The Cross River State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, has charged the National Assembly to live up to its responsibility of repositioning the country’s economy.
The governor made the call at the opening of the Southern Senators Forum on Friday in Calabar.
The theme of the meeting is: “National Unity and Restructuring.”
Ayade said the National Assembly could make or mar Nigeria and Africa in the legislations it made to guide the nation.
Ayade said: “The way Africa is driven is a function of our leadership and governmental structure which is what we are to discuss today – restructuring.
“Therefore, you are in position in history to make or mar Africa because Africa is looked through the windows of Nigeria.
“I want to use this opportunity to thank President Muhammadu Buhari who came to carry out the ground-breaking of the construction of the deepest sea port in Africa.
“In all of these great expectations, none of the efforts will work if the subject matter of restructuring becomes a thing that can cause catastrophe in the country.
“Therefore, consistent with the philosophy and policies of the president, Nigeria’s oneness is non-negotiable.
“I believe that as elected officers of this country, we have a responsibility to give a direction and give a focus and an identity.
“Africans look up to Nigeria and Nigeria looks up to the leaders, the National Assembly. You have responsibility in history.
“The society had unfortunately over time taken over the responsibility and that is why I am happy that we are here today discussing restructuring.”
Ayade stressed that as elected leaders, the national assembly had the task of ensuring that the nation remained cohesive.
He maintained: “Going forward, Africa must be united and the perception of the black man will change depending on what you do.
“The public and general good is being compromised and the restructuring of perception has to be done.
“This forum, leading the light on the subject-matter of restructuring must articulate the issues in a way.
“The world must begin to see that we are ready to take Africa away from the perception already built in the minds of the people.
“We have a perception of greed and that has to change and it is only with restructuring concept that we will change the perception.”
The governor expressed optimism that the decisions to be reached at the retreat would go a long way in finding lasting solution to the question of unity that had lingered for long.
He added that whatever the participants arrived at would drive the course of not just Nigeria, but Africa.