Elder statesman and Afenifere leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo has renewed his call for a return to true federalism to correct what he described as “the imbalance and injustice” on the present political arrangement.
Adebanjo stated this while featuring in a special interview on the Oyo State-owned television, Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS TV) yesterday.
According to him, most problems affecting the nation are rooted in a distorted constitution crafted by the military, adding that things will never take the right path until the anomaly is addressed.
The elder statesman said “the beginning of our problem in this country was the military coup of 1966. The people who want to do mischief, particularly our brothers from the North are cheating us under the present structure imposed on us by the military in 1966.
“As long as that constitution exists, those of us in the South who took part in the founding of this nation under our constitutional democracy will not accept.”
He also frowned at lopsidedness and slack of openness in the creation of local governments which he said was in favour of the North, “This constitution created local governments which they use to distribute resources. The North is in an advantaged position.
“This is a country where a section is imposing its will on the rest. They are using false population to get majority in the parliament. The return to the genuine federal structure is imperative to free the rest of the country from servitude.”
The Elder statesman blamed some Yoruba leaders in the All Progressive Congress (APC) for not being bold enough to speak the truth to power because of their selfish ambition.
“Our brothers who are in the APC will say they cannot do without the North and I dare say we are equal partners in this federation. Tinubu is hesitant for just no cause. Buhari is deceiving him. When he (Buhari) leaves, he will make him the President. And if you ask the governors, they will say that thinking is just in the air,” Adebanjo said.
According to Adebanjo, it is wrong to believe that Nigeria will disintegrate if the nation returns to true federalism as recommended by the 2014 National Constitutional Conference organised by Goodluck Jonathan administration.
He said Nigeria was very strong in the pre-independent era with Chief Obafemi Awolowo as Premier of Western Regional, Nnamdi Azikiwe as Premier of Eastern Region, Sadauna as Premier of Northern Region with Tafawa Balewa at the centre
The Afenifere leader added, “The founding fathers designed the country to run federalism with the understanding of the people’s diversities and for each of the constituent to develop at its own pace.”
He took a swipe at many politicians in Nigeria especially those in the Southwest who used the platform of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the former Premier of Western Region to gain recognition and win elections but abandon the late sage’s ideals, saying political office should be for service, freedom and advancement of the people.
Adebanjo said the Amotekun security network model has sent jitters down the spines of authorities in Abuja, noting that it was an initiative which is aimed at giving the states a measure of freedom in securing their areas.