• Fasheun, Al-Mustapha condemn agitation for Nigeria’s break up
From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan and Joy Umukoro
South-West leaders, under the aegis of Yoruba Leadership and Peace Initiative, in Ibadan, Oyo State, have called on the Federal Government to begin the process of implementing, or reviewing for implementation, report of the 2014 national conference.
The leaders, who emphasised Yoruba unity, yesterday, noted that there is national consensus that Nigeria is overdue for restructuring and urged the Federal Executive Council, as well as the legislative arm of government, to ensure the process or review is completed before the 2019 general election.
Those who took the decision at the conference included a former deputy national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Bode George; former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel; Senator Bode Olajumoke; Chief Niyi Akintola and Chairman, Afenifere Renewal Group, Mr Olawale Oshin.
The roll call also included a traditional ruler in Osun State and Owa ‘Tapa of Itapa Ijesa, Dr. Olapade Agoro; Proprietor, Lead City University, Ibadan, Prof. Jide Owoeye; a retired archbishop of Methodist Church Nigeria, Archbishop Ayo Ladigbolu; National Coordinator of Oodua Peoples Congress, Otunba Gani Adams; Chief Tokunbo Ajasin, Secretary General, Yoruba Council of Elders,
George warned that past mistakes should not be repeated to truncate the unity of Yoruba race, and added that the thoughts of the former premier of the defunct Western Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, should be revisited in administering South-West states.
The former Ondo State governor also disclosed how he read Awolowo’s methodology on education, health and politics, and added that any governor in the region could pick it up and manage the states successfully.
Daniel also threw his weight behind the restructuring of Nigeria and urged the Federal Government to consider implementing the 2014 National Conference report. He described the report as a good document.
On his part, Agoro urged the Yoruba race to stand with Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, especially at this trying period in the nation.
Convener of the retreat, Otunba Deji Osibogun, noted that after several years of debate on how to bring the Nigerian people together, to agree on modalities for restructuring the polity, the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo convened the National Political Reform Conference in 2005.
“But the initiative did not douse the agitation, prompting the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan to convene another national conference in 2014. The 2014 dialogue was acknowledged to have made very far-reaching decisions on the required constitutional reforms to effect the desired restructuring,” he said
Meanwhile, Founder of Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Dr Frederick Fasheun and former chief security officer to late General Sani Abacha, Major Hamza Al-Mustapha (retd), have condemned recent agitation geared towards the disintegration of Nigeria, by a section of the country.
Fasheun and Al-Mustapha said agitation for Nigeria’s disintegration is unacceptable and advocated total restructuring and true federalism in the country.
They made the call during a meeting, organised by members of the United Niger Delta Forum where Al-Mustapha delivered a lecture on his future plan for Nigeria.
Al-Mustapha said those investing in such agitations are interested in making a name for themselves at the expense of the unity and well-being of Nigerians.
In his response to the ultimatum given by the Arewa Youths to the Igbo in the North, Mustapha said: “Nnamdi Kanu is just an individual but, when you are talking to millions and millions of Nigerians, fanning the embers of war, by pronouncing hate speeches, it is not the answer. Anything that will affect the peace of this country is not acceptable.” Corroborating him, Dr. Fasheun said without restructuring Nigeria, agitations will not cease because it is a product of true federalism and social justice.
He said: “Where there is social injustice, there will be violence. I don’t believe we can change this country through violence. What violence could achieve, peace could achieve it 10 times better, so let us adopt a less costly approach which is peace in resolving the crisis in this country.
On the state of the nation, Fasheun berated the recycling of those he described as failures, the old ones who had been the bane of the Nigerian leadership. He, however, called on Nigerian youths to rise to the situation and play their parts in nation building.
“We voted for this change in government so that social justice can be institutionalised but unfortunately, it has not. Two years down the line, Nigerians are still hungry, angry; there are bad roads and poor infrastructure everywhere, so what do you expect? The government has failed to keep their promise.”
National Leader of the Forum, Mr. Ese Gabriel, said they believed in the restructuring of Nigeria, hence they are calling on the government to adopt resource control method whereby each region can manage its resources and contribute a certain percentage to the Federal Government. (The Sun)