ARG: Yoruba Won’t Vote for Buhari without Restructuring


Gboyega Akinsanmi

The Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) wednesday said the people of Yoruba nation would not vote for President Muhammadu Buhari if he failed to restructure the country’s governance architecture to devolve to the federating units.

The ARG, a pan-Yoruba socio-political think-tank, warned that the boundaries set by the 1999 Constitution “will be broken anytime soon, to the shame of recalcitrant leaders opposing it” if the Buhari government failed to heed the call for restructuring.

The group gave the warning in a statement its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kunle Famoriyo, issued wednesday in response to Buhari’s position that all the groups clamouring for the restructuring of the country had their personal agenda.

Buhari had at a meeting with a delegation of Urhobo Traditional Rulers, the leadership of the Urhobo Progressive Union and APC leaders from Delta State at the Presidential Villa, Abuja said the proponents of restructuring “have personal agenda.”

At the meeting, the president wondered if the 1999 constitution would allow such agenda, noting that every group asking for restructuring “has got their own agenda. I hope it can be accommodated by the 1999 constitution.”

In a statement it issued yesterday, however, the ARG described as non-visionary Buhari’s statement that reduced the campaign for restructuring of Nigeria to selfish pursuit.

Specifically, it called on the All Progressives Congress (APC), which recently carried out a survey and consultation across Nigeria to push the frontiers of restructuring, irrespective of the shortsightedness of the executive arm of government.

The ARG, therefore, noted that the APC should ensure implementation of the report of its committee on restructuring if it would remain a party of choice for Yoruba people in 2019.

It argued that even a crude assessment of Nigeria’s socioeconomic affairs “gives credence to the demand by Nigerians to review Nigeria’s governance structure to accommodate nascent issues.

“It is no brainer that Constitutions are neither static nor constant. Every successful political climes stay true to the maxim that man is not made for the law, rather law is made for man.

“As observed recently at one of our events by foremost legal luminary, Chief Niyi Akintola SAN, Nigeria may not survive for long under the current governance structure and every objective political analysis supports this assertion,” it said.

At this instance, the ARG noted that Buhari’s position called for visionary political leaders who would ensure that governance “is dynamic enough to accommodate emerging issues that affect the welfare and security of their people.”
The group, however, lamented that Nigeria’s leaders appeared “to have deified the 1999 Constitution almost to the point that even generations unborn must grow to worship it, despite its glaring inadequacies and debilitating impact.”

It thus warned that somehow the boundaries set by the 1999 Constitution would be broken anytime soon “to the shame of recalcitrant leaders opposing it. The recent events about June 12 and global affairs should teach discerning observers.”

At a public lecture in Lagos yesterday, Prof. Akin Oyebode, noted that Buhari had failed Nigerians, citing uncontrollable herdsmen killings in some parts of the country.

Oyebode, a professor of international law, added that the president had failed Nigerians in entirety, saying there “is no basis for the government to continue to exist.

“Nigeria is now a failing State and that everybody must acknowledge it. Nigeria is failing state, although it has not completely failed. But it is failing. We have to quickly address that.

“They say when there is fire on the mountain, the children will run. Things are getting worse and worse in the country all hands must be on deck to safe Nigeria from total destruction. The statistics are very bad,” Oyebode explained.

He lamented that it was so embarrassing that incessant killings were happening in Nigeria that pride itself as the biggest black nation on earth and the giant of Africa, as the government could no longer safeguard the lives of the people.