PAN-YORUBA socio-political organisation, Afenifere, yesterday faulted the statement credited to the Vice-president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, that the call for the restructuring of Nigeria would not make any difference
Afenifere, which argued that the Vice-president missed the debate on restructuring, contended that the issue went beyond more allocation from the Federal Government to the states.
It would be recalled that Prof Osinbajo had kicked against the calls for the restructuring of Nigeria, saying it would not make any difference.
In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Yinka Odumakin, Afenifere said: “While we understand that the learned Professor, who is from the zone that has been loudest on this call may have come under pressure to lend his voice to the upholders of the status quo that has brought Nigeria to this sorry pass, we would like to respectfully admonish him to be sure footed on the subject before he speaks next time.
“He misses the entire debate by engaging in the reductionist argument narrowing the whole issue to taking more money from the Federal Government to the states. Yes, fiscal federalism is part of the argument but the issue goes beyond the monthly Federal Allocation Committee.
“The central plank of restructuring is for Nigeria to go back to the true practice of Federalism wherein mineral resources that abound in all states would be freed from the exclusive list so that states would move into prosperity and not be reporting at Prof Osinbajo’s office for bailout from a centre that only corners what belongs to the states. They would also have enough to contribute to sustain the occupiers of Abuja and the functions that are allocated to them.
“Beyond resources, the country is reeling under crime today and the single police we currently maintain has proved incapable of dealing with the situation. When you listen to commissioners of police lamenting at the scenes of crime these days you will think they are part of passers-by terrified by the horror of crime. It is clear we need multi-level policing to combat crime and have effective policing.
“From the federal, down to states and focal governments, we are bogged down with overbloated bureaucracies that consume as much as 90% of available resources and with little or nothing left for development. We must address how long we want to travel with this culture of waste and to see if we can deliver better governance with a manageable architecture.
“The question of diversification is a point that advocates of restructuring have canvassed as it makes no sense for a country as vast in resources like Nigeria to depend on a mono-product economy. It is part of restructuring we are talking about and not an alternative to it.”
“The restructuring package has a whole wide range of issues that have to do with justice administration, electoral system and its cost implications, conflicts arising from clash of cultures and how to deal with them to ensure peaceful co-existence.”