By Joseph Kingston, Calabar
Senators from the southern part of the country, under the aegis of Southern Senators’ Forum, have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to revisit the recommendations of the 2014 National Conference as panacea to the hydra headed challenges facing the nation.
The Forum made the call, weekend in Calabar at the end of a three-day retreat with the theme ‘National Unity and Restructuring,’ attended by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, governors Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa, Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa, Ben Ayade of Cross River, Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah, Minister of Justice Abu- bakar Malami, among other prominent Nigerians.
In a communiqué read by the chairman of the occasion, Senator Hope Uzodimma, the Senators said the country’s unity would not be compromised but for justice, equity and fairness
to all, the restructuring and implementation of the 2014 confab reports have become inevitable.
While insisting that restructuring does not translate to break-up of the country, the senators charged President Muhammadu Buhari to “convoke a meeting of the National Assembly leadership, governors and the leadership of state Houses of Assembly to a close door brainstorming session to commence the implementation of the recommendations of the 2014 National Conference.”
The Communiqué read in part: “Nigeria and Nigerians have come a long way down the length of history, but it has become imperative and in the interest of all to live together as one united country, that is to say, under one indivisible and indissoluble country with jus- tice, equity and fairness.
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“While the unity of the country is not and cannot be compromised under any circumstance, it has become apparent that the foundation upon which
the Nigerian nation was raised at independence in 1960 has been eroded and that there is need to return to the original dream of true federalism by our founding fathers. It was a product of negotiations, compromise and accommodation.
“We also urge the leadership of the National Assembly, starting with the leadership of the Senate, to bring up the 2014 National Conference report for consideration.”
They charged members of the Southern Senators’ Forum to “li- aise with their colleagues in the National Assembly to kick start a legislative process that can lead to the actualisation of the above stated objectives.”
Some of the resource persons and contributors included Senator Ike Nwachukwu, Prof George Obiozor, Publicity Secretary of the Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, His Majesty the Obong of Calabar, the representative of the Ooni of Ife, King Jaja of Opobo, and icons drawn from the academia and business communities.