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Pa Adebanjo, other Yoruba leaders renew call for restructuring of Nigeria as solution to recurring problems



The issue of restructuring was, once again, at the forefront of a discourse amongst prominent Yoruba leaders, on Tuesday, who implored President Tinubu to look into the matter.

Renowned Yoruba leaders including leader of the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, Pa Ayo Adebanjo; Director-General of the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria, DAWN Commission, Dr Seye Oyeleye; Chairman of Voice of Reason, VOR, Mr. Olusola Adekanola, and Dr. Segun Aina, convened on Tuesday, urging President Bola Tinubu to restructure Nigeria.

According to them, this step will address the challenges facing the South-West.

The leaders made this call at the Goke Omisore Annual Lecture (GOAL2023) themed: “South-West Regional Integration: The Dawn Commission Approach”, organised by the VOR in Lagos.

The celebration was held in honour of Prince Nicholas Omisore.

The Yoruba leaders bemoaned the state of the Yoruba nation and cited underdevelopment, religious and ethnic division, abandoning the omoluabi ethos, and social media ridicule of its traditional institutions as some of the issues the area was facing.

Read Also: Afenifere youths slam Pa Adebanjo over factionalisation, call for his removal

In his remarks, Afenifere leader, Pa Adebanjo said: “The real cause of our problem is federalism and lack of regional autonomy, which is why the DAWN Commission is asking questions.

“Let me state that we have not surpassed the efforts of our past leaders. We can move forward, but not under this constitution.

“The colonialists brought us together without our consent. At the time, the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo told the colonial masters that they could not rule Nigeria under a unitary system of government.

“All the theories that Awolowo spoke against are still being practised today. Let us forget aggrandisement, let the President change the constitution to a federal system, where each region would develop at its own pace.”

Also speaking, the Director-General of the DAWN Commission, Dr. Oyeleye said: “From our vantage point at the DAWN Commission, we should focus on three constitutional changes now.

“They include state police, amendment of the revenue sharing formula, and the introduction of a clause to allow states to collaborate for development purposes.

“If we achieve these three, we would have unlocked the next growth phase of Nigeria. I know these proposals are risky ventures – from a capitalist perspective that most of us subscribe to.

“But then, nothing ventured, nothing gained. I admit that implementing and actualising them will not be a walk in the park. But we have done it before and we can do it again.”

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