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Nigeria Will Divide if You Don’t Restructure Now – Adebanjo Tells Buhari

Ayo Adebanjo Lagos – Chief Ayo Adebanjo, elder statesman and Afenifere chieftain, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to restructure ...

Ayo Adebanjo

Lagos – Chief Ayo Adebanjo, elder statesman and Afenifere chieftain, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to restructure the country, saying Nigeria was currently operating an illegal constitution foisted on the people by the military.

He said the President should agree to the restructuring of the country or the various ethnic nationalities that make up the country are allowed to go their separate ways.

Adebanjo, who said Nigerians are more divided than ever before under the current administration, said if indeed President Buhari was serious about keeping the country together, it was time to restructure and embrace true federalism.

He particularly accused President Buhari and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of deceiving Nigerians while paying lip service to the issue of restructuring.

He said while President Buhari campaigned on the basis of restructuring in 2007, 2011 and 2015, the APC set up a committee on True federalism yet failed to act on the outcome of the report.

“Let us agree on the constitution first. I am tired of people using the question of whether they are going to restructure the country or not as an election issue.

“Let us have a common objective that we need to change this constitution. Once that is done, nobody can deceive us that once elected President,  he will restructure the country.

“Buhari has been promising to restructure the country since 2007. He promised it in 2011 and 2015 under this constitution. We have been clamouring for this times without number, what did he do about it?

“They set up El-Rufai committee under APC which recommended restructuring, what have they done about it? They are just deceiving Nigerians because the present constitution is opposed to the South. We will not accept it. If they want the country together, restructure now or let us agree to separate.”

Adebanjo said that it is false to insinuate that anybody who supports restructuring wants the country to separate. On the contrary, he said anybody opposed to restructuring is the enemy of the unity of Nigeria.

He further warned that the time to return to true federalism is now, else Nigeria may cease to exist.

“Anybody talking about the election without restructuring is only looking for the separation of the country. We are going nowhere and we won’t make any progress unless we restructure. By restructuring, we are saying let’s go back to federalism.”

On the role of the National Assembly, Adebanjo said: “The National Assembly cannot play any role in this matter. This is the National Assembly is a product of this awkward constitution. I insist, let us go back to the drawing board.

“When we say let’s return to federalism,  some people say we are advocating for a return to four regions. It only shows that they are ignorant. If we are honest about keeping this country together, then let’s go back to our agreed constitution.

“I wish a restructured Nigeria happens in my lifetime. That is why at 92, I’m still talking. I shouldn’t be talking politics now if Nigeria is restructured”.

“I know the vision of our founding fathers when we were fighting for independence. I don’t want to leave Nigeria like this. I want to report to Awolowo that we got what we wanted and that restructuring was a success,” he said.


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