Jega, Junaid seek dispassionate agitations for restructuring
•Ex-INEC chair urges security of tenure for electoral umpires
Former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega and Member of Parliament in the second republic, Dr. Juniad Mohammed, have sought dispassionate calls for the restructuring of Nigeria’s nationhood.
They enjoined the agitators to detach sentiments from their bids and cautioned dissenters to be sensitive. At a public lecture yesterday organised by Aminu Kano Centre for Democracy, Research and Training (Mumbayya House), Bayero University Kano, Junaid blamed the agitations and the palpable anxiety in the land on failure of the present administration to respond to credible agitation.
According to him, government needs to wield the big stick against those threatening the corporate existence of the country in line with one of its cardinal responsibilities to the citizenry and the entire society. He described the quit notice to Igbo residing in the north as reckless.
But Jega, who chaired the event, noted that the solution to the structural challenges hindering true federalism lies in ventilations devoid of hate and primordial sentiments.
His words: The issues of true federalism and restructuring are a serious challenge which will be difficult to address but not impossible. And to tackle them, it requires our abilities and that, depends on how much we are able to move outside of that confusion, emotion and passion o a level of realism.
“A dispassionate discussion of how to address the issue and reach consensus is the only solution to move the nation forward. It is indeed, a difficult process and that was the reason why many are even afraid to speak about it and many also decided to sit on the fence. But obviously, challenges cannot be resolved or addressed in that manner.”
Jega insisted that Nigeria needs responsible and credible nationalists that would address her predicament with a view to sustaining the indivisibility and diversity of the nation.
“To address the problem we find ourselves, Nigeria needs people that will come up to speak and speak sensibly and realistically with all sense of responsibility and accommodation of our fragile diversity as a nation,” he stated.
On the democratisation of the nation’s electoral system, Jega maintained that he would only react based on experience. He, however, suggested that the security of tenure for electoral umpires would go a long way to guarantee their independence.