By Joan Ejembi
Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, has added his voice to the welling calls for debates on restructuring that is geared towards a more peaceful, viable, prosperous and united Nigeria.
A press statement issued by the Governor‘s Chief Press Secretary, Jibrin Baba Ndace, quoted him to have made this call at the 5th Anniversary Celebration of News Express Media, an Online Media Platform in Lagos.
Sani-Bello, who spoke on “National Unity and Demand for restructuring: A Governor’s Perspective,” was at the event, represented by the Chief Press Secretary.
The Governor was quoted as saying that “he agreed to speak on the ongoing debate on restructuring because of the critical role Niger state has played in the evolution of modern Nigeria and insisted that Nigeria is better off as one united, indivisible country.”
“The amalgamation of Northern and Southern protectorates in 1914 took place in Niger state. Indeed, the name Nigeria was coined from “Niger Area” by Mary Shaw. Niger state is therefore a precursor to modern Nigeria.”
“We may have challenges as a nation, but we are certainly better off as one united, strong, virile, just and prosperous nation. Therefore, in interrogating the structure of Nigeria, we must put Nigeria first,”
Governor Sani Bello noted that there was no perfect federalism or democracy and urged all stakeholders to discuss burning issues in the atmosphere of tolerance, respect for human dignity and with the aim of `deepening democracy and building a more united country that carters for all citizens.
“I urge all advocates of restructuring to do so in atmosphere of tolerance, respect for human dignity, understanding, and abiding faith in Nigeria. Perhaps, it not just wants we discuss, but how we discuss it.
Governor Sani Bello, who said he aligns with President Muhammadu Buhari’s position on discourse on national issues, advised that various proponents of restructuring should canvass their positions with decorum and also recognizing that the hallmark of democracy is right for people to have different views on any issue.
“I align with President Muhammadu Buhari on the need for all to be mindful of crossing the RED LINE on national discourse. In
“Our comments should be measured; our concern should be national unity; our commitment should be Nigeria; our focus should be deepening democracy and building a progressive country for future generation,” he said.
Governor Sani Bello also said he agreed with All Progressives Congress, APC, National Leader, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, that dismembering Nigeria would not solve anybody’s problems.
“I agree with Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu that breaking Nigeria into small insignificant units would not solve our challenges. Rather, it will diminish our regional, continental and global profile. Nigeria is envy of all nations based on its size and huge potentials,” he said.