Atiku Blasts FG, Northern Governors Over Drive For Grazing Reserves … Supports Restructuring of Nigeria
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has lambasted the Federal Government and Northern States of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for agitating for grazing reserves in the 21st century when technology has advanced the process of cattle rearing.
The former vice president had presented a paper on the memorial conference of Late General Hassan Usman Katsina – without a single northern governor in attendance.
With the theme of the conference, Challenges of National Integration and The Survival of Democracy in Nigeria, Atiku said, “As a country we have mightily struggled to live up to ideal. We have obviously not done enough to realize national integration, and the survival of democracy is still a work in progress.
“When we have had the opportunity to take advantage of advances in technology and produce even fatter animals to meet the country’s rising demand for meat, the concept of grazing reserves is rather being propagated; this is what the rest of the world have done,” he maintained.
Abubakar further reiterated the need to promote diverse economic activities to reduce over dependence on oil. “It is the raising dominance of oil revenues that led us to abandon cash-crops and food agriculture, but before oil agriculture was our main industry and we taxed it.”
Atiku Abubakar, however, recommended that governors should do more on internally-generated revenues to complement Federal Allocations. He also recommended a honest and clear–headed look at better working federal systems in the world, saying those systems would reveal, among other things, a greater devolution and autonomy for federating units and less interference of the center on local matters.
In another development, Atiku Abubakar made his declaration in support of the call to restructure the Nigeria nation being agitated upon. He also canvassed seriously for the need to adopt calls for True Federalism.
According to him, the need to devour power to the federating units has become imperative given the economic challenges and political demand, while noting that the unity of the country has been over stressed and, therefore, desired to be restructured.
The occasion had former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, as chairman of the occasion, who was personally in attendance, representative PMB, Sultan of Sokoto, among others. In all, presenters admitted the role of the late Gen Usman Katsina as a detribalized soldier of his time, who laid down his life for the unity of Nigeria.
It was, however, very apt as all the Northern Governors shunned the memorial conference with only Deputy Governors of Kaduna and Katsina, who came to represent their principals.