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Diversification is part of restructuring, Afenifere tells Osinbajo

By Seye Olumide
12 July 2016   |   2:51 am
A statement credited to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in which he allegedly dismissed the calls for restructuring of the country has been faulted by the Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere.

osinbajo

A statement credited to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in which he allegedly dismissed the calls for restructuring of the country has been faulted by the Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere.

Osinbajo was quoted to have said that the calls for the restructuring of Nigeria would not make any difference, arguing that if the states were given half of the resources of the Federal Government, it would not make any difference, and that all the country needed was to diversify into agriculture.

In their reaction, the Yoruba leaders yesterday said Osinbajo should note the fact that diversification of the economy had always been part of the restructuring which prominent Nigerians, ethnic groups and various agitated regions had championed over the years.

In a statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, Afenifere said: “While we understand that the vice president, who is from the zone that has been loudest on the call to restructure the country may have come under pressure to lend his voice to the upholders of the status quo that has brought Nigeria to this sorry pass, we would like to respectfully admonish him to be sure footed on the subject before he speaks next time.”

Afenifere also said Osinbajo missed the entire debate by engaging in the reductionist argument, narrowing the whole issue to taking more money from the Federal Government to the states.

“Yes, fiscal federalism is part of the argument, but the issue goes beyond the monthly Federal Allocation Committee. The central plank of restructuring is for Nigeria to go back to the true practice of federalism wherein mineral resources that abound in all states would be freed from the exclusive list so that states would move into prosperity and not be reporting at Osinbajo’s office for bailout from a centre that only corners what belongs to the states.
“They would also have enough to contribute to sustain the occupiers of Abuja and the functions that are allocated to them.”

The group also noted that beyond resources, Nigeria is reeling under crime today and the central police the country maintains have proved incapable of dealing with the situation. “When you listen to commissioners of police lamenting at the scenes of crime these days, you will think they are part of passers-by terrified by the horror of crime. It is clear we need multi-level policing to combat crime and have effective policing.”