The Oodua Peoples Congress, OPC, has condemned some northern elders for backing out on regionalisation of the country as agreed upon at the 2014 National Conference organised by the administration of former president Goodluck Jonathan, stressing that their about-face was an affront to the collective psyche of Nigerians.
Rising from an emergency meeting on Sunday, the OPC accused northern elite of acting like they own Nigeria, insisting that regionalism was the minimum option for a united Nigeria, failure of which the country would be heading towards the path of disintegration.
Northern leaders, who were members of the 2014 National Conference, had last week under the auspices of the Northern Delegates’ Forum, NDF, rejected calls in some parts of the country for Nigeria to be restructured.
They complained that the North was not given fair representation in the conference with 189 delegates despite its landmass of 70 per cent and 55 per cent of the country’s population.
NDF dissociated itself “from any attempt by any group to seek to implement or force the federal government or any of its institutions to use the report of the conference, under any guise for the purpose of restructuring Nigeria”.
But in a statment signed by its national coordinator, Otunba Gani Adams, OPC decried the pronouncement of the Arewa elders, saying it was a call for anarchy in a country that is in dire need for actions.
He stated that the declaration of the northern elders is mere figment of their own imagination that cannot represent the stance of the majority of northerners, nay the generality of the citizens of the country, particularly at this point of palpable lop-sidedness and leadership inequalities.
“We view the recent back out of some northern elders on the resolution for regionalisation of the country as panacea for a stronger Nigeria as a gross display of irresponsibility, reckless approach to sensitive matter bothering on national security cum unity and an affront on the collective psyche of Nigerians.
“The agreement to the regionalisation of the country after failed attempts to unite the country in the past was a collective one at a rare seating where every ethnic nationalities that make up the country had the rare chance to sit together to discuss the future of the country.
“To now make a detour at this time that the country is almost approaching a brick wall on the path of national cohesion is simply unpatriotic.
“We are not unaware of the desperate moves going on underground by a cabal that have all the while constituted the tail wagging the dog of unity in Nigeria, that are so comfortable with the lingering lopsided presidential system that is deliberately skewed to favour indolence and evil manipulations that allows a few to
benefit at the expense of others.
“Let it be known to those supporting the continuation of the current locust regime that the only alternative to regionalisation of Nigeria is self-determination.
“Nigeria started with a system that allowed each region to develop at its own space and the Yoruba benefitted a lot from the system which promoted hard work and rapid development across the country.
“We built our nation to be the pride of the world under that system and as such tip it as the minimum condition for our unity in diversity, as a country.
“Let the message be sounded in the ears of those scheming to promote laziness and stampede the entire populace in their desperate bid to continue to hold the country back on the path of development and accelerated pace in the march towards global advancements, that they will not succeed,” OPC asserted.