As a result of the deteriorating security situation in Nigeria, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, the leader of the pan-Yoruba socio-political group Afenifere, has stated that he does not believe in the upcoming 2023 general elections in the country.
If you ask Adebanjo what kind of characteristics the next Nigerian President should have, he responds, “I don’t believe in 2023, so don’t waste your time.” I don’t believe that we will be able to hold an election under the current insecurity situation in the country, which includes killings here, kidnappings there, and rapes there.”
A large number of police stations and offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission have been destroyed in the last couple of months by bandits who target government buildings, particularly in Southern Nigeria, where the agitation for secession has been the most vocal in recent months.
‘Tinubu, Osinbajo, Osoba, and Akande all promised restructuring in 2015, but they later changed their minds.’
The Afenifere leader also expressed disappointment that some leaders of the All Progressives Congress, including Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Bola Tinubu, Bisi Akande, and Olusegun Osoba, among others, had promised restructuring during the 2015 electioneering but had failed to deliver on their promises following the election of Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd) as President.
“Even those who came into office advocating federalism, such as Osinbajo, Tinubu, Osoba, and Akande, have come to regret it,” he said. You may recall that they were appointed to their positions during a period of restructuring; however, they now claim that restructuring is not their top priority.
“Now that Osinbajo is telling us that there are many things to restructuring, I’m wondering which one they’re referring to. What is the name of the restructuring plan that was included in the APC’s manifesto? Which of the following is the restructuring that El-Rufai recommended in 2018?
“Can you tell me which restructuring Buhari agreed to with (Tunde) Bakare and with whom he contested the 2011 election in partnership?” Bakare continues to state unequivocally that the restructuring agreement reached with you before I ran for election with you is still in effect.”
In his 93rd year, Adebanjo expresses his dissatisfaction with Nigeria’s original Independence constitution, which outlined true federalism and was agreed upon by the country’s founding fathers, saying the constitution was suspended by the military following the 1966 coup.
According to the Afenifere leader, the 1960 Constitution embraces fiscal federalism and encourages regional autonomy, and that restructuring is the only way forward.
Mr. Buhari insisted that the 1999 Constitution, which had been imposed on Nigeria by the military, was a fraud, and that it was necessary to review the law governing how Nigerians agree to live together in peace.
“How can you say that a product of fraud would make the fraud better?” the nonagenarian questioned.
“How can they rule us by the rule of thumb and expect those of us who fought for democracy to remain silent?” No, it’s not going to work.
“Can you imagine Buhari telling me in 2021 that Nigeria’s constitution is non-negotiable? What a load of nonsense! It’s an insult to say that. That is not in accordance with the agreement we reached with the founders
“Can you tell me who wrote this constitution? Is it ours or someone else’s? “Allow him (Buhari) to contest that.”
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“Nigeria is for all of us,” President Muhammadu Buhari declared in his Friday speech. Its unity is unassailably guaranteed. That ultimate success can only be achieved by working together toward a common goal of peace and prosperity for our country.”