Incoherent, illogical vituperations on restructuring, secession not surprising to Nigerians
Nigerians have looked beyond Buhari on salvaging what is left of the country
Dayo Johnson – Akure
The Pan Yoruba Socio- Political Group, Afenifere has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of being insensitive to the yearning of Nigerians in the face of undeniable national calamity.
Afenifere through its General Secretary Chief Olusola Ebiseni in a statement issued in Akure was reacting to the presidency’s position to the growing wave of secessionist agitations in some part of the country.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, had pointedly said that agitators for secession can’t bully the President.
But, Afenifere said in a statement that “Mallam Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to President on Media and Publicity, lives in a fool’s paradise and denial of the debilitating state of the Nigerian State, is legendary.
The statement is entitled “Garba Shehu’s Fool’s Paradise.
“His incoherent and illogical vituperations on the issues of restructuring and secession did not, therefore, come to most Nigerians as a surprise.
“As usual, rather than use the occasion of the recent image laundering programme of the self professed APC professionals at the National Secretariat Ruling party, for a sober reflection of the state of the nation, for a realistic solution to pull the nation from the brink, Garba further soiled the image of his principal on how insensitive the President could be in the face of undeniable national calamity.
“The President, he said, would not be pressurised to accede to the clamour of Nigerians for restructuring because the current vexed constitution had provided mechanism for amendment, through the National Assembly, which anyone desirous of change should approach.
“To him, those Nigerians calling for restructuring were unelectable.
“Yet, he was full of praises for organisations like Afenifere, Ohaneze Ndigbo, Governors of the South West, who are all proponents of restructuring, for not embracing secessionist agitations.
“lt was convenient for him to deliberately ignore the fact that the Southern Leaders and Middle Belt Forum and most recently the Arewa Consultative Forum and the Northern Elders Forum, have all reached a national consensus on the imperative and inevitability of restructuring.
“On return from his troubled vacation in the UK, answering questions from journalists at the Airport on his plans for Nigeria going forward, President Buhari had, absentmindedly replied “continuity”
“In the face of continuing insecurity and general misery in the land, the President’s response was, as usual, so uninspiring and insensitive that Garba Shehu may be right that no situation could push the President to improve on his government’s lacklustre performance, particularly on the fundamental issue of security of life and property and the nation’s economy.
“Truth be told, however, Nigerians have looked beyond President Buhari on salvaging what is left of the country.
“If the people do not bother submit further Memoranda to The National Assembly, it is because they no longer see the need as the National Assembly can not be a judge in its own cause, being itself a subject of restructuring.
“If the National Assembly has no courage to look into the reports of the 2014 National Conference and of the El-Rufai True Federalism Committee of the Ruling party, no such exercise by the National Assembly is worthwhile.
“Buhari and his government needs be reminded that the call for conference of the people to take back their country, even with an elected government and parliament in place, is neither unknown nor new to history. India is a federation like Nigeria.
“Buhari is neither as popular, politically suave nor as respected as Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
“He was forced by the people to appoint the States Reorganisation Commission in 1953 which recommendations reorganised India states along linguistic groups.
“Our small western neighbour, Republic of Benin, under the elected government of President Mathew Kerekou commissioned a National Conference in 1990 which recommendations birthed a new constitution of the people which has since endured.
“Those nations are not even threatened with such level of failure as the Nigerian State is today.
“Garba Shehu is at liberty to give whatever warped interpretation he feels like giving the statement of the Leader of Afenifere which unambiguously showed that the refusal of government to give heed to the calls for restructuring, of which the Afenifere is the foremost champion, is the fertile ground for self determination and secessionist agitations.
The group added that “Those who feel firmly rooted in their positions may wish to take the counsel of elders that the contest for the ring on the finger of the dreaded Oracle may not spare the finger itself in the fullness of time.”