see ourselves as one and not a lopsided situation as we currently have. We need to restructure the political frame of the country; the fiscal federalism must equally be addressed.

“We must, therefore, look for a way to discuss these challenges and the best way to overcome them is by the restructuring of Nigeria.”

These sentiments were expressed by the Ajero of Ijero, Oba Adebayo Adewole, and the Obi of Ihim, Eze Oliver Ohanwe.

However, the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi, expressed support for the Sultan’s stance.however, agreed with the Sultan’s call for economic restructuring.

He said until what restructuring entails is clearly defined, devolution of the economy is a more germane issue.

According to him, he would not give his support to any call that involves the breaking up of the country.

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