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Towards a re-negotiation of Nigeria, Aṣiwaju Tinubu (Yoruba), Igbo and Niger-Delta candidates should run for the presidency alongside Buhari – Ẹgbẹ Ọmọ Oduduwa

June 16, 2018

Nigeria

Image result for map of Yorubaland

Map of Nigeria showing major ethnic groups.

(1) The Nigerian military declared May 29 as Nigeria’s “Democracy Day” in furtherance of the attempt to scuttle True Federalism in Nigeria; a process earlier embarked upon by the post-independence Central Government through emasculating the Government of Western Region by illegally and Unconstitutionally Declaring a State of Emergency on the Region on May 29, 1962; the beginnings of the pogrom against the Igbo in the North on May 29,1966; both of which flowed from a recognition of the North by the British as the superintendent of colonial Nigeria.
(2) Federalism in Nigeria was originally championed by the Yoruba Leader, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, and manifested through the Action Group, the political party anchored on cultural and lingual determinants, promoting Federalism as the only form of State that will guarantee the foundation for a political economy of engagement with political and economic underdevelopment. Historical and factual evidence abound as to how this existential necessity became advantageously established practically and philosophically in the Western Region under the direction of the Party.
(3) In defiance of historical antecedents of May 29, the Yoruba Nation, who had borne the brunt of military repression consequent upon the annulment of June 12, 1993 election and won by the Yoruba, M.K.O Abiola, became the major force of resistance against the annulment. Yoruba post-military political leaders championed and celebrated “June 12” as Democracy Day as the alternative
(4) The President recently praised Sanni Abacha to high heavens, declaring that he agreed to work with Sanni Abacha notwithstanding any opinion we have about him. Yet, the issue is not about our opinions but about the reality of Abacha’s dictatorship and its implications for the Yoruba. Sanni Abacha not only put M.K. O Abiola in prison where he died, he also superintended the various acts of attempts at suppressing the movement challenging the annulment of the June 12 election, an act which caused many Yoruba to make the supreme sacrifice. The present Administration would be gravely mistaken if it thinks this declaration and the post-humous awards are sufficient to address Nigeria’s structural geo-political imbalance, which was root cause of the June 12 imbroglio in the first instance.
(5) The declaration of June 12 as the New Democracy Day by the Federal Government must therefore be seen by us for what it truly represents -a vindication of the insistence of our people and her progressive leadership on Democracy and the right to Self-Determination. Rather than allow the declaration to lull us into complacency, we must leverage upon it to further and deepen the struggle for the right of our people to Self -Government in a new and equitable Union.
(6) The aftermath of “June 12” saw the emergence of the pan-Nigerian National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) whose aims, and aspirations also centered on achieving True Federalism through active engagement of the military and whose successes, despite operating under a hateful military dictatorship, led to a withdrawal by the military from direct governance of Nigeria.
(7) Unfortunately, the Yoruba engaged this withdrawal with a strategy based on participating in Abubakar’s 1998-1999 transition program without pre-conditions, even though we held the oppressive Nigerian State by the jugular at that point in time. Indeed, a school of thought will claim that what was being called a strategy was nothing short of a disorganized retreat from a position of strength.
(8) As understood by most people, however, (particularly the proponents of unconditional participation) the overall strategy had an underlying basis in the need to deny political space to avowed “domestic” and “external” enemies of the Yoruba Nation, naturally with the hope that those who joined the Afenifere/AD at the time will defend the major platforms of the party and advance the quest for True Federalism as a political necessity.
(9) These expectations ended in great disappointment and, for many, outright disillusionment; indicating an overall strategy that was not well thought out. And, quite clearly, if a strategy is not well thought out, it implies that its intellectual back-up is weak! To ascribe the attitude of our politicians to the “badness” of the human element is to wave a flag at the problem. The intellectual base of Afenifere/AD – S.W. was weak going into the 1999 transition program and this weakness led to its failure to properly contextualize the Yoruba struggle for Self-Determination.
(10) Having thus failed at a proper contextualization, the intellectual base was unable to create the political and programmatic space for itself, and sufficient enough to meaningfully influence the political choices that were being made at the time. Hence the ease with which political opportunists smuggled themselves into, and hijacked, the entire electoral process; which would have ended in a total disaster for the Yoruba Nation but for the direct intervention of a few political leaders in not only making necessary tactical choices but also ensuring that the land retained its historical momentum.
(11) The enormity of the obstacles attendant to the quest for Restructuring of Nigeria and Yoruba Self-Determination revolve around the robust determination of our opponents to at best panel beat the Nigerian State into what is being called “True Federation” and, at worst (in terms of Yoruba interest), a maintenance of the status quo.
(12) The achievement of “True Federalism” using existing institutions of the Nigerian State necessarily implies the creation of a supra-national state. Supra-national here is in the sense that all ethno-national centers of power would have to be neutralized as a necessary pre-condition. And, this is to be achieved partly through the creation of alternative and/or new power bases through the instrumentality of presidential patronage, based on a vision of Nigeria crafted by the colonially-inspired military and fixated on administrative and bureaucratic prescriptions, as opposed to political, social and cultural contexts as the antidote to post-colonial underdevelopment; their expectation being that the quest and zeal for True Federalism will be vitiated by an attempt at providing an economic trajectory for Nigeria.
(13) Its political economy is driven by continuous centralization of political power through dependence on the center, as evidenced by making the State Houses of Assembly dependent on the center for their funding, just as the State governments are, as well as the attempts at centralizing control of water resources; pitting the Yoruba and the Igbo against each other in their attempts at obtaining power in the Center, with the North acting as the umpire and simultaneously making its own allies the superintending political power in the land and the utilization of its near-absolute control of the security apparatus to overrun the Middle Belt in order to ensure its political hegemony in the Region.
(14) Despite APC Manifesto on True Federalism, the party is following the footsteps of its predecessors by making Restructuring conditional upon completion of electoral cycle. Nigeria had been going this route since 1999, where an incumbent government or any aspirant will promise to Restructure as a route to electoral victory. Need we remind ourselves what such promises via “public debates” or “Conferences” have done to our body politic in legitimizing doubtful socio-political legacies – IMF debates, Political Bureau, Niki Tobi’s Constitutional review, Abubakar’s consultations, Obasanjo’s “Technical Review Committee”; Yar Adua’s Constitutional Review, Jonathan’s “Confab” and now APC’s Committee on Restructuring; none of which yielded the desired degree of Autonomy for Nationalities/Regions making up Nigeria. In each of these, it was a case of working to the answer.
(15) The APC Committee on Restructuring promoted certain forms of devolution of powers to the “Federating Units”. Devolution implies the sanctity of the Center and denies Federalism as a relationship between co-equal partners hence cannot be the solution as it retains the power to take back what it has given away.
(16) True Federalism, on the other hand, implies re-imagining of the Center, the re-creation of a Center which will ensure the redevelopment of the human capabilities of the various Nationalities suspended by colonial intrusion and addressing the combined and uneven social and economic development of the country.
(17) The APC Committee’s report is silent on this important difference. The Committee chose to make this a matter for the future by saying that there will be a consequential (Constitutional) amendment if the recommendation as to states (Federating Units) exercising control over their natural resources within their respective territories and paying royalties to the Central government is accepted.
(18) This is the crux of the matter. If States (meaning Constituent Nationalities) exercise such control, all elements of a dysfunctional post-colonial State will be neutralized as its architecture will become dependent on the prerogative of the “States” where all the fundamental indices of development, that is, planning and execution of social, cultural, micro and macro-economic issues will be vested in the Federating Nationality. Since the current Constitution is the problem that must be resolved, the question of its “consequential amendment” does not arise.
(19) The future is now here. Self-Determination cannot be left to appealing to the reasoning and goodwill of anyone in power. Doing so assumes that proponents of anti-Federalist continuity will be able to see the logic in the demand and act accordingly, hence the expectation that “reasoning” will prevail. Reasoning has not prevailed, and it will not. Self-Determination, as a consequence of True Federalism, will begin to have practical meaning and impact when it is taken from the realm of “reasoning” and placed within the context of practical politics and the Yoruba Nation and People must take the lead in this effort. The 2019 Presidential Election provides the platform.
(20) In January 2018, Egbe Omo Oduduwa called on Asiwaju Tinubu to run for the office of the President of Nigeria, just as the Niger Delta and the Igbo were also admonished to present their own candidates for the office to ensure a Constitutional Re-Negotiation of Nigeria, based on the expectation that their victories in their Regions will not only permanently neutralize the so-called rotation or zoning of the office but will also ensure Constitutional Re-Negotiation of Nigeria.
(21) The Yoruba Nation had already produced a Draft Yoruba Constitution, developed by different sectors of Yoruba society under the Chairmanship of retired Anglican Bishop of Akure, Rt Rev. Emmanuel Bolanle. Gbonigi. The SW APC and the Yoruba Leaders of the Party must therefore be committed to formally adopting it as the 2019 election Manifesto to secure political Legitimacy for our quest for True Federalism via Constitutional Re-Formation of Nigeria.
(22) Regardless of the outcome of the 2019 Election, we must gear up for the next phase of the battle for the Constitutional reconfiguration of Nigeria by mobilizing Yoruba opinion in support of our quest. The immediate task in this regard is to make our people the owner of the project. The Draft Yoruba Constitution must be massively circulated among our people and be discussed and subjected to popular approbation; for it will be the basis for the Yoruba Referendum which will make it difficult for political opportunists to dodge or swindle us on the issue of Autonomy/Self-Determination for the Yoruba Nation.
(23) Individuals and organizations of the Global Yoruba Nation, willing to collaborate in working towards ensuring the adoption of the Draft Yoruba Constitution as the 2019 Election Manifesto as well as planning for the Yoruba Referendum not later than September 23, 2019, are welcome. We also demand that the Governors and State Houses of Assembly in all the States of Yorubaland openly commit themselves towards this Referendum.

Femi Odedeyi; Shenge Rahman; for and on behalf of Egbe Omo Oduduwa.
Contact: egbeomooduduwa1945@gmail.com

 

ACHIEVING AUTONOMY FOR YORUBA NATION is the Communique issued by Ẹgbẹ Ọmọ Oduduwa, Yoruba’s premier socio-cultural association, on the 2019 elections. 

With the failure of the Buhari Administration to fulfill many of the promises he made as a candidate, including restructuring, a major item in his manifesto for the 2015 elections, the idea of each area/zone/region fielding a candidate would definitely result in a deadlock which would require the “re-negotiation” called for by Ẹgbẹ Ọmọ Oduduwa to arrive at the result that President Buhari and the party he leads have been running away from these past three years.

TOLA.

SATURDAY, JUNE 16, 2018. 5:45 P.M. [GMT]

 

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3 Comments on “Towards a re-negotiation of Nigeria, Aṣiwaju Tinubu (Yoruba), Igbo and Niger-Delta candidates should run for the presidency alongside Buhari – Ẹgbẹ Ọmọ Oduduwa”

  1. Teslim Opemipo Omipidan Says:

    Final reality indeed! Less offended was I when Trump allegedly referred to him as “lifeless”.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. Teslim Opemipo Omipidan Says:

    This article is filled with facts and truth. Thanks for sharing, Mama Adenle.

    Like

    Reply

    • emotan77 Says:

      Dear Ope,

      It’s a deadlock that should make a negotiation – restructure, conference of nationality, et cetera that APC & Buhari have been running away from – a final reality.

      Thanks, and regards,
      TOLA.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

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