Leader of Afenifere, a Pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, on Wednesday, said Nigeria’s north was actually a minority, but which has maintained a majority claim over the rest of ethnic nationalities in Nigeria.
An apparently flustered Yoruba leader, however, contended that it was the colonial masters, who stage-managed the northern population, thereby prompting their majority claim over time.
Adebanjo, therefore, insisted that the restructuring of the country was inevitable and that Nigeria needed a new constitution for equity, peace and justice to reign, because the current document called constitution was a fraud.
The Afenifere leader, who further claimed everything was going on well in the country before the military incursion of 1966, went on to describe President Muhammadu Buhari as a pretender and Nigeria’s number one enemy.
Fleshing up the restructuring debate, Adebanjo, who spoke in Ibadan, yesterday, at a national seminar organised by The Yoruba Leadership and Peace Initiative (TYLPI), with the theme:”Strategies and Statics for the Actualisation of a Restructured Nigeria”, said Nigeria was going nowhere unless a new constitution was put in place.
“Restructuring is the only way to keep the sovereignty together. I don’t support secession and I don’t oppose it either. President Muhammadu Buhari is a pretender and number one enemy of the country. I have invested in Nigeria more than Buhari, we signed a document with him on restructuring before his emergence in 2015 and yet he never fulfilled it,” he said.
Arguing that the present constitution was faulty and compromised by the military and as such, not sustainable, he said, the problem of the country was the current constitution, because it’s not been working for the progress of Nigeria.
“Everything was working until military came in 1966, the colonial masters stage-managed the population for the Northern part, and the minority are now claiming to be in majority, this has caused a lot of problem. The constitution is the most fraudulent constitution.
“What is the yardstick for creation of local government in this constitution? The issue of allocation is there unresolved. Why would the population of Kano be more than that of Lagos if not for fraud in our population? Many people are beneficiaries of the corrupt system, that is why they can’t talk.
Another speakers, Dr. Akin Fapohunda, said change was necessary at the federal level and that all the 36 states of the federation should be collapsed and each region allowed to have its own constitution.
“Let’s collapse the 36 state structures, because we can’t survived it, the name ‘executive’ has to be changed so as to reduce the power of the executive,” he said.
Also, contributing virtually, Prof. Godini Darah, said the mood of the discussion was in line with the emancipation of Nigeria, adding that restructuring remained the agenda of Nigerians at this moment, because there could not be Nigeria without it.
“Let’s come together and restore the sole aim of federal system of government, because it is been compromised as against the idea of the nationalists before independence in 1960. The present constitution has to go and a brand new constitution has to come alive to accommodate the yearnings of Nigerians,” he submitted.
A former member of the House of Representatives, Dr. Usman Bugaje, in his contributions, said Nigerians needed to focus on how to manage diversity, urging them to come together and work in unity.
According to him, “This current Nigeria is not sustainable, only restructuring can make it stand. We need to change the leadership mechanism, or else, we are not going anywhere.”
The President of TYLPI, Mr. Olusegun Ahmadu, in his welcome remarks, said the seminar was not to blame any group but dedicated to how to move ahead and restructure Nigeria, stating that the priority of the country at present should be restructuring and not 2023 elections.
Some of the dignitaries at the event included former deputy governor of Ogun State, Senator Gbenga Kaka, Ambassador Yemi Farounbi, Ms. Yemi Adamolekun and Baale of Ekotedo, Ibadan, Elder (Dr.) Taye Ayorinde, among others.
Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja