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North no longer opposed to restructuring of Nigeria – Atiku

  • Politics

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, declared on Saturday that the Northern governors and the people of the region have accepted restructuring as the ultimate solution to Nigeria’s challenges.

Atiku, who stated this at an interactive session put together by the Arewa Joint Committee in Kaduna, said the North was longer opposed to the restructuring of the country.

The former Vice President insisted that he has been pushing for the restructuring of the country since 2004.

Restructuring, according to him, will ensure devolution of powers to the states.

Many Nigerians including former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, and the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, had in the past urged the Federal Government to allow the restructuring of the country in order to save it from disintegration.

Atiku said: “In 2004 when I started advocating restructuring, I had a very strong opposition from the North; today, the northern governors themselves and the northern people have bought into restructuring.

“This means giving states more powers and responsibilities to own their funding to execute their own individual programmes in their respective states. It does not mean that you are going to get less from what you are going to get. But it simply means more responsibilities as far as governance is concerned.

“So, what can we do to make sure that we wean ourselves from dependence on oil? Agriculture is one top priority I intend to make sure the North receives the greatest support so that we can reinvent our agriculture.

“I proposed that we will set aside $10bn to promote our young entrepreneurs who leave school before they can start up their own businesses. There is something very important and that is making sure entrepreneurship is part of our curriculum.

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“If you have attended my university in Yola, whether you are studying law, engineering or science, you must study entrepreneurship. It is a compulsory subject. This is because when you come out, you don’t have to be looking for a job. We want you instead to create jobs both for yourself and for others.

“And then of course repositioning our educational system in all northern Nigeria, there was no drop out. Those of you who are old as myself or older than me can testify.

“I’m passionate about education, that is why I have an educational set-up, what I call from cradle to grave. I have a kindergarten, nursery, primary, secondary school, and university all located in one location.

“So for me, education is fundamental. It is non-negotiable. I am an optimist and I believe we can unite and do it together and propel northern Nigeria or the northern states to a higher level of prosperity, peace, security, and unity.”

Source: Ripples Nigeria