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Nigeria: Political restructuring Summit brings out rent-a-crowd “protesters” in Lagos – Tola Adenle

September 10, 2017

Nigeria

A huge gathering of southerners gathered at Ibadan, the political capital of the Yorubas this past week towards the continued growing Southern calls for restructuring. Before going forward, here is a list of a few attendees at the Summit which was held under the aegis of Atayese, a Yoruba socio-cultural group.

A list becomes necessary in view of the cacophonic noises from not just the North that has been the only beneficiary of a lopsided polity but also from the North’s apologists in the South as apparent fear of the scope of the Summit.

At the Lekan Salami Sports Stadium – a complex that was developed after the Obasanjo military government nationalized the Awolowo-era Liberty Stadium, Nigeria’s first – the attendees cut across political and religious boundaries despite the fact that it was a Yoruba Summit.

Among those from the South-East and South-South were:

John Nwodo, President-General, Ohaneze Ndigbo – the leading Igbo socio-cultural association; Walter Ofonagoro (a former Minister), and Senator Ike Nwachukwu.

Among Southwest (Yoruba) attendees were:

Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State; The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi represented by the Basorun;

Chiefs Afe Babalola (chair of the gathering), Olu Falae (a former Secretary to the “Federal” Government), Kunle Olajide, Ayo Adebanjo, Reuben Fasoranti & Adeniyi Akintola; And others, still: Dr. Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu (Awo’s daughter); former governors of some Yoruba states: Dr. Mimiko & Chief Gbenga Daniel;Retired Archbishop Ladigbolu of Methodist Church of Nigeria, Dr. Yemi Farounbi, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, Gani Adams, OOdua Peoples Congress Leader.

Apart from Ekiti’s Fayose, ALL Yoruba states’ governors and leadership were conspicuously absent but this was no surprise: they all belong to the ruling party that carried retired General Buhari to the presidency by – among other lures during the campaign – a promise to restructure Nigeria.

A man was identified as representing Ogun State’s governor, Ibikunle Amosun, perhaps Buhari’s loudest supporter in the Southwest. Amosun’s support of the president is so confounding because despite Buhari’s health, Amosun is on the bandwagon of those who believes he should run for re-election in 2019!

The politics in Nigeria astounds because while most in the South, including the Southwest wants restructuring, their elected leaders – the governors go their own way without a care as to what is in the best interests of their constituents.

The journey from campaign promise to leaders going rogue on a major campaign promise

Hardly had the election been won, however, than President Buhari and APC leaders, including the president, Asiwaju Tinubu and John Oyegun started pooh-poohing the idea of restructuring: it is not what Nigeria needs now; Nigeria’s unity is not negotiable, and other long-peddled reactionary Northern gobbledygook.

“Protests” in Lagos & Forces of reaction in the North rumble

The Yoruba Summit – like other efforts towards giving Nigeria a political structure that would save Nigeria as a country – has been met with headwinds, not unexpectedly.

In Lagos – not in the North – one of those common [apparent] rent-a-crowds comprising a very few people, burnt a coffin supposedly to express “dissatisfaction on call for Nigeria’s separation and restructuring”. Described as “activists”, they also carry placards one of which announces that THE SEPARATISTS ARE WAR MONGERS. Not a single name of the faceless “activists” is given, nor the organization they represent.

Tanko Yassai, one of the North’s perennial spokespersons, criticized the Summit as not being representative enough: less Muslims than Christians …!

Yinka Odumakin, one of the planners of the Summit has dismissed Yakassai’s posturings and arrogance, wondering aloud if Chief Idowu Sofola, leader of the Yoruba Council of Elders is not a Muslim and telling Yakassai – and definitely those he represents – that Yorubas “do not wear religion on our head”!

What most in the South would be right to ask Yakassai – apart from what his business is as regards the composition of a Yoruba Summit is this: is the “federal” character stipulation in Nigeria’s Constitution ever considered in “federal” appointments which looks as if Nigeria has very few Christians and southerners?

It has not stopped calls for restructure, calls that have grown louder, and may be, just may be, with the South seeming to finally realizing the need to come together, we may be able to win our freedom from babysitting the North who considers any talk of restructuring as calling for the dismantling of Nigeria as an entity.

Is restructuring the same as separating? Why is the North so afraid of a system that stood the regions well in the past, a system that would encourage growth?

Is restructuring that calls for a real federation of six regions with a real “federal” government making laws and vested with powers specified on the legislative list as contained in Nigeria’s Constitution while the component parts are allowed to set their priorities, develop at their own pace … “asking for separation and war-mongering”?

One thing is certain: Nigeria cannot continue the way it is being politically governed, and either the North and their Southern accomplices like it or not, there will be restructuring because without it, the North’s fear of Nigeria being dismembered would eventually happen.

FOR PICTURES OF “PROTESTS” BY “ACTIVISTS”:  https://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/09/photos-protest-separation-restructuring-nigeria/

TOMORROW:

The Communique of Yoruba Summit held in Ibadan on 7th September 2017.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2017. 11:20 p.m.[GMT]

 

 

 

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6 Comments on “Nigeria: Political restructuring Summit brings out rent-a-crowd “protesters” in Lagos – Tola Adenle”

  1. Teslim Opemipo Omipidan Says:

    I’m really glad I read this. Nigeria truly can’t continue with this system of governance. We need a real change, but I not in support of breaking apart. Well done. Cheers! OldNaija

    Like

    Reply

    • emotan77 Says:

      Dear Ope,

      Yes, we do need mesningful change if we must continue to remain zan entity so that young people from every part of Nigeria can aspire to, and achieve great things, in a country where none is oppressed – to borrow a phrase from the old National Anthem.

      Regards,
      TOLA.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  2. ADEYEMI OF ADETOYE Says:

    What a historic gathering of Yoruba sons and daughters? Kudos to the organizers. It shows the quality of leaders available everywhere outside the tiny stable of Nigerian career politicians.

    Like

    Reply

    • emotan77 Says:

      Dear Yemi,

      Yes, a teuly historic gathering despite the no-shows who were elected to,lead us and make our interests, concerns and aspirations their top priorities.

      Nigeria will be restructured failing which, what scares them right now in the core North – a total separation – would happen.

      Greetings,
      TOLA.

      Like

      Reply

    • emotan77 Says:

      Dear Yemi,

      A truly historic gathering, indeed, and slowly but gradually, we are moving towards the actualization of the majority of the pouplation of this diverse country.

      Despite the conveniently-absent elected leaders supposed to represent our interest, aspirations and challenges at the center, the Yorubas and other nationalities who have cried out for a long time will achieve our goal IF Nigeria is to continue as one.

      Greetings,
      TOLA.

      Like

      Reply

    • emotan77 Says:

      Dear Yemi,

      Yes, a really historic gathering, and here’s hoping that the pressure needs to be kept up. There’s no way Nigeria can continue the way it’s being governed: taking resources from a part of the country with not much benefit to the producing areas while bottle-feeding the North with lopsided allocations of funds, infrastructure and “federal” appointments.

      All sections of the country stand to gain if the country is restructured in a way that takes into consideration the major different nationalities that make up Nigeria.

      We need a centrsl government that eill handle currency, defence and other such areas while the federating units csn develop with their different priorities as guides.

      Like

      Reply

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