|Alhaji Atiku Abubakar|
By Haleel Ado.
A coalition of Kogi youths under the aegis of Kogi Youths for Atiku (KYA) has thrown its weight behind former Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s call for the restructuring of the Nigerian federation to quell the rising tide of agitations and intolerance among the various ethnic nationalities in the country.
In a press statement released in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital and made available to newsmen, the Group advised the Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari to take on board the advice of well-meaning Nigerians like the Turakin Adamawa, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar on the need to restructure the country if Nigeria is to remain as a single united entity.
According to KYA, “the recent rise in the wave of agitations for self-determination especially in the South-east and south-western parts of Nigeria is a result of decades of skewered applications of federalism as the system of government in Nigeria. This has directly or indirectly, resulted in justifiable feelings of injustice among the various component units of the Nigerian federation.”
The only way to quell these agitations the Group opined is to “immediately take necessary and quite frankly, long overdue steps to restructure Nigeria and define, once and for all the basis for our existence”
Kogi Youths for Atiku (KYA) in the statement which was jointly signed by the Group Coordinators, Muhammad ‘Din Shehu and Rabiu Awwal Haruna, also faulted the claims by the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed that the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) led by Nnamdi Kanu was sponsored by treasury looters stating that “it is an untenable argument. The Ibos and other ethnic nationalities in Nigeria have justifiable claims of marginalization and until we take the path of justice and restructure the Nigerian federation into one in which each of her component units have a sense of belonging; groups such as IPOB will continue to arise with their supporters rallying behind demagogues like Nnamdi Kanu”
It however commended the Federal Government for initiating bridge-building initiatives by sending some governors and other eminent personalities like the Turakin Adamawa on a peace mission to the South-east and the South-south: “we commend the Federal government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari for taking prompt steps to forestall a wave of needless reprisals as a fall-out of the military exercise by the Nigerian army in some south-eastern states codenamed “Python Dance”, by sending a delegation of eminent leaders of thoughts from the north on a peace-building mission to South-east and South-south states. We particularly acknowledge with appreciation the presidential mandate giving by President Buhari to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to join the peace building tours.”
“We in KYA sees this as just recognition, and further confirmation of the universally acknowledge persona of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as a symbol of national unity and a pan Nigerian statesman. This has further validated our belief that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is one man capable of leading our beloved country on the path of national unity, sustainable socio-economic growth and developments come May 29, 2019.”
The group also used the medium to canvass the support of youths from the 21 Local Government Areas of Kogi State for the candidature of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in the 2019 Presidential Election “if Kogites in particular and Nigerians in general, are to feel the impact of real and impactful Change.”