Some leaders of Southern and Middle Belt states on Monday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to address agitations for restructuring rather than embark on wild goose chase.
The forum, which comprises of leaders from the South West, South -south, South East and Middle Belt, was reacting to the President’s New Year address to Nigerians.
The group, in a statement jointly signed by the Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, for the South West, Senator Bassey Henshaw, South- south, Prof. Chigozie Ogbu, South East and Mr. Isuwa Dogo, Middle Belt, accused Buhari of playing down the clamour for restructuring while embarking on a wild goose chase about “process.”
According to the leaders, Nigeria’s crisis had peaked that there were no guaranteed opportunities for Nigerians by its leaders despite promises packaged to offer falsehood.
They noted that instead of Buhari to address the cause of the nation’s affliction, he was busy trying to rationalize the country’s failure by passing the buck.
The forum said: “It is a time when we should be having national introspection to know where the rain began to beat us, how to dry our clothes and ensure that we are no longer exposed to rainfall. Unfortunately, we are not addressing the cause of our affliction and only trying to rationalize our needless failure, passing the buck and running from the solutions to our problem.
“We are in a period where empty platitudes are being offered our people instead of concrete assurances on reasoned prescriptions. The truth of the matter is that our nationhood crisis has peaked and there are no further opportunities to guarantee opportunities for our citizens no matter the good intentions of leaders or even unrealistic promises packaged to offer them false hope.
“Social scientists have argued correctly that a problem is not resolved either by running away from it or ascribing it to the wrong source. Unfortunately, that is what we are doing as a country by playing down our crisis of “structure” while on a wild goose chase about “process.” That is akin to a man going to Benin City while driving towards Benin Republic. The faster he runs the farther he is away from his destination.
“In 1983, when the Shehu Shagari administration was overthrown, its budget for a country of 80m people was $25b.35 years after, the Buhari government has just proposed a $23b budget for about 180m people!
“The above clearly shows that there is no way out of our systemic crisis except we resume productivity which was our hallmark in the years that we practiced federalism as an entity.
“We have exhausted all possibilities of a rentier and sharing economy and all that is left is unemployment, hunger, gnashing of teeth and conflicts among nationalities over shrinking opportunities.”