The Coalition of Northern Groups, CNG, have observed that the only way out of the country’s lingering problems is through peaceful referendum.
CNG also suggested that all those who are directly or remotely responsible for the country’s current situation from whichever part of the country should not be allowed to participate in the peaceful talk of the way out.
The Coalition of Northern Groups’ statement is in reaction to the latest letter by former president Olusegun Obasanjo to Muhammadu Buhari on the security lapses that threaten the very existence of the country and the seeming non-existance of government or apparent loss of control by the President.
Former President Obasanjo in his recent letter to President Buhari had suggested ways out of the present situations in the country with a view of practical discussion by relevant stakeholders towards ameliorate the problems.
CNG spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, in a statement issued in Kaduna on Monday observed, “We equally differ on the categories of stakeholders to be contacted for such dialogue suggested by Obasanjo. We submit that contrary to Obasanjo’s suggestions, all those directly or remotely responsible for this situation, from whichever region, should not be allowed to participate in any talks that we hope would ultimately lead to a peaceful referendum.
“We are thus in partial agreement with Obasanjo that the nation needs to sit and hold genuine talks and dialogue if we are to continue as one country. What we are however not comfortable with is the usual peripheral approach to such discussions that have all along failed to address the real issues at stake.
“If after about six decades of Independent existence, we still have not achieved true nationhood based on mutual trust and collective patriotism, the bold and necessary step to take should be a dispassionate review and renegotiation of the bond through a referendum.”
The group’s insisted that 85 per cent of the composition of those to participate in the proposed dialogue if it would eventually hold, should be made up of those in the age bracket of 50 years and below with the remaining 15 per cent coming from over generations.
The group’s explained, “This is because while the stated age bracket represents the actual generation of Nigerians that really feel the pain of the situation and are in the best position to chart a better course for the country in which they have so much at stake, the older generations are made up of mostly those who benefited more from Nigeria and are responsible for its current multiple worries.
“We make this submission not unmindful of the fact that no national conference has ever worked in this country and are not confident that anything short of a referendum can solve Nigeria’s problems.”
CNG observed, “We hereby state that we share the concerns expressed in a statesman-like manner by the former President, especially with regards to the disturbing security situation and the seeming non-existance of government or apparent loss of control by the President.