North Central backs devolution of powers, rejects Nigeria’s break-up

Stakeholders including representatives of labour unions , traditional councils , community development associations , professional bodies , marketers , youths and religious groups from the North - Central geopolitical zone on Monday called for devolution of powers to state and local governments.
They also canvassed for independent candidacy and local government autonomy .
They , however , kicked against the disintegration of Nigeria and creation of new states .
The stakeholders spoke on Monday in Ilorin , the Kwara State capital , during the North Central Zonal public hearing organised by the ruling All Progressives Congress Committee on True Federalism .
Earlier , the Kwara State Governor , Abdulfatah Ahmed , had said the driving factor behind the agitations for true federalism or restructuring was the redistribution of resources in an equitable manner .
He called for special focus on the political economy in the quest for true federalism in Nigeria in order to ensure class elevation and egalitarianism .
Ahmed pointed out that the major drive behind the agitation for restructuring was the desire for equitable redistribution of the nation ’ s resources .
He urged the participants to explore ways of ensuring “ the greatest good for the greatest number of our people . ”
“ That , to me , is what people should direct their minds to within the context of the nation ’ s federation or any other structure that they may come up with , ” Ahmed said .
He said any structure that would meet the economic and political aspirations of the majority of citizens should be welcomed .
He said , “The nationwide dialogue by the APC on true federalism connects with its expressed commitment to making governance more meaningful to the people by changing the way people are governed , especially in terms of access to and allocation of resources .
“ While our current economic problems may have weakened our party ’ s commitment to reforming our federation , the challenges have also strengthened agitation by citizens for what is variously referred to as restructuring, devolution of power or true federalism .
“ Consequently, I hold that any structure that meets the economic and political aspirations of the majority of citizens will be welcomed. Therefore, we should focus on a political economy that provides an opportunity for class elevation and egalitarianism . In other words , what structure provides economic opportunities to expand the middle - class to accommodate the majority of our people ?
“ Under what circumstances can we promote the human capital development of our people to stimulate the innovativeness necessary to develop our country , boost entrepreneurship and create more economic spaces for citizens to prosper ? How do we generate these spaces for economic empowerment of the majority without creating new layers of bureaucracy and increasing the cost of governance ?”
His Niger State counterpart , Abubakar Bello, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Political Matters, Mr . Solomon Nyase , said he would never support Nigeria’ s break - up .
He stated that Niger State had collated the opinions of its stakeholders and was resolute in its commitment to issues of national development .
According to him , Niger State was not in support of the division of the country but for policies that would promote national unity and devolution of powers .
He said , “However , in whatever we do or discuss , we must remember Nigerians who are at the receiving end . ”
The spokesperson for the traditional rulers in Kwara , the Emir of Shonga , Dr . Haliru Yahaya , said the agitation in some quarters for the disintegration of Nigeria would not succeed .
He said, “ Let the boys be chatting , Nigeria cannot disintegrate. Every section of the country has got its own agitations , but at the end of the day , the country will be more united . ”
The Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola , claimed that the APC administration was the first to make spirited efforts to organise public hearing on Nigeria ’s co - existence .
He said the APC set up the committee on true federalism as a way of aggregating the views of Nigerians on how the nation should be governed.
Aregbesola , a member of the committee, said the party made concerted efforts towards robust discussion in moving the country forward rather than imposing on Nigerians a fixed political view or ideology .
He said , “ This will be the first time that a conscious effort is being made by a political party in Nigeria to aggregate views , opinions and ideas about how they want to see Nigeria by ourselves being governed. I must commend our party, the APC for coming up with the idea and many of us who are moving around . ”
He added , “It will be wrong of us to impose our views on the population of Nigeria. That is why we are here . We want Nigerians to tell us how they want the country to be governed and the meaning and essence of a federation .
“ We want to also aggregate views on how to define our federation and how we relate with one another . It is only proper for us to organise this public hearing . ”