Afenifere leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, has lambasted President Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), for saying that Nigeria’s unity is not negotiable.
Adebanjo said that Buhari, who is 78-years-old, ought to have known that Nigeria’s Independence and terms of unity were negotiated in the 1950s, but the President was a “small boy at the time, hence his ignorance”.
The 93-year-old Afenifere leader said this during a live chat with newsmen yesterday while responding to the President’s Independence Day speech.
Recall that President Buhari had said that the unity of Nigeria remains non-negotiable. However, Adebanjo said that in 1953 when the North opposed the call for Independence and rather advocated ‘Araba’ (secession), Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe convinced the northern leadership headed by Ahmadu Bello, to negotiate the terms of their unity and ultimately their independence from British rule.
The Afenifere leader said that the 1960 Constitution gave all the regions financial autonomy, such that every region was able to control its own destiny.
Adebanjo, however, said that after the military coup of 1966 and Nigeria became a unitary state, things began to go downhill.
He, therefore, argued that, for Nigeria to return to the path of progress, it must embrace restructuring and this could be done by first doing away with the 1999 Constitution which he said was not based on fairness but exploitation of the South.
The Afenifere leader also lambasted Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and the All Progressives Congress (APC) leader, Bola Tinubu, for paying lip service to restructuring.
Adebanjo said that it was unfortunate that Osinbajo and Tinubu, who promoted restructuring, are now pretending as if it was not included in the APC manifesto during the election campaigns in 2015.