The Yoruba Summit Group (YSG), which comprises leaders drawn from different spheres of life, on Thursday, said there was an urgent need to restructure the country now, warning that any attempt to go ahead with elections in 2023 without addressing the issue would spell doom for Nigeria.
The group said the ship of the country is veering off precariously into a precipice, adding that Nigeria is at the very edge of political subsidence.
In a communiqué issued on Thursday and signed by Mogaji Gboyega Adejumo, with the strong support of 25 prominent sons and daughters of Yoruba nation, including, Chief Ayo Fasoranti, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Professor Banji Akintoye, HRH Kabiesi Ọba Dipo Olaitan, Aare Iba Gani Adams, Dr. Olufemi Adegoke, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, Dr. Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu, George Akinola, Dr. Amos Akingba, Yinka Odumakin and others, the group maintained that nothing short of restructuring could save the country.
The communiqué reads, “It would be presumptuous to assume that the masses of the educated Yoruba Nation will dive headlong into being part of the 2023 elections, when all elements of its execution – the Military, Paramilitary, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Judiciary have been rigged and appropriated by a single, tiny minority ethnic group in a small corner of the country.
“The emerging resolve of the Yoruba people not to be part of vassal state that Nigeria has become, is better managed with due accommodation before any further degeneration and obvious consequences. Our quest shall henceforth be to mobilize the masses of our people not to participate in any further elections until the goal of restructuring or self-determination is attained.
The group said it was making the clarion call for confidence building steps to be taken by President Muhammadu Buhari, especially as the historic 60th Anniversary of Nigeria as an independent nation comes in October 1, 2020.
The Yoruba nation maintained that unless steps towards an urgent meeting of all nationalities would be taken, to determine the nature of collective relationship, for Nigeria to head to the right direction, it stressed, “The clear alternative would be for self-determination quests to proceed rapidly without any further restraint. It has become patently untenable for the Yoruba nation to tolerate further incompetence and impunity as has been foisted on all other ethnic nationalities across Nigeria.”
Expressing displeasure with the handling of the death of flying Officer Tolulope Arotile, the Yoruba nation insisted that Tolulope’’s killing was treated by the authorities of the Nigerian Air Force with levity.
While calling for independent investigation by an inclusive panel of experts into Tolulope’s death, the people berated the military for court-martialling Major General Olusegun Adeniyi the day Tolulope was buried.
“It is sad that Major General Adeniyi was being court-martialled for daring to voice out the lack of tools and equipment needed to prosecute a Boko Haram war that has become far too prolonged and far too controversial in light of the numerous calls to the federal government to change the Service Chiefs” The communiqué further stated.
Meanwhile, former US Ambassador to Nigeria, John Campbell, says Nigerians have lost confidence and faith in their government.
John Campbell faulted the attitude of the government and Nigerian politicians, saying the people have never been at the centre of governance in the country.
Campbell spoke during an interactive session on insecurity organised by SaharaTV over the weekend.
Campbell said he does not think the Nigerian military can be transparent and accountable.
“The lack of confidence and faith amongst many Nigerians in the institutions of government is very worrisome,” he said.
Campbell said Nigerian political leaders have had a long history of not being accountable to the people. This, according to him, reflects on how the country’s big budget for defence has not yielded much success.
“This culture feeds directly into corruption and institutional weakness,” the former ambassador said.
Campbell stressed the need for restructuring in Nigeria so that the institutions are accountable to citizens.
“There is no formula to restructuring, all that is needed is for the people to sit, think, look for what will work for everyone and create a strategy,” he said.