By CHRIS EKEKE, Abuja
The apex northern socio-cultural group, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has faulted those calling for the implementation of the 2014 confab report, saying it will not be in the interest of the generality of Nigerians.
According to a communiqué signed by the forum’s National Publicity Secretary, Muhammad Ibrahim Biu and made available to newsmen in Kaduna, the National Executive Council of the body after their meeting yesterday, said, it would be morally preposterous and anti-democratic for anybody or group to canvass for the implementation of a report by unelected delegates.
The forum which is the foremost northern socio-cultural group also expressed dissatisfaction over the continued altercations between the executive arm of government and the National Assembly, in particular the Senate, saying such crises were avoidable.
ACF maintained that its opposition to the implementation of the 2014 confab was borne out of the selection of its delegates, which according to the forum was skewed against the north.
“The opposition of the North to the implementation of the recommendations in the report of 2014 National Conference is not so much because of any legal consideration as to its legitimacy, but also because the selection of the conference delegates was skewed against the North in number considering its population.
“The National Executive Council of Arewa Consultative Forum ACF held its meeting on Monday 10th July,2017, at the ACF Headquarters, Kaduna.
The meeting which was earlier scheduled to hold on the 5th of July, 2017,was postponed in honour of the late Amb Yusuf Maitama Sule, CFR, Dan Masanin Kano, who died on the 3rd of July, 2017,in Cairo, Egypt. ACF’s delegation led by the Chairman, Alhaji Dr. Ibrahim Ahmadu Coomassie, GCON, mni, NPM, Sardaunan Katsina, attended the burial rites for the late Ambassador Maitama Sule on Tuesday 4th July, 2017.
“The meeting was well attended by members from the 19 Northern States and FCT, and presided over by the Chairman, Alhaji Dr. Ibrahim A. Coomassie, GCON, mni, NPM, Sardaunan Katsina. The meeting deliberated
on a number of management matters and issues of national importance and resolved to issue the following statements;
“ACF has observed with deep concern the continued altercations between the Executive arm of government and the National Assembly, in particular the Senate, over interpretations of certain sections of the Constitution regarding confirmation of appointments of public officers and other contentious issues. These kinds of disagreements are
avoidable precisely because they are not helpful for good governance.
“ACF, therefore, urges the parties concerned to amicably resolve their differences in the interest of Nigeria or better still approach the Supreme Court and seek the correct interpretation of the relevant sections of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended in order to avoid future occurrences of the present situation.
“ACF has observed with keen interest the current nationwide debate on the term ‘Restructuring’ of the country as being canvassed by some people, groups and even prominent citizens. The term, however, means different things to different people or groups. To some, it is ‘true federalism’ whatever that means, for others it is ‘fiscal federalism’,
while some group tout ‘resource control’. Yet we have those for ‘resource ownership’.
“ACF notes with regret that those clamouring or demanding for the so-called restructuring are yet to define what they actually mean by the concept and its application in our present democratic setting. In most cases, the meaning depends on which section of the country or the person advocating for it comes from. It is, therefore, the considered
view of the ACF that any acceptable restructuring meant to improve the unity, stability, harmony and peaceful coexistence must be based on just, fair and equitable principles to all Nigerians that come with clarity of definition.
“Implementation of the recommendations in report of 2014 National Conference is not so much because of any legal consideration as to its legitimacy, but also because the selection of the conference delegates was skewed against the North in number considering its population. For emphasis, there are contentious issues like the abolishment of the present local government councils, creation of 18 additional states that were not resolved in accordance with due process of the conference proceedings.
“ACF, therefore, is of the opinion that it would be morally preposterous and anti-democratic for anybody or group to canvass for the implementation of the report by a conference of unelected-delegates. This is more so by the elected government which did not participate in the conference and its recommendations were not part of the manifesto of the ruling party”, the communiqué read.