Afenifere: Osinbajo Erred on Restructuring

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Shola Oyeyipo

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo monday came under attack from the pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, over his comment on the restructuring of Nigeria.

Osinbajo had said restructuring Nigeria will not make any difference and that if states are given half of the resources of the federal government it would not make any difference.
But Afenifere in a statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Yinka Odumakin, faulted the position, saying Osinbajo who is from the Afenifere South-west zone that has been vocal on calls for restructuring might have come under pressure to lend his voice to the upholders of the status quo.

“We would like to respectfully admonish him to be sure footed on the subject before he speaks next time. He misses the entire debate by engaging in the reductionist argument narrowing the whole issue to taking more money from the federal government to the states.

“Yes, fiscal federalism is part of the argument, but the issue goes beyond the monthly Federal Allocation Committee. The central plank of restructuring is for Nigeria to go back to the true practice of federalism wherein mineral resources that abound in all states would be freed from the exclusive list so that states would move into prosperity and not be reporting at Osinbajo’s office for bailout from a centre that only corners what belongs to the states.

“They would also have enough to contribute to sustain the occupiers of Abuja and the functions that are allocated to them,” Afenifere noted.

According to the group, “The question of diversification is a point that advocates of restructuring have canvassed as it makes no sense for a country as vast in resources like Nigeria to depend on a mono-product economy. It is part of the restructuring we are talking about and not an alternative to it.

“The restructuring package has a whole wide range of issues that have to do with justice administration, electoral system and its cost implications, conflicts arising from clash of cultures and how to deal with them to ensure peaceful co-existence.”
Afenifere insisted: “Nigeria is fast falling apart and all genuine patriots have come to a consensus that we must restructure to arrest the drift.”