The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum has replied to the Presidency, saying those calling for restructuring are better than those running the country towards implosion.
The SMBLF reacting to a statement released by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, also said the government cannot continue to cow the people by using the cantonment approach to national issues.
Tropics Nigeria Reporters had reported that the Presidency had berated ‘critics’ for making “unpatriotic comments” and pushing for the breakup of the country.
The SMBLF responded, saying rather than giving assurances about rebuilding the country towards inclusivity, the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration was talking down on Nigerians.
It said, “We want to make it clear to the regime that it cannot cow us by using the cantonment approach to national issues. We will not accept turning us into second-class citizens on our land not even with threats of arrests or assassinations.
“Should we be clapping for the government and not talk when the customs appoints 8 deputy comptrollers from a section of the country?
“Are we expected to be saying well done when DSS recruits 535 cadets from
North-West and North-East and only 93 from the entire South and Noth Central?
“Are we to keep quiet when the law setting up PENCOM was clear on succession at directors level, you go and bring somebody from North-East to replace a South-East eased out DG?
“If Garba Shehu is not lexically challenged, he should know that those calling for restructuring are more patriotic than those running Nigeria towards implosion, patriotism is to corporate Nigeria for all and not the sectional idea of Nigeria by the nepotists.”
The SMBLF said it will not succumb to the narrow idea of the Presidency, stressing that the country should “restructure now and withdraw from the path of implosion forewarned by patriots at home and abroad”.