Nigerian lawmakers have been urged by Afenifere Group in the United Kingdom (UK) and Europe to concentrate more on the restructuring of the country.
This was disclosed in a statement issued on Tuesday, June 29, 2023, by the Secretary of the Group, Anthony Ajayi. He said the 1963 Constitution is a pointer to address the abysmal quality of leadership the country has witnessed over the years.
In the statement, those against restructuring were described as unfortunate and engaging in the treasonable promotion of interest inimical to the growth and development of Nigeria.
The group also noted that they are pushing the President Muhammadu Buhari led-government to mastermind another civil war and forceful political break-up and perhaps even more.
It stressed that the indicators of these could be seen in part in the scale of banditry and unprecedented level of kidnapping and destruction of government properties going on in the country.
There was an emphasis on the 1963 Constitution, as it described it as the credible update of the 1959 constitution which was the agreed framework voluntarily accepted by the founding fathers of Nigeria and the position of the major ethnic constituents that agreed to form Nigeria.
“Fraudulent arrangement has been deliberately foisted on the country even further, with the imposition of the fraudulent 1999 Constitution that ensured not only the underdevelopment and destruction of every facet of Nigeria but the unfair and criminal transfer of every resource of the South to the non-productive North,” it said.
It said, “Under this obnoxious Constitution, the governors are described as the Chief Security Officers of their respective states, but all the apparatus of security are vested in the Federal Government thus it makes it impossible for the governors described as Chief Security Officer to be able to deploy the personnel of any of the security agencies.
“Since poor governance structure has given rise to insecurity, poverty, unemployment, and anger pervading the country, there is the need now to restructure to achieve true federalism including a new phenomenon in Nigeria’s political history.
“President Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign in 2015 which ran on a ‘change’ mantra made numerous promises to Nigerians. One of the key manifestos of the All Progressives Congress (APC) during the 2015 presidential election campaign was to restructure the country for absolute transformation.
“The President’s promises of restructuring, tackling insecurity, and fighting corruption have all been reneged. This is what gave rise to the increased agitations for secession witnessed in some parts of the country.
“We still maintain that at independence, Nigeria was being run on a federal structure with three near-autonomous regions. This was later increased to four with the creation of the Mid-Western Region. But the military junta that seized power in 1966 dismantled the regional structure and instead imposed a unitary system of government on the country. The damage this caused was devastating and we are still writhing under its debilitating effects even now.
“There are factors that led to the agitation for restructuring in the first place. The agitation did not only revolve around resource control, it revolved around the review of revenue sharing formula, devolution of power, return to the regional federal system of government based on six geo-political zones, return to parliamentary system of government, removal of immunity clause from the constitution, creation of state police, the role of traditional rulers, among others.
“Countries in the world over adopt political arrangements that best suit their nature, context, and composition. In some cases, this arrangement facilitates a substantial amount of co-operation among the various segments and institutions all in a bid to achieve the desired end of the good life for the citizens.
“We, therefore, call on the lawmakers and the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government to seize this golden opportunity in Nigeria now to do needful as history may not be kind to them if the country collapse under their leadership going by the reality of the day across the country.
“We also call on President Buhari to run an all-inclusive government devoid of nepotism, sectarianism, and sectionalism as being experienced in Nigeria today”.
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