Oduduwa, Biafra: Why Buhari must respect people’s wish —Afenifere
By: Ade Adeleke
…….says Nigerians have lost faith in National Assembly on constitutional amendment.
The Pan Yoruba Socio-political group Afenifere has tackled the Federal Government over the claim that President Muhammadu Buhari will not be intimidated on constitution conference and restructuring.
Also, the group said the failure of people to submit memoranda for amendment of the Constitution to the National Assembly was because of lost of faith on the lawmaking body by Nigerians.
This is just as the foremost Yoruba group appointed Barr Sola Ebiseni (a former Ilaje local govt Chairman and former Commissioner for Environment in Ondo state) as its new General Secretary.
Ebiseni replaces Bashorun Sehinde Arogbofa who stepped down recently after serving the yoruba people for decades.
Pix: Chief Ebiseni.
The group’s National leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti had recently also stepped down for Chief Ayo Adebanjo to take over due very old age.
In a Statement on Wednesday and a copy made available to SUNSHINETRUTH in Akure, the new General Secretary of the group, Chief Sola Ebiseni said the clamour for cessation by different groups in the country was because of the failure of the Federal Government to accede to the demand for restructuring by ethnic nationalities.
Spokesman of President Buhari, Mr Garba Shehu had said the president would not be blackmailed or intimidated into convening conference or listen to those agitating for secession by some ethnic groups in the country for Oduduwa and Biafra nations.
But Afenifere said it was one of the campaign promises made by the All Progressives Congress(APC) to restructure the country and that was the reason for the setting up Mallam Nasir El-rufai committee to restructure the country.
The mainstream Yoruba group faulted the claim that President, would not be pressurised to accede to the clamour of Nigerians for restructuring because the current vexed constitution had provided mechanism for amendment, through the National Assembly, which anyone desirous of change should approach.
Pointedly, Ebiseeni said the Southern Leaders, Middle Belt Forum, Arewa Consultative Forum and the Northern Elders Forum, have all reached a national consensus on the imperative and inevitability of restructuring.
His words “In the face of continuing insecurity and general misery in the land, the President’s response was, as usual, so uninspiring and insensitive that Garba Shehu may be right that no situation could push the President to improve on his government’s lacklustre performance, particularly on the fundamental issue of security of life and property and the nation’s economy.
“Truth be told, however, Nigerians have looked beyond President Buhari on salvaging what is left of the country. If the people do not bother submit further Memoranda to The National Assembly, it is because they no longer see the need as the National Assembly can not be a judge in its own cause, being itself a subject of restructuring.
“If the National Assembly has no courage to look into the reports of the 2014 National Conference and of the El-Rufai True Federalism Committee of the Ruling party, no such exercise by the National Assembly is worthwhile.
“Buhari and his government needs be reminded that the call for conference of the people to take back their country, even with an elected government and parliament in place, is neither unknown nor new to history.
“India is a federation like Nigeria. Buhari is neither as popular, politically suave nor as respected as Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. He was forced by the people to appoint the States Reorganisation Commission in 1953 which recommendations reorganised India states along linguistic groups.
“Our small western neighbour, Republic of Benin, under the elected government of President Mathew Kerekou commissioned a National Conference in 1990 which recommendations birthed a new constitution of the people which has since endured. Those nations are not even threatened with such level of failure as the Nigerian State is today.”