Nigeria must be restructured before 2023 polls — Yoruba leaders
Some eminent South- West leaders under the aegis of Yoruba Summit Group yesterday warned that they may mobilise the Yoruba nation against the 2023 elections if the current government failed to restructure the country before the election year.
That was just as members of the group urged President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately, especially as the historic 60th anniversary of Nigeria as an independent Nation beckons on October 1, 2020, convey a meeting of all ethnic nationalities to determine the nature of relationships amongst all.
In a communiqué issued in Lagos on its behalf by Mogaji Gboyega Adejumo, the group said Nigerians and the Yoruba people were anxious on a daily basis because of huge misgovernance that pervades the country. Participants at the historic meeting were Afenifere leader, Chief Ayo Fasoranti; elder statesman, Chief Ayo Adebanjo; head of the Assembly of All Yoruba Groups Worldwide, Prof. Banji Akintoye and Basorun Seinde Arogbofa. Others are: Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Otunba Gani Adams; former governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko; former deputy governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele; and former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Oye Ibidapo-Obe, among others.
While stating that the ship of state was veering off precariously into a precipice, the leaders said Nigeria is at the very edge of a political subsidence. The communique read: “We are persuaded that nothing short of restructuring can save this country.
Any attempt to go ahead with elections in 2023 without addressing the issue of restructuring would spell doom for Nigeria. “This unitary, unworkable morass, we the Yoruba observe, will only lead to the kind of chaos never before seen and experienced in his-tory.
We the Yoruba nation therefore reject the holding of a general election before restructuring Nigeria fiscally and structurally. “Notwithstanding the interests of some elements in our midst, it would be presumptuous to assume that the masses of the educated Yoruba nation will dive headlong into being part of the 2023 elections, when all elements of its execution – the Military, Paramilitary, INEC, and the Judiciary – have been rigged and appropriated by a single very tiny minority ethnic group in a small corner of the country.
“The emerging resolve of the Yoruba not to be part of vassal state that Nigeria has become, is better managed with due accommodation before any further degeneration and obvious consequences. Our quest shall henceforth be to mobilise the masses of our people not to participate in any further elections until the goal of restructuring or self-determination is attained.” While highlighting the challenges facing the country to include inadequate responses to COVID-19 pandemic, closure of the borders in the Western part of the country, kidnapping and killings across a large swathe of the country, unemployment and loss of jobs, among others, the group said the essence of government at all levels is the security and welfare of the people.
“While all these are happening, the people are greeted daily on television with tales of massive and mindless looting of the treasury by public officials, while the country is being encumbered with massive debt for generations to come with nothing significant to show for it except private jets and palatial mansions of public officials. “We are also aware of the initial casual manner Tolulope Arotile’s killing was treated by the authorities of the Nigerian Air Force which is capable of raising suspicion in the minds of people. It is better to quickly douse tension and apprehension by coming out in the open. The authorities did not imagine that so much noise would be made, and so many questions would be asked. Her death was treated with levity, just as many other cases where the lives of Nigerians do not seem to matter anymore.”
The communique noted further that: “The Yoruba nation notes with sadness that on the very day our daughter Tolulope goes home, a senior Military officer: Major General Olusegun Adeniyi is being court-martialed for daring to voice out the lack of tools and equipment needed to prosecute a Boko Haram war that has become far too prolonged and far too controversial in light of the numerous calls to the Federal Government to change the Service Chiefs who have failed to provide the highest quality of security, leadership and delivery of forthrightness in their duties.” (New Telegraph)
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