The apex northern group, the Arewa Consultative Forum, has dismissed the call for restructuring, saying it was not well defined by its proponents.
The group said the North could not be intimidated.
The ACF also said the North preferred a referendum to determine Nigeria’s continued existence, adding that various parts of the country could go their different ways if its existence were no more desirable.
In an interview with Punch, the ACF secretary-general, Aliyu, said although the group was not afraid of restructuring, its proponents had not adequately defined it.
Aliyu stated, “The North is not afraid of restructuring. What we want is to define what is it that we want. If we want to be in Nigeria and if we don’t want to be in Nigeria, let’s sit down and agree.”
According to him, the North is looking at all options and is leaving all options open.
He stated, “We can restructure. We can become a confederation. We can devolve powers. We can have state police and all that we want. But I can tell you that the thinking of the North now is that we should have a referendum if we want Nigeria or not. If we want Nigeria, then, we must sit down and see how Nigeria will work.
“If we need the country, let’s sit down and decide that we need the country first. Then we can now sit down and decide on how our country can work for all of us. If we decide that we don’t want the country as it is, then, I mean, countries have gone apart, Czechoslovakia and quite several other countries, including Sudan, had gone apart. We don’t want to go to war.”
“The North is not going to be intimidated again to accept anything. We have to sit down and resolve whether we want this federation or this country as it is.”
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