Tuesday, May 18, 2021

ARG, Afenifere back calls for restructuring, state police

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Babatunde Akinsolahttps://naija247news.com
Babatunde Akinsola is aNaija247news' Southwest editor. He's based in Lagos and writes on the Yoruba Nation political issues, news and investigative reports

The Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) on Tuesday backed calls by other groups for the restructuring of the federation to save the country from a looming implosion following many cries of marginalisation and Separatist’s agitations.

The ARG’s Chairman, Hon. Olawale Oshun, made the group’s position known in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, during their Town Hall Dialogue with the theme: “State of the nation: a conversation with ARG Leadership and Yoruba Intelligentsia.”

Oshun said Nigeria must do away with the unitary government shrouded in a veil of federalism where the Federal government controls majority of the resources to the disadvantage of the federating units.

He added that only those profiting from the flawed federal structure being operated in Nigeria would oppose calls for restructuring, stressing that were the late Sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, to be alive today to observe the fate that has befallen yorubaland, he would surely weep over it.

“The over-bearing power of the Federal government is killing the States and Local governments. States are incapacitated; they should be allowed to control their resources to develop themselves instead of being tied to the apron strip of the Federal government.

“Everything is collapsing because everybody solely depends on what is coming from the Federal government to survive and if we don’t restructure, we will continue to remain where we are today.

“Those who are against restructuring are those who are benefitting from the rots in government. The Federal government must cease to control resources of the States.

“If Yoruba leaders like Chief Obafemi Awolowo and others were to be alive today to see what is happening to the Yoruba nation today, they will weep for us,” he said.

He however advised Nigerians to go about the calls for restructuring peacefully, saying the country must return to the regional government where each region would develop at its own pace.

According to him, the Federal Government lacks the capacity to harness the country’s resources for her rapid socio – economic growth and development.

“We need restructuring to progress and develop, the situation where FG will collect everything and beginning to give States small things to develop their States; we need to change from that. Regions should take of their resources for their growth,” Oshun said.

Also, a renowned Columnist, Mrs Bamidele Ademola-Olateju, urged Yoruba nation to wake up from her slumber, declaring that the race was living on past glory.

Mrs Ademola – Okateju who was the keynote speaker, recalled that the Yoruba nation became the conscience of the country through education, but lamented that the region has now taken the back seat.

Speaking on “The Knowledge of Now: Pathways for the Yoruba,” she said the Nigerian education sector started witnessing setback after the discovery of oil in the 70s, noting that “Nigeria failed to plan for the future.”

She also blamed the electorate for encouraging the nation’s politicians to exploit them by selling their votes.

“A society gets the kinds of leaders they deserve. Our electorates are responsible for the rots in the country today, they encourage our leaders to steal and exploit them by selling their votes to the highest bidder.

“People are not responsible, they have refused to hold the leaders accountable but rather they sing-praise corrupt leaders because of financial gains,” she said.

Earlier, the Afenifere, a pan Yoruba socio – cultural organization, also joined other Nigerians to demand for the restructuring of the federation, fair and equitable resource control and distribution, establishment of state police and reformation of the nation’s judiciary to enhance rapid development as well as stem the tide of all forms of agitations across the country.

The Acting State Chairman, the Ogun State chapter of Afenifere, Otunba Kunle Makekodunmi, made the group’s position known during their meeting at the Ogbo – Ijebu – Ode country home of the Afenifere chieftain, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, where Senator Femi Okunrounmu, Senator Ayo Otegbola among others were in attendance.

The group also mourned the passage of Mrs Omowunmi Akande, wife of former Governor of Osun State, Chief Bisi Akande, by observing a minute silence for the peaceful repose of her soul.

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