Afenifere Chides Osinbajo Over Comments On Restructuring
Afenifere, the apex Yoruba socio-political group, on Tuesday, condemned the statement credited to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo that restructuring was not the solution to the problems of the country.
Osinbajo reportedly said at a town hall meeting in the United States of America (USA) that the solution to the problems of Nigeria was about managing the resources of the country properly.
Afenifere, however, said the issue confronting the country today was not all about good governance.
It said the situation of the country was even worse under the present administration because there was bad governance within a bad structure.
The group, which maintained that restructuring remained the major issue in Nigeria, spoke through its National Publicity Secretary, Yinka Odumakin, after its monthly meeting in Akure, the Ondo State capital.
Odumakin said: “The statement by the VP should be viewed against the background of the fact that in 2016, in order to win elections, the APC as a party inserted restructuring into its manifestos.
“And in 2017 when the argument about restructuring became so loud, they set up the El-Rufai committee to go and provide their own idea of restructuring.
“Up till now, they have not told us their new definition, only for them to be telling us that restructuring is not our problem.
“That shows clearly that restructuring for the APC is an issue to play to the gallery with. They don’t believe in it. They are not committed to it.
“And for the vice president to say the problem of Nigeria is managing resources, we want to ask them how much of it they have done in the last three years? How much of providing for the people have they done?
“How much of managing resources have they done with the monumental corruption? TI has said corruption has worsened under this administration.
“Apart from the question of lack of coordination and palpable incompetence in this government, it is clear that there are structural issues that are making it difficult to deliver to the people.”
According to the group, even if Nigeria did not experience bad governance, there were issues in the polity that good governance alone could not resolve.
“There is no amount of good governance that can alter the derivation formula. Good governance cannot address resource control. Good governance cannot address the issue of representation.
“There are issues of restructuring that are outside the scope of good governance. Good governance is an essential ingredient of restructuring.
“Therefore, the clear issue for this country without which we are going nowhere is the need for us to restructure Nigeria back to a proper federation,” he added.
Afenifere urged Nigerians not to vote any candidate that was not committed to the restructuring of the country as president in the next general elections.
While calling on Buhari to sign the amended Electoral Act sent to him by the National Assembly, the group asked INEC to make sure that most Nigerians were not disenfranchised during the 2019 elections.
“As 2019 elections draw close, we have noted that there have been complaints about collection of PVCs and regulation of voters.
“Especially, our findings in the South-West, Kwara, and Kogi State have shown that clearly there are impediments being placed on the part of potential voters in collecting their PVCs or registering as voters.
“Chief among these impediments is the fact that potential voters go to INEC registration centres several times without being able either to collect their voter cards or being able to register.
“There have also been allegations of potential voters being asked for money by the registration officials before they can be registered or collect their cards.
“And thirdly, there has also been the issue of complaints by electoral officials that they don’t have enough plastic to make the PVCs for them.
“Therefore, we call on INEC to remove all the impediments and allow our people to be able to collect their PVCs and register so that they can exercise their civic duty of voting in 2019 elections.
“Not to address these issues will disenfranchise people and deny them their fundamental human rights.
“Also, on the 2019 elections, we are amazed that up till now, President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to sign the amended Electoral Act sent to him by the National Assembly.
“Section 2 of the ECOWAS protocol says no member state shall amend its electoral law six months to elections except agreed to by all stakeholders.
“It is less than six months to the elections, Mr. President has refused to sign it. Mr. President is the Chairman of ECOWAS. His action is a clear violation of the ECOWAS protocol to which Nigeria is a signatory.”