By Sunday Okobi
A coalition of Yoruba organisations in the Diaspora, Yoruba One Voice, has expressed concerns over what it termed “retrogressive and insensitive” response of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to calls for restructuring and devolution of powers, warning that the Yoruba nation may be pushed to secede from Nigeria any time soon.
The coalition in a statement issued by its spokesperson, Zach Somorin, also appealed to members and organisations in the international community to urgently commence the framework for the review of the country’s structure for peaceful dissolution.
YOV was reacting to a statement made by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, that Buhari would not succumb to threats and undue pressure over the subject of restructuring.
According to YOV in the statement, the swiftness by which the presidency, through Shehu, jettisoned the nationwide demand for restructuring in Nigeria is retrogressive, callous, and uncouth.
The Diaspora group stated that despite the fact that the All Progressives Congress (APC) and President Buhari rode on the wings of promises to restructure Nigeria in 2015 to earn the votes of Nigerians, it stressed that the attitude and body language of the administration shows that he is averse to making the country’s system work seamlessly through restructuring.
“We expected that this administration will collate, digest and present assurances to Nigerians that President Buhari will do the needful by rebuilding the country towards inclusivity on the altar of restructuring, but the regime had other ideas wrapped in uncouth language. But Nigerians will not be cowed or shouted down from making their points even in the face of threats.
“For a country of over 200 million people, the incidents of the past weeks should have taught us that if any civil war happens in Nigeria, the casualties will be huge. That is why we are urging the United Nations, the United Kingdom, the United States Congress, the Commonwealth, the British Parliament among other international bodies, to urgently superintend over the peaceful dissolution of the country,” it stated.
Somorin stated that the YOV has placed the UN and the African Union on notice about their intentions, adding that the Yoruba glory is being trampled upon based on how Nigeria is presently structured politically
According to him, “It is clear that the current leadership of Nigeria is not, and has never been committed to the fundamental objectives and directives of the principles of statehood, policies of federalism as enshrined in chapter II of the 1999 Constitution that it derived its powers from.
“Our peoples are tired of terrorism, insecurity, hopelessness, injustice, killings, unemployment, inequality, corruption, scandals, violence, oppression, extortion, and assault.”