The governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, has said that Northerners kicking against calls for the restructuring of Nigeria are not speaking for the North.
According to The Punch, El-Rufai noted that the committee that produced the draft bill on restructuring had to step it down to prevent the bill from being politicised. He said the inaugurated committee had since submitted a draft bill to the Federal Government in January 2018.
The governor, while speaking at the 26th National Economic Summit in Abuja, noted that all hands were on deck to transmit the draft bill to the National Assembly for consideration.
Even though some quarters have continued to kick against restructuring, El-Rufai emphasized that the majority of APC members want the bill to be passed into law based on the multi-dimensional benefits Nigeria stands to gain from it. He said he feels bad that some northerners are opposed to restructuring, attributing their actions to selfish dispositions.
El-Rufai said, “We have the highest number of out-of-school children. We have the highest poverty rate. We have the lowest JAMB cut-off rate. So, what are the advantages in the North in the current situation? As the Governor of Kaduna State, I have had to look at these issues and try to see how I can get the people of my state up on the ladder. I think you need to differentiate the knowledge from a few and the voice of the silent majority.”
He added, “If there are northern leaders today, by virtue of the fact that I am a governor, I must be there. So, who are these northerners against restructuring? Who are they? Who are they speaking for?”
El-Rufai, urged Nigerians to understand the difference between the position of some northerners and the North as a region.
“Let us have a very honest, unemotional conversation without looking down on people or insulting them or framing them,” he said.