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Adebanjo chides South West APC leaders for rejecting restructuring

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Chief Ayo Adebanjo

The leader of pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere, Ayo Adebanjo, has disagreed with the position taken on restructuring by chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the south-west.

Adebanjo spoke in Ibadan at the fifth Babatunde Oduyoye birthday lecture entitled: “Imperatives of Nigeria’s Survival and Development Programme Agenda.

Oduyoye was a member of the House of Representatives. The Director, Centre for Distance Learning, University of Ibadan, Prof. Bayo Okunade, delivered the lecture.

Adebanjo criticised the APC leaders for turning their back against the calls for restructuring, while opting for true federalism. He said there was no way the country could have true federalism without restructuring the system

He said: “Restructuring is not a strange word. It was the basis under which Akande became a governor. I was then the chairman of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) and the campaign then was a sovereign national conference to be able to restructure the country to federalism.

“We filed that resolution in every state House of Assembly at that time, including Akande’s state (Osun) and Bola Tinubu’s state in Lagos. What then is the problem?

“Akande had said at a press conference in Ibadan after a meeting of the APC leaders that: “restructuring is a language of other bodies and groups of people. It is not in the APC manifesto or constitution.

But Adebanjo, who chaired the lecture, said: “Don’t allow yourself to be confused. They are now mending their stand. Yes, we agreed on restructuring and it is not a strange word.

“When they said they don’t understand restructuring, I said if they don’t understand, they should at least understand the Constitution, which the late Obafemi Awolowo, Tafawa Balewa and Nnamdi Azikiwe agreed to.

“Is Muhammadu Buhari more northerner than the Sarduna of Sokoto? Nobody wants to separate the country. But, it is their propaganda to hit us and we are going to stop it.”

Adebanjo described the national question on the unity of Nigeria as “the basis of our problem. Until you settle it, there would be no peace in this country.”

He blamed the intellectuals for the problems in the country, who once given government appointments turn their intellectualism upside down.

The former Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on National Planning, Economic Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Olufemi Lanlehin, also noted that restructuring and devolution of power were more or less the same, “but it is a question of semantics.”



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