REBUILD NIGERIA INITIATIVE SUPPORTS ATIKU ON  RESTRUCTURING 

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By Segun Bambo Ojomo
The Rebuild Nigeria Initiative(RNI), a non-government and patriotic citizens’ support-driven organisation has thrown its full weight behind former Vice-President and Presidential aspirant Atiku Abubakar’s model for restructuring Nigeria.
In a statement by the forum’s Vice-President, Otunba Wale Fasan, the organisation recalled that Atiku was the first Nigerian to suggest restructuring as a mode for reuniting a multi-tribal Nigeria that had hitherto been plagued by misunderstandings and strife amongst the various nationalities comprising it.
The statement came as a followup to the group’s show of solidarity to the Waziri of Adamawa’s presidential ambition during his electioneering campaign held recently at Oshogbo, the Osun state capital, home state of the hopeful’s wife, Chief (Mrs) Titi Atiku Abubakar.
Fasan, during an interview with newsmen at the occasion said that the group was gladdened by the Waziri Adamawa’s support for restructuring and urged Nigerians to be referred to several publications in Nigeria’s major newspapers, dating as far back as July 13, 2001, in which Atiku had championed the cause for the inevitability of restructuring the entity Nigeria.
“Waziri Atiku Abubakar is the one person that has the moral authority to
say restructuring is possible because he has engineered it before. He is
not saying I can do it, he is saying I have done it”, Fasan said.
“Many Nigerians may have forgotten that there was once a dilemma in
Nigeria called the onshore/offshore dichotomy. In 1984, the government in power at the period reduced the amount of derivation funds paid
to oil producing states to a paltry 1.5 % and left the
offshore oil revenues to the federal government. It was not until the
1994-95 Constitutional Conference that patriots led by Shehu Musa
Yar͛adua and Atiku Abubakar mobilized other members of the
conference to come up with a unique solution to the onshore/offshore
dichotomy.
Their solution ‘provided a formula for the administration of the
derivation principle and contained three very significant embodiments”, he added.
According to him, the first embodiment was that allocation to derivation should stand at a minimum of 13
per cent. The second was that the dichotomy between onshore and
offshore exploration should not be taken into account for the purpose of
revenue allocation. The third was that the boundaries of littoral states
were clearly defined as extending to Nigeria͛s exclusive economic zone
which at the time stood at 200 nautical miles.
“When the 1999 Constitution refused to take this unique solution into
consideration (being that it was forced on the nation by the military),
the onshore/offshore dichotomy raised its ugly head and threatened to
tank the then nascent Obasanjo administration and the nation with it. It
was precisely Atiku Abubakar who used the network he built at the
1994-95 conference to persuade both President Obasanjo and Niger
Delta Governors including Obong Victor Attah and Dr. Peter Odili, (who were
his colleagues at the 1994-95 constitutional conference) to reach a
political solution and just like that, and by an Executive Order, President
Olusegun Obasanjo, with the intervention of Atiku Abubakar, used a
political solution to solve a problem caused by the constitution”, Fasan declared.
Earlier in his speech at the Osogbo Freedom Park venue of the event, Waziri Atiku Abubakar urged
Nigerians to unite against all forms of division currently threatening the
peace of the country and take back their country from the voyage of
destruction.

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