Samuel Ortom, governor of Benue State, has advised the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to tender a listening ear to demands calling for the restructuring of the country.
Mr Ortom stated this in a Wednesday statement by Terver Akase, his chief press secretary, in response to the recent assertion of the presidency that its principal won’t succumb to threats of critics aimed at getting him do their bidding.
But weighing in, the governor said while the country practises democracy under the present dispensation, Nigerians are free to air their views and approach in tackling challenges facing them.
He also advised the present administration to drop it combative approach in responding to criticism.
“Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom urges the Federal Government not to dismiss calls for the restructuring of the country and other views expressed by the people as ‘unpatriotic outbursts’,” the statement read.
“Nigeria is practising democracy which guarantees the freedom of speech to all citizens and not military regime which suppresses the right of the people to voice their opinions about challenges facing their country.
“It is incumbent on the Federal Government to listen to the views of the people and evolve acceptable ways of addressing the problems confronting the country instead of engaging in a combative style, anyone who dares to suggest alternative approaches to tackling the challenges.
“Great nations of the world got to their enviable status by harnessing and utilising ideas of their citizens, not by discouraging those who made bold submissions on the development of their countries,” it added.
Some prominent Nigerians and socio-cultural groups are at the forefront demanding the restructuring of the country. They include; Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Afenifere, PANDEF among others.