Friday, 26 January 2018

Give Room For Restructuring Or Else - 74 Prominent Yoruba Elders Tells President Buhari

74 prominent Yoruba elders have given the federal government an ultimatum for restructuring the country, stressing that the 1999 constitution is flawed and designed to give undue advantage to the northern regions of the country. Acting under the aegis of Voice of Reason (VOR), a socio-cultural group, the elders made this known in an advertorial in The Punch newspaper.

Some of the elders that signed the advertorial include former Chief of Army Staff, General Alani Akinrinade; former Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Oye Ibidapo-Obe; co-founder, EKO Hospitals, Olorogun Sonny Kuku; and spokesperson, Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin.

The elders called for the restructuring of Nigeria before the 2019 general election, adding that if the country is not restructured, Yorubas may break out of Nigeria. The group also stated that restructuring cannot and should not be carried out through the National Assembly as presently constituted using the current 1999 Nigerian Constitution.

“This is because the current constitution not only does NOT represent the will or wishes of “we the people,” it is a flawed document conceived and hatched under a ‘Northern’ Military Government with fraudulent and unwarranted structural advantages given to Northern Nigeria, and foisted on the rest of us,” the group added.

VOR also called on Yoruba states to carry out genuine census of how many Yorubas are, using Lagos state example which uses 23 million people for planning as against 9 million used by the Federal Government in the sharing of revenue and resources.

The elders stated that: “State Assemblies, in Yoruba land should make laws against Open Grazing. We believe it is NOT the business of the Federal Government to canvass or arm-twist the state governors for cattle colonies, if need be our people would be encouraged to boycott beef from their diet to drive home the point. If we don’t eat beef, there is no need bringing cattle to our farmlands or doorsteps.”

The group also called for concerted efforts in developing and strengthening the youth, adding that youth discontent and despondency must be avoided at all costs. They called for Yoruba Obas to withdraw from the national council of traditional rulers if the chairmanship is not made rotational between the North and the South.

“As it is, they are perceived to be subordinate to the Sultan of Sokoto. The religion of Islam should not be used as an excuse. “History tells us that Islam came to Yoruba land long before the Jihadists were stopped in Oshogbo,” VOR stated.

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