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The Pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, on Thursday, said it doesn’t believe in secession and disintegration of Nigeria but demands true federalism to address the country’s challenges.
Ayo Adebanjo, the leader of the organization, stated this in Lagos while speaking to newsmen.
He said, ‘We are not anarchists; we’re not secessionists. We recognize that there’s a democratically-elected government.’
‘However, it’s the considered position of Afenifere that the president urgently constitutes a Government of National Unity solely to undertake the restructuring of Nigeria, in consultation with the Nigerian people.’
‘The issue of restructuring is about our freedom. We’re democrats. I don’t want violence. I don’t want the country to break.’
Adebanjo also called for a sovereign national conference on restructuring, adding that the country must be returned to the 1960 Independence Constitution before the 2023 general elections.
He said, ‘The Nigeria that was agreed was, by design based on a parliamentary system of government.’
‘The Nigeria that was agreed was one that recognized the rights of the federating regions to nationhood within the ambit of the federation that was birthed.’
‘We remain convinced that the need for a sovereign national conference is imperative. The basis of the Nigerian state must be clearly negotiated.’
Mr Adebanjo said that there could not be peace in the absence of equality, justice and truth guaranteed by substantial restructuring and true federalism.
He added that he had spent more than 70 years of his life to relentlessly struggle for a united, civilised and prosperous Nigeria.
According to him, “the Afenifere will support any person who has a clear cut understanding of a restructured Nigeria and sincerely committed to true federalism”.
He said that Afenifere will be leading the Yoruba nation to demand substantial restructuring before any election could be held in 2023.
On the on-going National Assembly’s Constitutional amendment, Mr Adebanjo said that he did not believe in any amendments to the 1999 Constitution because Nigerians were not part of its drafting.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK