Afenifere attacks president over restructuring
Afenifere says Buhari has declared war with Nigerians for rejecting restructuring.
Nigerians across all geopolitical zones have been calling for a restructuring of the federation following agitations and secessionist chants from some sections of the country.
In 2017, a group of northerners issued an eviction notice to Igbosresident in Nigeria's north; as tempers boiled over.
The governing APC and northern governors even set up committees to harmonise positions on the subject of restructuring.
However, in his January 1, 2018 address, President Buhari poured plenty of cold water on restructuring and appeared to bury the subject for good.
Process, not structure
Buhari also said Nigeria’s problems have more to do with process than structure.
“In respect of political developments, I have kept a close watch on the on-going debate about “Restructuring”, Buhari said before the full glare of TV cameras.
“No human law or edifice is perfect. Whatever structure we develop must periodically be perfected according to changing circumstances and the country’s socio-economic developments.
“We Nigerians can be very impatient and want to improve our conditions faster than may be possible considering our resources and capabilities.
"When all the aggregates of nationwide opinions are considered, my firm view is that our problems are more to do with process than structure.
“We tried the Parliamentary system: we jettisoned it. Now there are shrill cries for a return to the Parliamentary structure. In older democracies, these systems took centuries to evolve so we cannot expect a copied system to fit neatly our purposes.
“We must give a long period of trial and improvement before the system we have adopted is anywhere near fit for purpose.
“However, there is a strong case for a closer look at the cost of government and for the public services long used to extravagance, waste and corruption to change for the better. I assure you that government is ever receptive to ideas which will improve governance and contribute to the country’s peace and stability”, the president added.
Buhari’s position has now firmly pit him against Afenifere—a group that has been canvassing for a restructuring for as long as anyone can remember.
“I hope Buhari is not telling us he is at war with the National Assembly because, I think the National Assembly has set up a committee on restructuring. The APC too has set up a committee. So he (Buhari) should not give us the feeling that he is at war with these people,” Afenifere general secretary, Sehinde Arogbofa said in a chat with
''I hope the President is not at war with the National Assembly or the good people of Nigeria who are saying let us restructure Nigeria so that every Nigerian will surely benefit. Even Buhari himself will benefit from it”.
Yinka Odumakin who is spokesperson of Afenifere was even more scathing in his remarks.
“The president firing this kind of salvo was only drawing the line in the sand between the unitary and progressive forces who want Nigeria restructured so that it can make progress”, Odumakin said.
Calls for a restructuring reached deafening proportions in 2017 after Nnamdi Kanu and his proscribed IPOB fomented skirmishes in the Southeast region of the country.
Pastor Tunde Bakare of the Latter Rain Assembly, also exhaustively discussed how to restructure Nigeria.
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