Abuja — A group of retired civil servants and professionals from the southern part of the country have urged President Muhammadu Buhari to address all outstanding issues affecting national unity during his second tenure.
Speaking with journalists after a meeting in Abuja yesterday, the group also urged President Buhari to listen more to the fears and concerns being expressed by people from various parts of the country, especially the south.
It added that President Buhari could easily rank as one of the greatest leaders in Nigerian history.
Representatives of the group, Deacon Michael Adewale, John Ukaegbu and Mrs. Mercy Tamuno, who signed a communiqué on behalf of the group, said government should appreciate the fact that not all groups of concerned Nigerians were out to achieve political ends.
They urged President Buhari to, among other things, tackle insecurity and unemployment, adding that the Federal Character Commission’s effort to re-balance the national spread in all government agencies should be allowed to continue in the interest of all segments.
They particularly noted that a southerner was heading the Federal Character Commission for the first time since 1996, adding that the person had remained in acting capacity since last year.
“President Buhari’s second term can really be a Next Level for the country and the confirmation of the first southerner as Chairman at Federal Character Commission will be a productive symbolism of the administration’s good intentions.
“Between December 1995 and March, 2001, Adamu Fika from Yobe State was the commission’s chairman and he was succeeded by Bello Kofa Bai from Katsina State, who held the position from July 2002 to January, 2007 when he handed over to Professor Abdulraheem from Kwara State.
Abdulrahman held sway from April 2008 to October 2011 when he handed over to Ari Gwaska from Nassarawa State who was Acting Chairman from 2011 to 2012.
“Lawan Funtua from Katsina State was the commission’s Acting Chairman from 2013 to 2014 when Bello alkali from Kebbi State took over and handed over to Dr. Shettima Bukar Abba from Borno State who was there from January 2014 to July 2018.
“The first southerner, Abayomi Sheda from Ondo State was appointed in acting capacity in September 2018 and he will be a great change if he is confirmed to give all parts of the country a genuine sense of belonging,” the statement reads.