The Chairman of the Northern Senators Forum, Abdullahi Adamu, said that it is unfair to expect President Muhammadu Buhari to implement the recommendations of the national reform conference convened by former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2014 which he was not party to its development.
Mr. Adamu stated this at the opening ceremony of a retreat organized by the northern senators’ forum, yesterday, in Katsina.
“You can’t compel the president to implement a report he is not part of.
“I can safely bet that those who put their trust in the report have not even read it, there is nothing radical in the report of the conference,” he said.
Mr. Adamu said the retreat, which is being attended by governors and traditional rulers from the northern region, will discuss the current agitation for restructuring, the 2018 budget, and insecurity particularly in the northern part of the country.
“We must study the budget in the context of the peculiar needs and interest of our three geo-political zones and perhaps to use the budget as a bench mark for assessing the impact of the federal budgets on our three zones,” he said.
Mr. Adamu lamented the high rate of poverty in the north saying the situation is unacceptable.
He promised that the lawmakers will make sure that every federal budget has the right impact to lift the northern region out of poverty.
The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, who was at the Northern Senators annual retreat in Katsina State, spoke on various issues affecting the country ranging from restructuring to developing asset in the North.
In his speech, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, expressed the hope that the retreat will go a long way in helping to crystallize the ideas expressed by Mr. Adamu. Mr. Saraki further urged the north not to be “afraid” of the debate on restructuring.
He said the north must sit down to assess all the debates over the restructuring discourse and take a more informed decision on the issues.
The Senator said that his understanding of restructuring is, “when everyone work towards economic development in every part of the country, so we can all take pride of place in the Nigerian project, and no region is seen as a weak link.”
“My own restructuring is when we oversee the budget process to ensure equitable spread of critical infrastructure in every corner of the country, so that no region is left out of the gains of economic recovery. My own restructuring is when we create jobs and enhance food production so our people do not go hungry.
“My own restructuring is when we educate our children so that they can realise their full potential and partake in the promise of the future. My own restructuring is when we place a premium on delivering good governance, fight against corruption, valourise honesty and live to serve the people – without betraying the trust reposed in us.”
In his speech at the ongoing retreat of Northern senators’ forum in Kastinsa, Katsina State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari, declared that Northern Nigeria is not poor and is not afraid of restructuring. Governor Aminu Masari said the north would support devolution of powers as long it will not weaken the centre and give more powers to the states and local governments.
Masari warned Northern Senators against opposing the clamour for the restructuring of Nigeria, saying, “We have resources. We are not poor. We should not be afraid of restructuring.’’
The former Speaker of the House of Representatives further advised that the North should not be derided nor should they be afraid.’
Among those who attended the retreat include, the 58 senators from the three geo-political zones in the north, governors of Zamfara and Kebbi states, the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar, and other important personalities.