The Afenifere Renewal Group, ARG, a Yoruba sociopolitical group, has demanded a public commitment to restructuring of Nigeria’s governance structure from the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Muhammadu Buhari.
The demand was made Thursday at a public lecture organized by the group in Abeokuta.
In his brief remark titled, The Change We Demand, the leader of the group, Wale Oshun, said there are clear indications that there is need for change.
“Yoruba people are insisting that the change that must occur must include some assurances that never again should the issue of equity amongst Nigerian nationalities be blatantly sacrificed as federal government has done in recent times,” said Mr. Oshun.
“The change that we demand include an assurance to restructure the country in such a way that power will devolve to the most efficient federating unit.
“The Yoruba people have witnessed how over-centralisation of power has been instrumental to the abuses of power and the institution of ingrained corruption that is destroying our country today.”
He added that restructuring must be made a national electioneering agenda.
The group said it was using the opportunity presented by the lecture to demand the assurance from Mr. Buhari, a retired army General.
“This should not be an assurance given in private anymore; let it be an assurance given in public,” it said.
Delivering a lecture titled ‘Before Nigeria’s oil runs dry: Options for development in the Southwest of Nigeria,’ Kayode Fayemi, the former governor of Ogun State, argued that the current economic reality makes an urgent case for a restructuring of the polity.
According to him, the mantra to diversify the economy in Nigeria will continue to fail without appropriate steps to devolve power and entrench fiscal federalism.
“The need to diversify our economy and the necessity of decentralizing the governance are coterminous imperatives,” Mr. Fayemi said.
“Indeed, one cannot occur without the other. We cannot diversify the economy without decentralizing governance.”
Mr. Fayemi noted that there are four areas that embody the immense economic potential of the Southwest waiting to be unlocked through diversification and decentralization.
“These are agriculture, mineral resources, telephony and internet, and Nollywood and domestic tourism development,” he said.
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