Afenifere, Fayose flay Buhari’s remarks on restructuring, state of the economy
• Group demands regional system of government
• Cleric seeks unity in Nigeria
The pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, has criticised President Muhammadu Buhari over his remarks on the clamour for restructuring, saying it is the wish of over 150 million Nigerians for the sustenance of democracy.
In a communiqué read by its spokesperson, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, after a meeting in Akure yesterday, the group declared that the sovereignty rest with the people and not any institution of government.
The group’s spokesperson, who stated that power resides in the people and must be the one to determine the way forward for the country in crisis, said that Afenifere believes that the nation needs a Council Assembly elected by the people of Nigeria to deal with the question of restructuring so that the country can be put on a sound footing.
According to him: “It is clear at this point that we cannot resolve any of the problems confronting Nigeria today except we restructure.”
He described Nigeria as a “dysfunctional country sliding towards the edge of the precipice with crimes rising astronomically and all the forces of desecration have been let loose.
In the same vein, Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State has described Buhari’s latest comment that he was pleased with Nigeria’s economic situation as another pointer that he has lost touch with the economic realities in the country. He said there were sufferings in the land.
In a statement issued yesterday by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, Fayose said it was obvious that President Buhari’s close to three months’ stay in London had taken his mind off the reality of the economic crises being witnessed in the country.
Odumakin, who lamented the prevailing hardship and economic crunches faced by Nigerians, decried the soaring prices of foodstuff and their implications to the poor people.
“It is only authors of confusion who are saying today that when you talk about restructuring, there are 10 definitions, there is only one definition of restructuring.
“Nigeria must move from a unitary constitutional arrangement to a federal constitutional arrangement as we had in the First Republic. Any other thing outside that is nothing from history.”
The group noted that those who criticised restructuring and are those benefiting from the “lopsidedness.”
Fayose, who said that economic growth of a nation could only be measured by the welfare of the people, said: “How can a President who has spent more time abroad than he spent in Nigeria be telling Nigerians that he is satisfied with the sufferings of the people? It is like the President endorsing the sufferings of Nigerians and this is painful.
“That President Buhari, who met exchange rate at N197 to $1 said that he is pleased with the economy when exchange rate is now N370 to $1 is a clear indication that the government is being run on his behalf.
Meanwhile, Bishop, Diocese of Lagos Mainland, Akinpelu Johnson, has advised that all hands must be on deck to secure the future of the country.
Johnson, who spoke during the 150th anniversary celebration of Cathedral Church of Saint Jude, Lagos, stated that adequate knowledge of the history of the nation would further preserve its future.
He said: “ There is a bright future for this country even amid the clamour for separation. It means we have to work to see Nigeria as one entity.
“It is usually said that history is important in order to interpret the present. To have an idea of the future, you have to know where you are coming from.” Also, he advised youths to be patient in their quest for wealth.