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Southern Professionals Calls For National Referendum On Asaba Resolution To Combat Lopsided Fedralism

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Network of South-South’s professionals, South-South Study Group (3SG), yesterday called for a national referendum to give stimulus to the resolution of Southern governors on restructuring and anti-open grazing.

Lauding the governors on their resolution, the group urged them not to allow themselves to be cowed by party loyalty and to ensure the implementation of their resolutions.

According to the group, Southern Nigeria suffers from the present servitude and disadvantages arising from lopsided federalism.

The group, in a statement by Otoks Dan Princewill, said Southern governors should not shy away from articulating the desires of their people in the contested arena between the large majority of progressively-minded Nigerians and the few persons determined to foster regression.

He said: “The timely intervention by the Southern Governors presents a watershed moment as the nation becomes a contested arena between the progressive will of the people and the regressive whims and caprices of a few.

“It is for this reason that the commendable display of astutely effective diplomatic effort by the Southern governors across party lines belies the urgency and need for relief as demanded by Southerners of all affiliation.

“On this note, the Southern Governors must realise that now more than ever, regardless of party affiliation, the citizens of Southern Nigeria look up to this collective body of Southern Governors to protect them from rampaging marauders and bandits, to push forward their collective interests and hold many more positive conferences also involving other Southern stakeholders in the immediate future for the sake of the rapidly deteriorating national state of affairs.  Nigerians at home and in diaspora are waiting on edge with baited breath in expectation that this presents hope for a new beginning.”

Affirming that the resolution of the governors on restructuring was explicit, the group said: “The communiqué of the Southern governors explicitly explains what restructuring entails; review of resource control, revenue allocation formula, strict adherence to federal character principles in appointments and the shared interests of the federating states.

“It is pertinent to acknowledge that our festering national ills have been dramatically amplified by a current approach of gross insensitivity to the diversity and the multicultural nature of Nigeria.  This complete neglect of the most primary characteristic of Federalism by the current Federal Government worsened the already festering national malaise.

“The solutions to our national problems arising from diversity and multiculturalism were clearly stated only with slight differences and variations in the national conferences of 1995, 2005, and 2014. Interestingly, the ruling party in its review of the National Question reaffirmed these same solutions based on the imperative of restructuring.”

Urging the Southern governors to go beyond words, the group said:

“What has been lacking is the will to go beyond mere words.

“South-South Study Group (3SG) calls for an immediate implementation by Southern Governors of principles of Restructuring within its collective will as it has done with the ban of open grazing.

“South-South Study Group (3SG) calls for a national referendum preceding any elections to settle these fundamental national issues that will inform the drafting of a new Federal Constitution.

“All well-meaning Nigerians can then put hands together to build a new Nigeria of our collective dreams.”

Lady Decency
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