Restructuring the country would not be a major campaign issue for the 2019 election, according to a former Northern Elders Forum (NEF) Chairman Paul Unongo.
Unongo, a former Mines and Steel Minister noted that northern Nigeria wants a government that can develop the country.
He said, contrary to belief, the north is becoming more enlightened and is even more radical than southern Nigeria.
“The North that used to stand against restructuring is the current North,” he told Punch.
“The most prominent (aspirant) from the North has become a presidential candidate and he is an avid advocate of restructuring and that is Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
“And those of us who are educated in the North — and there are many now — the North is no longer the place that used to feed on the fact that ‘we are big and we don’t have to work or go to school; we can just be administrators and rule people’. No! This is a highly sophisticated North, one that wants an economy that works.
In addition, he said “They want a system of national health service that works. They know what is happening to their brothers and sisters who are caught up in the Almajiri — that thing that is holding these little children down.
“They know what is happening in Borno and with Boko Haram. These people are not against restructuring.
“What they are thinking about is ‘let’s have a government that can develop us too and can give us a chance to also enjoy the benefits of economic advancement.’
“They watch the television; they watch the news and they see Muslim countries are developed and they coming to grips with the debilitating activities of somebody trying to suppress another one either on the basis of religion or ethnicity.”