Today June 12, marks another anniversary- a remembrance of the tragic waste of Nigeria’s greatest opportunity for democratic consolidation.
The sacrifices that MKO Abiola like others before him made, will be in vain if Nigeria continues on its uncaring way and path to the failure of the state which we hope will be avoided by the opportunity of a Buhari government.
This year, we need to recommit ourselves to the Ọmọluabi values of personal integrity and public probity. The country is in the throes of inequity, iniquity and worrisome non-performance by a government to which so much has been given and from which so much is expected. We call on President Buhari to justify the hopes and faith reposed in him by millions of our people who voted him into Nigeria’s highest office, on the mantra of ‘CHANGE’.
We want to use this anniversary of June 12 to demand from President Buhari the change he and his team promised. In his business and political lives Abiola was daring, innovative and generous. We call on the President to be more daring innovative and generous.in ideas and actions.
Atayeṣe calls on the Buhari Administration to bring about a sea change in Nigeria’s politics, and commence the process of constitutional restructuring of Nigeria at the earliest opportunity.
Nigeria’s federalism, the nomenclature and reality, is fraudulent in name and character. We assert again as a fact of history that the only constitution of Nigeria that was truly democratic in its enactment is the 1stRepublic Constitution of 1963. Every other constitution under which we labored has been a military contraption made in the image of the military, laden with hidden ethno-chauvinistic and power elite agenda. Having made these very serious observations, we are persuaded that the logic is for a national dialogue of ethnic nationalities to democratically review our cohabitation in Nigeria as Nigerians. This is the task that history has placed before President Buhari, this is the true ‘CHANGE’ Nigeria needs and the Yoruba nation demands.
As it is, we are daily confronted with threats and violence from ethnic militias, kidnappers and religious bigots, etc. The sad truth is that all these threats and violence are most times not about the welfare of Nigeria’s peoples but self-serving and in the myopic interests of some political elites.
Be that as it may, it is in the best interest of every multi-ethnic nation to be governed by a truly-federal constitution in which all resources belong to the federating units, subject as necessary, to legitimate taxation by the instrumentation of the central government.
Rather than assume that all is settled because we fought a war for the survival of Nigeria as a country in 1970, President Buhari must note that the existing artificial state boundaries which cut across ethnic groups, placing people of the same ethnicity in different camps, must be reviewed and corrected on the basis of a referendum. That is democracy in contradistinction to a conquest or the deliberate creation of combustible political incongruities.
Atayeṣe accordingly appeals to President Buhari to play a decisive historic role of finding a permanent solution to THE NATIONAL QUESTION. Will he play the Nigerian ‘General D’Espaniola’ – the Portuguese army General – who, realizing the irrationality of his country’s continued colonial possessions in Africa, set free the colonies; or choose to be the Mikhail Gorbachev who let loose each of the nation-states of the former USSR? Will he/can he, indeed, rise to the occasion by initiating the process of constituting a democratic SOVEREIGN NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF ALL NIGERIA’S NATIONALITIES AS SOON AS IS PRACTICABLE?
Atayeṣe firmly believes that the current “unitarist” Nigeria, parading itself as a federation, is not sacrosanct but negotiable. The facade is cracking up on all sides, and it is, in our view, always better to jaw-jaw than to war-war. Let it be known that the Yoruba nation will no longer take up arms against other nations in Nigeria.
IT IS TRUE FEDERALISM OR NOTHING!
RELATED ESSAY: https://emotanafricana.com/2013/06/17/the-national-question-and-the-nigerian-constitution-femi-aborisade/
Tokunbo Ajaṣin, Chairman, Atayeṣe. June 12, 2016.
SUNDAY, JUNE 12, 2016. 12:18 a.m. [GMT