Southern Kaduna leaders seek restructuring to address minority challenges
Lekwot, Others Demand Gurara State
Leaders of Southern Kaduna yesterday canvassed for the creation of Gurara State from the present Kaduna, saying they are being marginalised under the current political dispensation.
They stressed that the restructuring of the country would give the minorities a better sense of belonging.Speaking under the aegis of the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU), they said the plight of minorities in the country should occupy the front burner of the restructuring agenda if Nigeria must stand as one indivisible entity.
The leaders include former military Governor of Rivers State, General Zamani Lekwot (rtd.), immediate past Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Nuhu Bajoga, current Deputy Governor, Barnabas Bala Bantex, top government officials and community leaders who met to deliberate on restructuring of the country
President of SOKAPU, Solomon Musa and Chairman of SOKAPU Committee on Restructuring, Jonathan Kish, said: “The town hall meeting adopted a working definition of restructuring as it relates to Southern Kaduna to mean correcting imbalances and addressing injustices for a just and equitable nation for all.”
Musa said the only way the injustices meted to the people of Southern Kaduna could be addressed was to create a Gurara State, pointing out that anything short of that would amount to continuous marginalisation under the current political dispensation.
He cited the present delineation of federal and state constituencies, wards, local government areas, registration areas and polling units” in the state.“The present arrangement is deliberately skewed to the disadvantage of Southern Kaduna and other ethnic minorities in the North so that someone from Southern Kaduna will find it almost impossible to aspire to hold certain critical positions in Kaduna State such as governor,” he stated.
Musa added: “Therefore, there is need to correct these structural imbalances that have been set up to always undermine the political aspirations of the southern Kaduna people.
“The constitutional provisions on periodic review of polling units and constituencies should be carried out with fairness and within the intendments of the constitution and before the next general elections in 2019”.He also argued that Southern Kaduna, which is a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic community of minority tribes who are non-migratory and agrarian in nature, does not fit into the identity of northwest but that of the middle belt where they should be properly placed.
While insisting that the report of the 2014 National Conference should be implemented, Musa said: “It is the view of Southern Kaduna that the conclusions reached and recommendations of that conference on the future of the Nigerian federation on the issues of states creation and merger of states, devolution of powers, derivation principle, land tenure, federating units, fiscal federalism, local government autonomy, allocation of resources, geopolitical zones and regionalism, among others, reflect the yearnings and aspirations of the Southern Kaduna people and Nigerians in general”.
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