Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State has said secession is not the way out of the current challenges bedeviling the country.
Speaking on Thursday at a public lecture in Abuja, Ganduje said change of heart is a panacea to the challenges affecting the country.
Nigeria is currently facing insecurity, agitation for Oduduwa Republic in the South West, Biafra Republic in the South East, Boko Haram insurgency in the North East, banditry and kidnapping in the North West and North Central regions.The situation has created tension.
In his speech at the programme, Ganduje argued that no part of the country has the right to secede, under the current 1999 constitution (as amended), adding that it was better to discuss restructuring than seeking secession or self-determination.
He warned those fueling agitations to desist, adding that sustaining the country’s unity is possible.
“We are too fused, in fact too entropic together to be divided at this time. Let’s repair our broken walls instead and move on.”
“Let’s debate restructuring, not secession or self-determination. It is too late in the day. Let the labour of our heroes past not be in vain! Let’s hail, not hate Nigeria at this time.
“Let me repeat here that Nigeria is a united and indivisible country. Our constitution has taken care of that. I don’t see secession as the way out of the current challenges afflicting the nation.
“Instead, advocates of secession should have a change of heart and I recommend dialogue as a crucial option for addressing their problems.
“Besides, there is a National Assembly where some of the grievances can be addressed. Because dialogue is a far better alternative that costs less than consequences of the wedge that has been erected to frustrate more flow of conversations between the government and citizens to arrive at a national consensus.
“Under the Nigerian Constitution, no part of Nigeria has the power to form its own independent government or secede from the country. In fact, the word ‘secede’ does not appear in the Constitution.
“The nearest answer to this is found in Article 2 of the constitution, which states that Nigeria is one indivisible and indissoluble sovereign state to be known by the name of the ‘Federal Republic of Nigeria.’
“This means the only way to legally grant such an option is through an amendment to the law. Agitators would be required to follow established guidelines, while protecting the sovereignty of the nation-state.
“And the sooner we face issues such as the huge infrastructure deficit, our shrinking oil revenue, looming food insecurity as a consequence of insecurity in our agriculture zones, the better.
“Seriously, we need to focus on diversification of the economy, out-of-school children shame, rebuilding of our tertiary institutions to boost knowledge development for 21st century challenges and other sustainable goals for this great country – instead of applying energies on self-determination agitation that will only diminish us as a people,” Ganduje said.
Prominent personalities at the occasion were a former Senate President Ken Nnamani, who represented Yobe State Governor and Chairman of the APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, Mai Mala Buni; a former governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha; representative of Women Affairs Minister, Pauline Tallen; VON Director General Osita Okechukwu and other chieftains of the party.