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Afenifere Blasts Osinbajo over Position on Restructuring

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Pan Yoruba Socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, Monday blasted the

Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo, over his comment that what Nigeria needed

was diversification of the economy and not restructuring.

The organisation has long campaigned for the restructuring of the country

in order to address the twin diseases of marginalisation and nepotism

afflicting the nation.
Afenifere in a statement issued and signed by its National Publicity

Secretary, Yinka Odumakin, said the Vice-President should educate himself

on the imperatives of restructuring Nigeria in order to speak from a

knowledgeable point of view or keep quiet.
The statement reads:
The attention of Afenifere has been drawn to the statement credited to

the Vice-president of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), that the call for

the restructuring of Nigeria would not make any difference.

The Vice-President in the faux pas also argued that if states are given

half of the resources of the Federal Government it would not make any

difference and that all we need is to diversify into agriculture.

While we understand that the learned Professor, who is from the zone that

has been loudest on this call may have come under pressure to lend his

voice to the upholders of the status quo that has brought Nigeria to this

sorry pass,we would like to respectfully admonish him to be sure footed on

the subject before he speaks next time.
He misses the entire debate by engaging in the reductionist argument

narrowing the whole issue to taking more money from the Federal Government

to the states. Yes, fiscal federalism is part of the argument but the

issue goes beyond the monthly Federal Allocation Committee.

The central plank of restructuring is for Nigeria to go back to the true

practice of Federalism wherein mineral resources that abound in all states

would be freed from the exclusive list so that states would move into

prosperity and not be reporting at Prof Osinbajo’s office for bailout from

a centre that only corners what belongs to the states.They would also have

enough to contribute to sustain the occupiers of Abuja and the functions

that are allocated to them.
Beyond resources,the country is reeling under crime today and the single

police we currently maintain has proved incapable of dealing with the

situation.When you listen to commissioners of police lamenting at the

scenes of crime these days you will think they are part of passers -by

terrified by the horror of crime.It is clear we need multi-level policing

to combat crime and have effective policing.
From the Federal, down to states and Local Governments, we are bogged

down with over bloated bureaucracies that consume as much as 90% of

available resources and with little or nothing left for development. We

must address how long we want to travel with this culture of waste and to

see if we can deliver better governance with a manageable architecture.

The question of diversification is a point that advocates of restructuring

have canvassed as it makes no sense for a country as vast in resources

like Nigeria to depend on a mono-product economy.It is part of

restructuring we are talking about and not an alternative to it.

The restructuring package has a whole wide range of issues that have to do

with justice administration, electoral system and its cost

implications,conflicts arising from clash of cultures and how to deal with

them to ensure peaceful co-existence.
Nigeria is fast falling apart and all genuine patriots have come to a

consensus that we must restructure to arrest the drift.

Yes there is a minority that is insisting that we must continue the way we

are just like the minders of some empires that have disappeared from the

world map did.The Vice-President is free to cast his lot with this group

even when silence could have been golden but he should at least try to

acquaint himself with the issues so people are not wondering what are we

talking and what is he saying.
We use this development to advise all those who seek high offices to

ensure they are not far from issues that shape their political environment

and pay due attention to civic education.
Yinka Odumakin
National Publicity Secretary
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