National Leader of the Pan- African Yoruba group, Afenifere, Ayo Adebanjo, has said the recent declaration by youth leader, Sunday Igboho, is inevitable if the country is not restructured.
Igboho and Banji Akintoye, a popular historian, had recently declared Yoruba as a sovereign nation, noting that it was no longer part of Nigeria.
Igboho had alleged that some people of Fulani extraction were cheating those in the South-West, adding that it was about time the region freed itself from such.
Speaking in an interview with SaharaReporters on Saturday, Adebanjo said Igboho’s comment was indicative that the country cannot sustain the extant arrangement.
The Afenifere leader, who also cited the clamour for secession in the South-East, said Nigeria will break up if not restructured.
Adebanjo said it was unfortunate that the country’s leaders have continued to pay lip service to calls for restructuring even when the existing constitution does not adequately represent the interest of the various entities in Nigeria.
He said: “Afenifere is telling the authorities to restructure. The youths of Yorubaland are tired of these.
“Let them restructure, they should restructure now and satisfy everybody. We don’t want this Constitution again. What Igboho and the others are saying, is what the youths are pressing for.
“Afenifere is still strong on restructuring, that is what we want, we don’t want violence, that is why we are telling the government and the people of Nigeria that the government should restructure now to avoid a violent breakup. We don’t want a breakup.
“We are the voices in Yorubaland that said we must keep Nigeria together but we don’t want to be in Nigeria under this constitution, that is the emphasis. This constitution is fraudulent, it is just there and our youths are tired.
“They say they want to go but no, the people in Afenifere are keeping them low and we want them to remain low.
We want the government to help us to keep them low by doing what is needful, that is the position now. If you don’t restructure now, Nigeria will break.
“The West is saying they don’t want this constitution, the North is saying they don’t want this Constitution, the East is saying the same and they keep imposing it on us. The government is talking about election instead.”
The Yoruba leader said President Muhammadu Buhari should heed calls for the restructuring of Nigeria if he indeed wants the country to remain as one.
He added: “We must have a country first before talking about elections so like I always say, the only person who wants this country to stay together is Buhari, as long as he does not restructure now, he is the number one enemy of Nigeria.”
Sahara Reporters recall that Akintoye had said this is not a time to discuss issues surrounding restructuring, resource control or a new constitution but rather to secede from Nigeria.
He urged all Yoruba patriots to work together for the independence of the Yoruba nation, urging the youths not to involve violence but peaceful deliberations.
“We have declared that sovereignty now but we must work together. We have just talked about what the Yoruba nation is suffering from in Nigeria. There should be no reason why we cannot all work together to extricate ourselves from this rubble that Nigeria has become.
“My advice to young people is to gather together, speak to leaders hesitating about Nigeria, there is no reason for any Yoruba person to be talking about restructuring or a new constitution or resource control, the game is up. We have seen enough of Nigeria, we have decided our status in the world today. We have moved forward, let us move smoothly without any violence, don’t fight anyone. There should be no war, we are going to have a separate Yoruba conference very soon.”
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