The Christian Association of Nigeria has described as personal the position of its northern chairman, Yakubu Pam, on the debate for the restructuring of the country.
Pam, represented by Air Comr. Tanko Ato (retd.), had at a two-day conference with the theme, ‘The North and future of Nigerian Federation,’ organised in Kaduna by the Arewa Research and Development Project, in collaboration with other northern organisations, said it did not matter whether Nigeria was restructured or not.
“The North can stand. 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,” he was quoted to have said.
But in an interview with The PUNCH on Sunday in Jos, the Secretary of CAN (North-West zone), Sunday Oibe, said Pam spoke for himself and not for Christians in the North, saying the position of CAN on restructuring of Nigeria had not changed.
He said, “Nigerians, having been forcefully married together by the colonial masters, without sitting the people together to determine how the marriage will work, now feel strongly that there must be a restructuring of this country so that every state can develop at its own pace, and it is for the good of all. So, that is the position of CAN.
“Whatever they say, Pam and his representative spoke for themselves. I am the Secretary of CAN in North-West geopolitical zone, which has seven states. Out of the six geo-political zones, the North-West has the highest. I am led by my chairman, Bishop David Bakare, a popular figure in this country. We have never sat anywhere as CAN in the North to come out with that position. We align ourselves with the position of the national CAN. And our position is that Nigeria should be restructured.
“And let me tell you the benefits of restructuring: if Nigeria is restructured today, the North can develop at its own pace. With the vast land, they can create more opportunities from agriculture, develop solar energy and have uninterrupted power supply. If you go to the South-West, with the sophistication in education, they can develop at their own pace and be able to bring the world to them.