Return Nigeria to regionalism, Yoruba group tells FG

By Dapo Akinrefon
AGOS—A Pan- Yoruba socio-cultural group, Yoruba Koya Movement, yesterday, called on the Federal Government to revert to the regional system of government being operated before the coup d’état of 1966 describing the current 1999 Constitution as martial law in civilian garb.

From left; Mr. Sehinde Arogbofa, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, Afenifere Leader and Host, Chief Ayo Adebanjo and Chief Olu Falae during an emergency meeting of Afenifere the Yoruba socio-political group on the Ife Crisis held at the house of their Leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, in Akure, Ondo State.

It also called for the convening of a Sovereign National Conference so that Nigerians can decide on the kind of constitution they desire.

Convener of the group, Otunba ‘Deji Osibogun said this at the Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park, Ojota, where members of the group converged for what they termed: ‘Independence Day Crusade For Restructuring’.

Osibogun said: “In terms of architectural designs, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife is still the best on the continent of Africa today; it was built with cocoa money during the era of regions; Cocoa House, Ibadan up till today has not been structurally defeated, it was built with cocoa money; Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria was built with groundnut money.

“University of Nigeria, Nssuka was built with palm oil proceeds but since they destroyed regional government and balkanized the country into unproductive states with the introduction of federal character which drastically terminate merit system, the progress of the country has been shamefully retrogressing.

“They killed agriculture which was the main-stay of our economy during regional system to focus on oil that is now more of a curse than a blessing. Even the Niger-Delta people who own the oil have no stake in the management of their oil; we now import gari from the Republic of Benin to drink in Lagos. Most palm oil we consume in Lagos is imported from Cotonu.

“Our youths have no jobs, the few people farming are now being killed and their farm lands are destroyed by militias with security agencies looking helplessly. The youths are wallowing in unemployment; a visit to American, Canadians and British embassies in Lagos would make you shed tears for Nigeria.”

“We stand for one Nigeria but the country should be restructured. We want a new constitution that would be drafted by the people themselves, the military-imposed constitution that we are currently running is too structurally defective to safeguard a multi-ethnic country like ours. In actual fact, if postponing the 2019 elections is the way to get Nigeria restructured, so be it, we should prepare for restructuring before election.”