*Insists on Constitution review before 2023 polls
By Dapo Akinrefon
Acting leader of the pan Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, on Thursday, warned that Nigeria may remain an all motion, no movement nation, if her constitution is not reviewed before the 2023 general election, declaring that ”if my son emerges as a Presidential candidate of any political Party, I will not support him if Nigeria is not restructured.”
Adebanjo spoke during a biweekly meeting tagged: The Platform, organized by the Yoruba Global Council, YGC, a body of progressive Yoruba sons and daughters at home and in the diaspora.
In his remarks, Adebanjo insisted that if Nigeria is not restructured before the 2023 elections, Nigeria will continue to dwell in the same problem.
He said: “If my son emerges as a Presidential candidate of any political party, I will not support him if Nigeria is not restructured. The Nigeria constitution is fraudulent and imposed on Nigerians by the military Government.”
The Afenifere leader also maintained that the Buhari administration had deliberately ignored the restructuring of the country which was part of his central campaign mantra.
While accusing the Buhari led government of insincerity, he emphasised that for the country not to be disintegrated further, necessary constitutional actions must apply to appease those that have been sidelined in the scheme of things.
The Afenifere leader also lamented that some APC leaders promised restructuring during the 2015 electioneering but reneged on their promises after the election of President Buhari.
He said: “Even those who came into office advocating federalism like Tinubu, Akande. You remember how they came into office under restructuring, they now say restructuring is not their priority.
”I implore you to invite Bola Tinubu, Bisi Akande and others to this platform as well. Ask them why they derailed, advise them to persuade Buhari to restructure Nigeria before 2023 elections’.”
The Afenifere leader said that the 1960 Constitution embrace fiscal federalism and encouraged regional autonomy, noting that restructuring is the way forward.
He insisted that the 1999 Constitution foisted on the country by the military is a fraud saying
“How can you say a product of the fraud would amend the fraud?
“They cannot rule us under the rule of the thumb and those of us who fought for democracy will keep quiet? No, it can’t work.
“In 2021, Buhari telling me Nigeria’s constitution is not negotiable? What a balderdash. What an insult! That is not the agreement we made with the founding fathers.”
Adebanjo, while making reference to the Presidential ambition of Asiwaju Tinubu, said he advised Bola Tinubu that before becoming the Presidential flag bearer of the ruling APC, he should, in the first place, negotiate the restructuring of the country.
He also clarified that their visit to Tinubu when he returned from abroad was not about politics but to pay a solidarity visit to him as a bonafide Yoruba son.
He, however, advised members of Yoruba Global Council to be more steadfast and focused saying ‘I have been hearing a lot of good work you are doing, we’re ready to work with you, we’re ready to support you. Keep the flag flying” he admonished.
Earlier, the Spokesperson of Yoruba Global Council, Professor Lere Amusan, had highlighted the missions and vision of the group to Adebanjo to include the restructuring of Nigeria which can only be a palliative measure to solve many pressing challenges Nigeria is facing today.
Amusan said: “Right now, people are in need of material gains, basic necessities of life, education, health, good roads and hospitals and when these things are fixed due to more wealth redistribution then we will have lesser fights about security, corruption, tribalism and nepotism’.”