Restructuring: Yoruba group urges use of conference report as template

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Notable Yoruba personalities yesterday said Nigeria must be restructured to reflect true federalism and promote regional and national development.

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They also urged the Federal Government to implement the report of the 2014 National Conference as a template for restructuring of the country.

The Yoruba personalities, under the aegis of Yoruba Leadership and Peace Initiative (YLPI), met in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, on the need for the Federal Government to restructure the polity.

They said no nation has survived two wars, adding that Nigeria cannot afford another civil war.

The Yoruba personalities noted that the time had come for Southwest residents to take a stand on the current agitation among various ethnic nationalities.

Speakers at the parley, who emphasised Yoruba unity, noted that there was a national consensus that Nigeria was overdue for restructuring.

They urged the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and the Legislature to implement or review the confab report before the 2019 general elections.

Dignitaries at the event included a former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Bode George, former Ogun State Governor Gbenga Daniel, Senator Bode Olajumoke, a legal luminary, Chief Niyi Akintola (SAN), Pro-Chancellor of Lead City University in Ibadan, Prof Gabriel Ogunmola, Mrs Bola Doherty and Chairman of Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG), Mr Olawale Oshun.

Others included the National Chairman of National Action Party (NAC) Dr. Olapade Agoro; Proprietor of Lead City University in Ibadan, Prof Jide Owoeye; a retired Archbishop of Methodist Church of Nigeria, Archbishop Ayo Ladigbolu; National Coordinator of Oodua Peoples Democratic (OPC), Otunba Gani Adams; the scion of former Ondo State Governor Adekunle Ajasin,  Chief Tokunbo Ajasin; Secretary General of  Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE), Otunba Kunle Olajide; Oloye Lekan Alabi and Convener of the retreat, Otunba Deji Osibogun.

George warned that the mistakes of the past should not be repeated.

The former Ondo State Military Administrator said there must be a collective effort to avoid truncating the unity of the Yoruba race.

On the need for restructuring of the country, George said: “Restructuring Nigeria doesn’t mean we are going to scrap the national government. You can see the way Americans work. What you produce, you should keep 70 per cent (of it) and then send 30 per cent to the national government. That will encourage development from the grassroots to the centre. It is the military government that made everything unitary. And that is the style in the military. We need to revisit it.

There has been a lot of outcry about it. I was at the conference. I supported it at that time and I do support it now. I will continue to support it.”

On the education and enlightenment of the younger generations, George noted that the thoughts of former Premier of the defunct Western Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, should be revisited in administering the Southwest states.

According to him, Awolowo’s methodology in education, health and politics remains the best till date.

George urged Southwest governors to pick it up and sincerely manage Yoruba states.

In backing the restructuring of Nigeria, Daniel suggested that the report of the 2014 National Conference should be examined and not thrown it into the dustbin by the Federal Government.

Ibadan politician, Dr Olapade Agoro, urged the Yoruba race to stand with Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, especially at this trying period.

(Edited By Olamide Michael)

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