A pan-Igbo group under the auspices of Nzuko Umunna and Leaders of the core Federalist on Tuesday in Lagos said that as 2019 general elections draw nearer, nothing is more important to the development and unity of Nigeria than restructuring.
The group made this declaration ahead of its maiden edition of Handshake across Nigeria/Restructuring Summit slated to hold on 19th November in Lagos to which President Muhammadu Buhari, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who is presidential candidate of major opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senate President Bukola Saraki, House Speaker Yakubu Dogara, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, the Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, among others have been invited.
Administrator of the Core Federalists, Mr Yinka Odumakin, while speaking a news conference said the group was in line with calls from many leaders of thought and Nigerians from various regions calling for a comprehensive restructuring to encourage conducive and viable political and economic development in the country.
This, he said, became imperative because despite the fact that Nigeria had all it takes to be a great nation, the country is still confronted with a slow pace of national development.
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“We believe that Nigeria has all it takes to be a great nation, blessed with natural and human resources with multi-ethnic and cultural diversities, unity, trust, fairness and indubitably the necessary catalysts we need as a people to actualize our potential as a nation.
“Unfortunately, our national unity has recently come under palpable challenge which in turn slows down the pace of national development. It’s against this background that we formally inform Nigerians and the world on the forthcoming Handshake Across Nigeria/Restructuring Summit which will hold on 19th November 2018 with the theme ‘Nigerian Beyond Oil.’
Also speaking, secretary of the Planning Committee, Dr Austin Nweze, said the summit aimed to bring together various leaders of thought and socio-cultural organisations to constructively interrogate the presidential candidates of selected political parties on their plans, programmes and policies before the election.
According to him, speakers and special guests expected at this summit include President Muhammadu Buhari, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who is presidential candidate of major opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senate President Bukola Saraki, House Speaker Yakubu Dogara, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, the Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, General Ike Nwachukwu, Ambassador Ibrahim Gambari, among others.
“Some of the speakers and special guests expected at this summit include Professor Wole Soyinka, Gen Ike Nwachukwu, Amb Ibrahim Gambari, His Excellency, Muhamadu Buhari, His Excellency Atiku Abubakar, Senate President Bukola Saraki, House Speaker Yakubu Dogara, Deputy Senate Ike Ekweremadu, among others,” he said.