Published On: Thu, Oct 12th, 2017

North made largest sacrifice for Nigeria’s unity – Ango Abdullahi

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From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna

Former Vice Chancellor of the Ahmadu Bello University and Secretary of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Professor Ango Abdullahi has said the North has always sacrificed for the unity of Nigeria.
He stated this at two-day conference on ‘The North and the future of the Nigerian Federation ’, organised by the Arewa Research and Development Project (ARDP),
According to him, from his days as a student when Nigeria got independence and he saw that each time there was need to unite, Nigeria, the North made the largest sacrifice.
He added that this sacrifice should not be translated to mean that the north is afraid of breaking up of the country. because the region is prepared to go back to the pre 1914 arrangement.
“If we can’t go back to 1914, we should go back to 1960, regional governance. north is not afraid of getting its north back, just
Iike those that want East and West. I see this as a political manoeuvre and the North will not take it,” he said
Ango further said though restructuring means different things to different people, in his opinion, it would not make any difference, because the problem is not really in the structure, but the managers of the country.
“Restructuring means so many things to many people, but to me, I am not speaking for Unongo or NEF, when I was confronted about this, by people from the South, we sat with Prof Nwabueze and he said Nigeria is unbalanced and Lugard made mistake by amalgamation and north has always dominated that’s why they asked for national conference in 2014.”
He explained that the north has always wanted a peaceful country.
“Now we have 36 states from three regions which existed in 1960. No country has had constitutional conference like Nigeria, yet it has not created basis for a united country.
“We ought to have realuzed from that that, the failure of operators of the country is needed, if we want to restructure Nigeria, we have to start from the beginning, 1914, North and South, let’s go our separate ways,” he emphasized.
He said that such clamouring is not new, because it has always been an antecedent of the South whenever a Northerner was in charge of leadership.
Ango Abdullahi, who represented Chief Paul Unongo, chairman of the Northern Elders Forum, said that northerners and Nigeria feel bad over loss of their leader, Dr. Maitama Sule three months ago, AVM Mukhtar recently and General Victor Malu which he read about in the papers on Tuesday.

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