By: Joy Odor/Kaduna
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has told the Northern Leaders in the region that whatever re-structuring decision that are going to be made, let it be known that every forms of worship both Islamic and Christianity must be respected and must be given a place.
Venerable Retired Air Commodore Tanko Ato who represented the Association Chairman, (Northern Region), Dr. Yakubu Pam made the call at the Two-day Conference on “The North and The Future of the Nigerian Federation organized by the Arewa Research and Development Project (ARDP) held on Thursday at Arewa House, Kaduna State, North-West, Nigeria.
The Retired Air Commodore continued to add that no one should be cheated and no one should put another faith as inferior than another.
According to him, it did not matter how the North are going to restructure or what they want to do but what the faith based across the north agreed is that all should stand as one north because each and everyone has benefited from the north and have respected the north.
“I am happy it has been said in this conference by seasoned Professors that it is not the natural resources of the nation that will strengthen the north but by the capacity and manpower development the north should being to think”
“I want you to continue to pray because the people of the south believed that religion has always been a way to separate the north. One thing that has strengthened the Armed Forces regardless where we came from is the strength of diversity and the strength of respect of our various faiths”. He ended.
Air Commodore Ato however was of the opinion that together, “Our position on the restructuring debate is that Nigeria is better and firmer together.
“To us it does not matter whether we restructure or not, what matters to us is the united North and Nigeria where we respect each other’s faith and freedom of worship”
Also speaking at the conference, the Secretary General of Jama’atul Nasir Islam (JNI), Dr. Khalid Abubakar, represented by Bashir Tahiru Bauchi disclosed that JNI is not in support of the division of Nigeria, saying we are better united than divided.
“If a country made up of 50 States like USA with so much diverse in economy, politics, different tribes trooping in every day with various religion but still USA came out as a Union of 50 Nations. So one would ask, what miracle they performed or what method are they using to hold it up till now without breaking up but continue to be stronger and stronger and never divided”.
According to him, if USA had divided, they will not be stronger as they are today, saying at the same time Nigeria hold a world political position in the world but if it forms smaller Nations among Nation by dividing, other world capitalists will devours us.
The Secretary General advised the North not to be afraid when the issue of re-structuring is mentioned but that the political leaders have the responsibility to re-orient the northerners on the importance of Nation hood.
He therefore mentioned that if the re-restructuring of Nigeria will lead to the break-up of the Nigeria, it would mark the failure of all the leaders and the building of Nigeria for the past 57 years.
Contributing, the Chairman Arewa Consultative Forum, Alhaji Ibrahim Ahmadu Coomasie, (Sardunan Katsina) said the Forum will not make any comment but only listen to what everyone at the conference will say before making their position known.
In his remark, the former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar insisted on restructuring of the country, with power and resources devolved to the states as part of restructuring.
The former Vice President Atiku Abubakar who was represented at the ceremony by Dr. Awwalu Anwar said, “My idea of restructuring is devolution of power to the states with the resources.
The Federal Government should only be bothered about the economy while the States should be left to provide education, security and build roads.
“To me if the State is given the responsibility of providing security, State police will better secure their areas because they will be familiar with the nature and peculiarity of their security challenges.