Yoruba leaders to Buhari: Restructure Nigeria now to avert imminent disaster

Rev Gbonigi

THE Yoruba Unity Forum (YUF) has warned that further procrastination in restructuring Nigeria into true federation will pose an imminent danger for the country.

According to the organisation, the current uncertainty in the land provided veritable opportunity to restore true federalism through restructuring.

YUF, which comprises virtually all pan-Yoruba groups and parades eminent sons and daughters of the race, said restructuring the country against the backdrop of dizzying clamour by main stakeholders in the Nigerian project was the “legacy the current administration owes future generation.”

A statement by its chairman, Right Reverend Emmanuel Gbonigi, made available to Nigerian Tribune, on Wednesday, in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, said it was time for all Nigerians to put aside their differences and come together to salvage the country from an imminent disaster.

“This is the time for Nigerians to put aside their differences and come together to salvage our country from imminent disaster.

“There are basically two options open to us: the first is to do nothing, naively thinking that the country is on the path to recovery and will shortly experience economic turnaround or accept that the country is at the precipice and must be salvaged, because Nigerians have no other country they can call home.

“If pragmatic solutions to address the current challenges confronting us are not sought, the country will continue to drift in directions similar to the events in the former Soviet Republic that led to her demise.

“This is why we demand urgent restructuring of Nigeria as the only viable option available to halt the uncertainty which hangs on the country like sword of Damocles.

“While as Nigerians, we mourn the collapse of the price of crude oil, we must take solace in the fact that the decline in price of this commodity has offered us the golden opportunity to restructure our economy and country for enduring greatness, peace, unity, prosperity and progress.

“This assignment should not be performed by the National Assembly, rather, it is an assignment reserved for the stakeholders in the Nigerian project. We are in no way advocating the dissolution of the National Assembly for the purpose of this exercise.

“Rather, we demand that representatives of the various people of Nigeria to come together without preconditions to discuss all issues of statehood which shall result in a restructured Nigeria, where there shall be equity, justice, religious freedom, peace, security, prosperity and progress for all. This is the legacy President Buhari’s government owes future generation,” the organisation stated.

In the statement entitled: ‘This is the time to restructure Nigeria’, the YUF said there were many ominous signs that threatened the peace and stability of the country, which could only be resolved by returning Nigeria to a true federal structure.

While noting that all the enviable strides of the founding fathers of modern Nigeria had virtually fizzled out over the years,  the YUF said it would be foolhardly to expect a paradigm shift in terms of national stability and integration, as well as prosperity now or the nearest future because of the current defective federal structure.

The statement read: “The present federal structure and the revenue sharing formula, where states go cap in hand to Abuja for monthly allocations has kept states perpetually dependent on federally collected revenues to fund as much as 90 per cent of their annual budget, resulting in states losing hundreds of billions of Naira annually in revenue, as the states are yet to develop the needed capacity to harness the huge internal revenue potentials available.