Ango Abdullahi, a former spokesman of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) and now leader of the forum, has revealed that Nothern Nigeria will resist the restructuring of the country.

In a recent interview with Sun, Abdullahi pointed out that the region will resist any attempt to restructure the country based on the current agitations. He warned that if they don’t resist it objectively, they will resist it politically. He said;

“If we want Nigeria to be restructured, the only thing that is required is for us to call a Sovereign National Conference. It is the only conference that Nigeria has not experimented. But can you call a sovereign national conference while there is a sitting government? And there is a sitting National Assembly, there are sitting States Assemblies and governments and so on? They have to step aside.

They have to be brushed aside for a sovereign national conference to take place and the verdict of the sovereign national conference must be binding. But as long as these are enshrined in our constitution, the only way is for amendments to be proposed to the appropriate bodies that have the responsibility of amending our various provisions. That is the only sensible thing to do but if this would be discussed sensibly without apparent blackmail and furor about so so and so, we have all personalized restructuring with a view to targeting a section of the country and this is the area that we feel very sensitive about and we will resist it.

Even if we don’t resist it objectively, we can resist it politically. But if there is sense and genuineness, nobody will be against change that will benefit the people. For example, I am an advocate of state police. Personally now, I am not talking about Northern Elders Forum.

I am also an advocate of the abolition of the State Independent Electoral Commission because they are even worse than state police. The State Independent Electorate Commissions do the bidding of the state governors. I can give you a recent example in Kano. How could in Kano recently a PDP state, PDP failed to win even a council seat? Something is basically wrong. So the manipulation of State Independent Electoral Commission is for me, today, the most dangerous threat to democracy in Nigeria.

So for me, if there is going to be restructuring in the country, first, we should change from the presidential system of government to parliamentary system, and in terms of institutions that are in charge of elections; we should abolish the State Independent Electoral Commissions and we should ban any party from contesting elections unless it has direct primary where all its members will come out and decide who is going to contest council chairmanship up to the presidency.”