Saturday, May 5, 2018 5:42 pm
A socio-political group, Yoruba Ronu Leadership Forum, has rejected calls for the restructuring of the country, describing them as insensitive and self-serving.
The Secretary General of the group, Akin Malaolu, who described restructuring as unconstitutional, warned that any attempt to force it on Nigerians would be illegitimate.
According to the group, restructuring is an extreme measure that can further divide Nigerians along religious and tribal lines.
It also said restructuring would worsen the spate of bloody communal clashes across the country, insisting that the Boko Haram insurgency would be “ child’s play.’’
The group said that the people of the South West Zone were not in support of restructuring, contrary to the suggestion in some quarters.
It also said the Yoruba were not behind the zone’s umbrella socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, that had been calling for restructuring.
“We see those clamouring for Nigeria to take that wrong route as usurpers who lost out suddenly and helplessly in the 2015 general elections.
“Their wounds have remained unhealed due to dwindling ill-gotten wealth,” the group said.
The clamour for restructuring was reignited by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar who in 2016 underscored the need for true federalism.
Since then, the issue had been in the front burner of national discourse with many notable Nigerians and groups lending their support.
But President Muhammadu Buhari, in his 2018 New Year broadcast, opined that Nigeria’s problems had more to do with process than structure.
Yoruba Ronu reasoned along the same line, noting that attention should be paid to poor governance at the state and local government levels.
It said: “We have undertaken an inventory of conditions of our people and Nigerians in general, mainly in order to understand and to identify their needs within the Nigerian space.
“It is true that years of stunted growth created abject poverty, unemployment, deprivations and others.
“But the good news is that the current government at the centre is doing its best to reorder our priorities with concerted efforts noticeable in all areas.
“Today, most states and local governments are in wrong hands and leaders and elders should take a critical look at their own domains first and foremost before venturing into the national space.
“President Muhammadu Buhari should be praised and not vilified as it is being done by elders that should know the truth but appear more interested in playing politics.
“Nigeria and Nigerians deserve peace to grow their nation in all areas and it is everyone’s duty to give same through contributions and not competition.
“We must congratulate ourselves that Nigeria has been taken back from wrong hands, from false friends and from leaders without milk of human kindness in them.
“We urge Nigerians to defend their country loyally and faithfully as being done by the president and his team,” it added.
While reaffirming its confidence in the president, the group urged “ all people of good conscience to continue to support him” as Nigerians confront the challenges of nationhood.