Implement 2014 confab report, release Nnamdi Kanu, Southern and Middle Belt Leaders tell Tinubu



The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF), on Thursday, asked President Bola Tinubu to implement the recommendations of the 2014 national conference report, while also encouraging him to take ‘urgent steps’ to release Nnamdi Kanu, the detained leader of the Indegenous People of Biafra (IPOB),

The leaders made the request in a communique issued on Thursday night at the end of the forum’s meeting in Abuja.

Chaired by Edwin Clark, the forum is made up of leaders from the middle-belt zone, as well as groups including the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Afenifere, and the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF).

The 2014 national conference was organised by former President Goodluck Jonathan.

The forum said the president should take an urgent look at the confab report as well as the report of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on true federalism.

SMBLF said the nation’s future and democracy will remain “bleak” without the “enthronement of “true federation”.

“The federal government should, as a matter of urgency and priority, work towards the restructuring of the country and enthrone true federalism as was originally entrenched in the 1960 and 1963 constitutions,” the communique reads.

“That, without restructuring, the future of Nigeria and democracy remain bleak and must, therefore, be carried out immediately.”

The forum said they will set up a strategic committee on restructuring to interface with the federal government, national assembly, and all other stakeholders.

SMBLF also expressed reservations over the composition of Tinubu’s cabinet, raising concerns about the alleged marginalisation of some sections of the country.

“Particularly requests that the south-east be appropriately represented on the federal executive council, similar to other geo-political zones,” the forum said.

“Insists that Nigeria must always remain a country where all citizens and sections enjoy a full sense of belonging and equality.”

SMBLF urged the federal government to take “urgent steps” to release Nnamdi Kanu, saying his freedom will promote peace and security in the Southeast.

The group asked the government to address the depreciation of the naira and declining standards of living of Nigerians.

The forum said it “extensively” discussed the judgment of the supreme court on the 2023 presidential election and would issue a “substantial” position soon.

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