By Eromosele Abiodun
Elder statesman and chieftain of the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, Ayo Adebanjo, has stated that President Muhammadu Buhari was wrong to have directed agitators for the restructuring of the country to the National Assembly and the Council of State.
Adebanjo, who stated this when he appeared on ARISE Television, a THISDAY Newspaper sister broadcast network, described the National Assembly as an illegal body created by a military constitution.
According to him, â€œWe are saying that the National Assembly is not the proper place to refer those agitating for restructuring to. The National Assembly is an illegal body, it is not representative.â€
When told that members of the National Assembly are representatives of the Nigerian people, he said it was wrong to describe them as such because the National Assembly was created by the constitution given to NigeriaÂ by the military.
According to him, â€œWe are saying that that body does not represent the people and is only promoted by the people whose idea it was in the first place. Without restructuring, there is no Nigeria. If we do not restructure now, Nigeria will break. Restructuring is not a long story; it is just that people are pretending. Restructuring means that the constitution we had at independence, which the leaders agreed to should be used, no more, no less. All other things are just looking for excuses.â€
Eminent Yoruba leaders, supported by the leadership of the South-east and South-south, had recently demanded an immediate restructuring of Nigeria through regional lines, for the country to experience real peace and development.
The leaders met at the main bowl of the Lekan Salami Sports Complex, Adamasingba, Ibadan, and recalled with nostalgia the great strides made by the Yoruba nation in the years of self-government up till the abrogation of the federal constitution in 1966.
The leaders noted that the giant strides recorded in the era of self-government were evident in mass literacy, novel infrastructure and progress in all spheres of human development.
A legal luminary, Chief Afe Babalola, who chaired the summit, said: â€œI, respectfully, disagree with the few Nigerians who are opposed to restructuring. They are entitled to their opinions. The only change that can change the country and pave way for nationhood is the change that changes the structure of project Nigeria.
â€œNo amount of sermon can change the country. It is that change that will bring about the necessary interest and determination to succeed. That change is the restructuring of the country. It is restructuring that would curb over-concentration of power in the centre and reduce corruption, promote harmony and unity and make the country metamorphose into a nation.â€
Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose, said: â€œThey want us to talk about the truth or lies. But we will say the truth. They can throw the words away, but they canâ€™t throw us away. Our fathers,Â Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Sir Ladoke Akintola and other Yoruba leaders, tried their best for us.