The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) has told President Muhammadu Buhari to come out of his shell and address Nigerians on critical issues concerning the nation even as it warned that Nigeria will die unless restructured.
Setting the tone of the meeting in Abuja, on Sunday, its leader, Chief Edwin Clark, said the president must behave like the politicIan that he is and be open to Nigerians.
He said: “The purpose of this meeting is very clear. Where are we going in Nigeria? Some are asking for secession, others for a breakup, others are running a unitary system of government etc.
“Time is moving fast and there is the need to state our position very clear to Nigerians.
“Mr President is not an emperor, he is not king, he is not a monarch, he is a politician. He should come out and meet some of us who were here before he was an ordinary soldier. This country belongs to all of us, the north alone or the south alone cannot rule this country.”
He noted that Nigeria is presently running a unitary system of government, which he said is a hangover from the military.
The elder statesmen added: “We want a brand new constitution. Any amendment of the constitution, I have no confidence in it. We are here for two things: Nigeria should be restructured. President Buhari said if we don’t kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria. I said if we don’t restructure Nigeria will die. Secession is not the answer.
Secondly, we want the zoning to continue. It is constitutional.”
The group observed a minute silence for the former secretary of Afenifere and SMBLF and Lt. General Ibrahim Attahiru, the late Chief of Army Staff and 10 others who parishes in a plane crash recently.
A communique is expected to be issued at the end of the meeting.
In attendance were leaders of Afenifere, Ayo Adebanjo; President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Prof George Obiozo; Air Commodore Dan Sulieman, Senator Bassey Ewa-Henshaw, Bitrus Pogu, Godknows Igali, among others.