Apex Yoruba sociopolitical group, Afenifere, has said Nigeria has to be substantially restructured before any “fraudulent elections might be held in 2023.”
Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Acting Leader of the group, took this position while addressing a press conference at Wheat Baker Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos State on Thursday.
The elder statesman who restated Afenifere’s position ahead of the 2023 election, said the response of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to what he termed the equitable demands for restructuring, in order to restore Nigeria to its roots and original agreements, shall go a long way in shaping the position of the Yoruba people in the future.
Addressing the press conference, which was attended by former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Mrs Kofoworola Buknor-Akerele, Oladipo Olaitan, Dr. Ebiseni, General Muyiwa Okunowo (retd.), Dr. Amos Akingba, Chief Adegboyega Adejumo, Chief Tunde Onakoya, Prince Elias Motiminu, Mr Segun Sani, Chief Opeyemi Agbaje, among others, Adebanjo declared that “Nigeria is not only negotiable, but is evidently dying.”
Adebanjo pointedly tacked former heads of state, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd) and Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, on their position regarding the country’s future.
He said, “General Yakubu Gowon, to keep Nigeria one, is it for the Fulani to dominate other ethnic nationalities?” he queried. “General Olusegun Obasanjo, Nigeria’s unity is non-negotiable, for the Yorubas to be under Fulani domination?
“Your Eminence, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto; General Abdusalami Abubakar, Bishop Hassan Kukah, can we have peace without equity and justice?”
Adebanjo restated Afenifere and National Democratic Coalition (NADECO’s) position on restructuring, declaring that there existed an urgent need to convene a Sovereign National Conference of the ethnic nationalities that had become known as Nigerians.
He maintained that Afenifere’s position has not evolved, saying that the group remained convinced that the need for a Sovereign National Conference was imperative, adding: “The basis of Nigerian state must be clearly negotiated.”
Adebanjo regretted that Nigeria as a country was dying, and blamed Presidet Buhari for finally killing the country.
The 93-year-old continued, “Nigeria is dying. To be sure, the Nigerian state that was negotiated before independence in 1960, the one that was birthed and named on the 1st of October 1960, is long dead. It was mortally wounded in January 1966, and was then slaughtered in July of 1966. Its funereal obsequies were held between 1966-1970.
“The Frankenstein that was cobbled together in place of the dead nation that was agreed, has survived this long on the back of repression, lies, illusions, and outright delusions. But Buhari has finally killed it by his endless arrogance, the manifest incompetence, and the vile ethnoreligious agenda, with which he is dangerously strangle the insufferable Frankenstein.
“The Nigeria that was agreed, is one that was deliberately FEDERAL in structure. The Nigeria that was AGREED, was by design, based on a parliamentary system of governance. The Nigeria that was agreed, was one that recognized the rights of the federating regions, to nationhood within the ambit of the FEDERATION that was birthed. The Nigeria that was agreed was not a perfect place, but neither is anything constructed by men, and the proof of its imperfections are embedded in the tragedies of the civil war that buried it.”