• Afenifere insists on return to parliamentary system for purposeful leadership, governance


From Laide Raheem, Abeokuta



Afenifere went down memory lane on Tuesday to emphasis the viability of restructuring as the antidote to Nigeria’s present predicament. It insisted that the parliamentary system of government that worked wonders for the old regions of East, West and North  in the 50s and 60s can still do exploits in today’s Nigeria. The Pan-Yoruba social-cultural organization said the blueprint of the group on restructuring the country is ready.

It equally posited that its idea of restructuring the country tilts towards adoption of parliamentary system of government which according to it, would help not only on cutting down billions of naira spent campaigning for elections, but also cut down significantly the heavy cost of governance as obtainable under the Federal System of Government

Rising from its caucus meeting held at the Isanya Ogbo-Ijeb, Ogun State residence of the Yoruba leader, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, the Publicity Secretary, Gboyega Adejumo, said: “What we are actually proposing is parliamentary system of government. Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo didn’t have to campaign in Ijebu Igbo, all he had to do was to win in Ikenne to become a member of the House and whoever is the leader of the party becomes the Prime Minister or the Premier.

“The old Western Region was from Badagry in Lagos to Asaba in present day Delta State but he never had to be campaigning everywhere as we do now.  It makes governance so cheap, nobody will have to spend billions on campaigns again. You will need as much as N100m to campaign for local government chairmanship elections.

“So, until under this system you will from your constituency comes into the house of Assembly and it from here you will choose your Ministers and your Commissioners, you are not going to be appointed anyone again from outside but those that have been elected into the house of Assembly.

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“With this system of government, we are going to be spending one 10th of the humongous resources we are using to run this presidential system of government”.

Afenifere, however, said that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has no excuse not to run with the vision of restructuring the country having been at the vanguard of this struggle and beneficiary of the call for restructuring within this democratic dispensation.

The meeting which was presided over by Pa Ayo Adebanjo equally had in attendance Oba Oladipo Olaitan, the Deputy leader of the group, Supo Sonibare, Treasurer,  Mrs Kofoworola Bucknor, former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Justice Faloye, Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Segun Ojo, Bashorun Segun Sanni among others.

Adejumo said “what we have here today is caucaus meeting of Afenifere and the germane national issue that took the centre stage was restructuring.

“Sometimes last year November, a committee under the leadership of  Oba Oladipo Olaitan was set up to aggregate Afenifere’s view on restructuring and today, the committee said that the report is ready

“However, this report will still be considered by the executives of the association after which it will be taken to the general assembly where all the members will get to know what we stand on restructuring as Afenifere and we shall then print the report, do our various publicity on it for people to be enlightened on what we believe on restructuring.

“Tinubu himself is a product of Afenifere, he was elected on the platform and ideology of Afenifere.  He took the federal government to court under the leadership of former President Obasanjo for 31 times in an efforts to implement restructuring.

“He didn’t do anything when former President Buhari was there for eight years, probably he was bidding his time because he knew that northerners won’t implement restructuring because they thought it won’t favour them.

“But Tinubu is there now as the President, he is answerable to us all as a product of Afenifere and as what the whole Yoruba did under the Afenifere in Adamasingba, Ibadan, Oyo State in 2017 that what we want is nothing but restructuring.

“For this 2017 meeting, we invited the South South, South East and the Middle Belt and this is the beginning of what we called Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum.

“So we are still meeting at this forum when other zones will also submit their recommendations, so what we took to 2014 Confab is what we are submitting even though some things have changed. We will then take it before the National Assembly for their approval.”