An emergency meeting of Southern and Middle Belt Leaders on Wednesday expressed concern over the outcome Northern governors meeting on national issues.
The leaders said the outcome of the meeting of the governors coming at the heels of the nationwide protest by the youth which later turned violence was insensitive and total subversion of the country’s unity.
Those in attendance include Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Chief E. K. Clark, Chief John Nwodo, Senator Kofoworola Akerele-Buknor, AVM Idongesit Nkanga, Senator Femi Okunrounmu, Chief Broderick Bozimo, Mr Solomon Asemota (SAN), Senator Bassey Henshaw, Chief Guy Ikokwu, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Air Commodore Dan Suleiman, Bar Chuks Muomah SAN, BAR Mike Ahamba SAN, Prof GG Darah, Chief T.K.O. Okorotie, Mr Yinka Odumakin, Oba Oladipo Olaitan, Chief Supo Sonibare, Chief Demola Folarin, Dr Akin Fapohunda, Mr Madu Bright O Allwell, Bar Chuks Achi-Okpaga, Chief Alex Ogbonnia, Dr Pogu Bitrus, Dr S D Gani, Elder Stephen Bangoji, Hon Jonathan Asake, Mr Chris Aba, Barr Mark Jacob, Barr Festus Nyiwo
They said there was no sense in the governors’ celebration of Northern youth not participating in #EndSARS protests as they also suffer the same plight with young people in other areas of the country.
The leaders therefore insisted that only restructuring of the country could better address the situation.
Northern states Governors recently met with Northern states Emirs and Chiefs and Arewa leaders in topmost positions in the current regime where national issues were discussed and some decisions reached.
But at the Wednesday virtual meeting in Abuja, the elders and Leaders of thought from South West, South East, South South and Muddle Belt met and berated the Northern governors on the outcome of their meeting.
A communique issued at the end of the meeting attended by notable leaders from other regions of the country said what the country should be seeking now post-youth protest are solutions to the germane issues raised by the protesters.
The communique reads: “The meeting coming aftermath of the #EndSARS protest when we should be putting heads together nationally to seek solutions to our problems is most distractive, divisive and made Nigeria widely scattered as against the “indivisibility ‘ and other non-sequitors that were regurgitated at the end of it, Where would this country be heading to if we also decide to call our own meeting with our Governors and top officials in the Federal Government? We do not see any responsibility displayed by those who have been serially accused of sectionalising our national government to allow such in sensibility , insensitivity and total subversion of the unity of the country that only exists on the lips of those behind the meeting .
“It not also lost on us that the communique of the meeting was making space for National Executive Council nominations to a sectional initiative as the utmost level of disregard to the rest of the country whom they are treating as serfs when we are supposed to be joint and equal stakeholders in project Nigeria.
“Meeting wondered the quality of humanity of any group meeting at this period of mournings not to have a word of compassion for those that were recklessly murdered by state forces and hired thugs during the protests.
“We reject the indecent approach to paste the peaceful protesters in dark colours. They made their demands clear and were orderly before the violent Nigerian state deployed armed soldiers and thugs in 911 lorries against them.
It is wickedness to place “our power” above every other national interest by playing the “regime change” label on the peaceful protesters who were not armed like Boko Haram that the regime is chasing about with negotiations in the same spirit it has been cuddling and pampering killer herdsmen.
“We do not see the thoughtfulness in the celebration of Northern youth not participating in #EndSARS protests as if they did not also loot like their deprived young people in other areas of the country which shows they are suffering the same thing. But instead of treating leprosy, our counterparts are dealing with eczema
“We foresaw all that is happening now, which is why we have been calling for restructuring as a multi – ethnic country like Nigeria can only be run along federal lines. We were not oblivious of the damage the military did to this country by using fiat to create LGAs with headquarters in the villages of top shots.
“We make it abundantly clear to our colleagues from the core North that yesterday ended last night and NEVER AGAIN shall this country be run the same old way. No section of the country can play any supremacist role again as if the rest of us are fools.”
While mourning with all families who lost their loved ones in the crisis, the elders and Leaders of thought also called for proper punishment for those involved in the wanton looting and destruction of public and private properties.